THE BOOK OF THE ENEMY

Edited by Simon Bucher-Jones.

Stories by Helen Angove, Jacob Black, Simon Bucher-Jones, Nate Bumber, Lawrence Burton, Jay Eales, Lisa Sarah Good, Andrew Hickey, Wilhelm Liebknecht, Philip Purser-Hallard, Christian Read, Grant Springford and Nick Wallace.

ISBN 9781909031654.

Published in 2018 by Obverse Books.

Cover by Lawrence Burton.


     ‘The Great Houses hold chains that bind time and space. They are the Namers and the Makers, of all that is. Their power is incalculable. And they are at War.

     ‘But the nature of their Enemy has always been shrouded, in mystery, in enigma, perceived through mirrored labyrinths seemingly constructed as much by the Great Houses as the Enemy. Why?

     ‘Perhaps now the secrets of the Enemy can be revealed. Or perhaps not.

     ‘Experience the ravaged memories of those who have met them in War.


The collection includes Philip Purser-Hallard’s short story ‘T. memeticus: A Morphology’:

On a table in the deepest drinking establishment in London, or its near analogue, eight disparate objects lie in a rough circle, like the opening gambit in a memory game.

Clockwise from where Cousin Mace sits, frowning stolidly at the tabletop, there is a saucer-sized device looking like a handheld radio-telescope; a pair of gold-rimmed half-moon spectacles; a wooden-handled handbell; a mobile phone of early-third-millennium manufacture, its screen cracked and dataless; a cuboid chrome box with a speaker grille; an ash-blackened twig; an empty plasdiamond case the size and shape of a drinks coaster; and a brown homburg hat. Each is attached to a luggage label bearing a neat but inscrutable reference code.

There is no obvious linking theme.

To Cousin Braquemard’s eyes, the arrangement is irksome. Its combination of randomness and order snags on her mind every time she glances over it. It gives the impression of ritual significance, though as far as she knows there is none. That’s just how Cousin Mace set them out, prior to sitting and contemplating them in placid silence for far longer than she’d ordinarily be prepared to put up with.

‘Well?’ she demands at last, shifting tetchily on the scarlet leatherette. ‘Are you getting anything?’

‘Not yet.’ Cousin Mace continues to stare phlegmatically at the objects. ‘Takes a while sometimes.’

Cousin Braquemard tuts.




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All material © Philip Purser-Hallard 2018 except where otherwise noted, and not to be used without permission.
The Book of the Enemy cover © Lawrence Burton 2018.
The Book of the Enemy cover blurb © Simon Bucher-Jones 2018.