This, the penultimate issue of the Slow Science Fictions prose series, comprises Michael J Weller's customary re-refractions of self-mythologising deprecations, of socio-political reality and popular culture, and of the ordered disorder that is his measured tangle of fictions within a fiction.
Within: the ninth Guardian of Life And Civilisation is chosen, he is the cartoon character Hanthala with the spirit of young Iranian student Neda Agha-Soltan (the correction of Hanthala Neda's stunted growth can be achieved only with a final solution of peace, security and prosperity for both mideast Jew and Arab). Else-where/time: in the Billy Crombie Chiselwood College Of Dreaming Theme Park children should be thrilled by commodified health and safety regulated fear, but not scared shitless. Built in Florida by EarthCo, this theme park utilises technologies engineered by computer gaming and platform inventor Alpha Zee; most notably the iMager, a device which plugs into the frontal lobe of the player/visitor to make the Wellerverse real for them. With said device attached, retired policeman Jim Pannifer of Social Reality Earthtime 2018 returns to the Nibs writing group of 1997 to be introduced to himself as a character in Mike Weller's reading of his sci-fi serial. Offers Pannifer (in 1997 for real and in 2018, theme-parked virtuality): 'I would have left me out.'
Defiant to the near-end, Michael J Weller's writing continues to evince an oddly personal richness and piquancy that must contend with an ingrained against-the-grain narrative structure that's not exactly hoi polloi-friendly, but which offers a playful elusiveness that is both mysterious and singular.
40 A5 pages, £3 inc p&p, available from Mike Weller, 3 Queen Adelaide Court, Queen Adelaide Road, Penge, London SE20 7DZ. Or e-mail: mikejweller(at)hotmail.com Site: http://www.homebakedbooks.co.uk/wellerverse.htm