'Smithereens are hard to aggregate. Penguins can slide on their bellies but the humour is wasted on those stiff-billed bastards – yet put a paper hat on an owl and it's you who feels like a fool.'
Corpses rain down from the sky as punishment for the massacres of the last century. A teacher solves the behavioural problems of a young girl by installing a nest of black spiders in her brain cavity. A police chief and his trooper unravel the twisted suicide of an ex-mobster by rehydrating a raisin. Criminals in animal masks parade around Beerlight City. A volunteer test subject for experimental hallucinogens experiences the entire history of mankind in a sensory deprivation tank.
This collection of early stories displays a variety of ghastly objects removed from the surface of Steve Aylett's brain, in which he tears down the walls of reality and lets all of the monsters out. Including the 9/11 story 'Gigantic' (first published in 1998), a unique take on The Bible Code ('The Waffle Code'), a shrewd riff on police/press bugging, 'The Met Are All For This', and 'Resenter', the first of several 'one particle of honesty destroys an entire city' stories.
'A potent, poisonous, post-cyberpunk cocktail of ultraviolence and outrage with a splash of Burroughs, a dash of Ballard, and a twist of Dick ... the ideas are clever, the anger is justified, the prose is imaginative, and the dialogue is sharp.'
'A mindbursting overload of sensation'
'An excellent sampler of Aylett's terse literary style, bracingly keen satirical wit and disconcertingly brilliant revisions of genre conventions ... Here's condensed prose of narcotic intensity.'
'Aylett's steady output of ribald, unpredictably plotted novels has earned him a reputation as one of sf's true mavericks.'