Null Immortalis: Nemonymous Ten ed' by D F Lewis Jul 29, 2010 18:37:52 GMT
Post by Calenture on Jul 29, 2010 18:37:52 GMT
Null Immortalis edited by D F Lewis
First published by Megazanthus Ŕess, 2010
An anthology of twenty-five stories, edited by D F Lewis, Null Immortalis is the tenth and final Nemonymous. And it has a number of differences to previous volumes. It’s the first volume to show the authors names alongside their stories - so maybe it shouldn’t be labelled Nemonymous at all?
There are more familiar names than usual.
One of the names, S D Tullis, is likely to become better known to readers of this book, as one of the submission guidelines for the anthology was: “The story must include a character named 'S.D. Tullis' or 'Scott Tullis' or 'Mr. Tullis' or 'Tullis'. [S.D. Tullis was the winner of the ''Cern Zoo WIN IMMORTALITY competition].”
Des Lewis has had also said that: “The cover of NULL IMMORTALIS may be based on the images shown at the link immediately above [the photo of a windfarm]. It would be nice if at least one story refers to it.”
On to the stories.
(I really hope my erratic way of reading and writing about lots of different books over a worryingly long period doesn’t give too many writers breakdowns waiting. At the moment I seem to be reading more books than usual at the same time. Hopefully there are lots of other more sensible people reading and writing more briefly and quickly.)
Turn Again by William Miekle: Although the novelty of the wind farm being constructed offshore has lessened, Patty still likes to visit the promenade and study the forest of windmills. Here she makes a new friend in Mr Tullis, who produces a strange notebook and admits that he hasn’t been happy for a long time.
‘“When I began, I truly thought that this was what I wanted. But I have seen everything I love wither and die. No matter how many platitudes I use to console myself, no matter how cosmic the thought that my molecules might see the death of the sun, I am lonely. I have been lonely so long.
“But seeing those circles being drawn in the sky gives me hope.”’
A short and enjoyable tale of myth and alchemical rebirth.
A Giant in the House by Daniel Pearlman: Adversity can sometimes promote growth and strength, but this child’s-eye view of a father becoming embittered and frustrated as he fails to come to terms with his life, tells of a descent into failure, abuse, and a horror beyond death.
Apotheosis by D P Watt: The narrator, an aspiring writer, receives a letter from the astonishingly prolific author S D Tullis, inviting him to ‘unite in anonymity’ by contributing a fragment of his own writing to become part of a literary experiment.
‘“Each work sent to me will appear as a perfect fragment. However, it will exist in relation to the other works submitted and we will assemble a true collective mind; emerging from the isolation of your thoughts the work will engender new connections and dimensions impossible for the individual writer to accomplish alone.”’
Suspecting a hoax but still curious, the narrator scribbles a few lines of prose and replies to the letter. A year later S D Tullis’s collection Drums of the Masses is published, and he searches through its three hundred pages for his own few lines. And so begins a bizarre obsession as book after book by Tullis is printed and the writer seeks his own small contribution, while Tullis himself remains an enigmatic and elusive cipher.
Almost as much of a puzzle as D F Lewis, perhaps?
The Return by S D Tullis: We are never told where the girl had gone, only that she’s been missing for a very long time – two years – but it’s soon apparent that although her body has returned, she’s left a significant part of herself behind in that fell place. She shows no emotion, doesn’t speak; physically there is no evidence of abuse. She is not a vegetable. In fact there are more things she is not than things she might now be. It’s her mother who hears her moving on the other side of the bedroom door one night, and senses that the reality is stranger than anyone has imagined.
A very chilly piece of science fiction grue.
Lucien’s Menagerie by David M Fitzpatrick: When Lucien Kane dies Julia Trafton is astonished to learn that he has left her her old family home. Julia had divorced Kane because of his appalling mental cruelty. A psychopath who used his great wealth to manipulate and ride roughshod over all around him, Kane was without redeeming features and had spent his life travelling the globe to find and kill exotic beasts.
She soon learns that Kane did not have any change of heart before he died. When she discusses the details of the bequest with the solicitor she learns that the house will become hers only on one condition. And you’ve already guessed what that has to be.
When she enters the house with her husband Jake, ready to spend the obligatory night within it, she knows that there are fifty-two items scattered through the rooms which must remain undisturbed for the whole of that night before the house becomes truly hers.
The items are things that are so disturbing, so deeply entangled with memories of her ghastly past life married to a sadistic madman, that their presence is almost enough to drive her to breakdown. Or will they drive her present husband Jake to a coronary? Kane had amassed a great many trophies of his hunting life, and had employed a world-famous taxidermist to preserve them. Now the house swarms with the terrifying shapes. And only a madman could be responsible for some of them.
Grim and very nasty gothic. Loved it.