Chômu Press

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I have just heard that Chômu Press is sadly closing down very shortly. Thanks to them for publishing my one and only novel NEMONYMOUS NIGHT so brilliantly in 2011 when I was 63, This is possibly one of the most ‘obscure’ novels ever written and if you want to experience it you should get it before the end of January.

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The Dream Sickness

The Gestalt Real-Time Reviews of Books

“Only later does the book discover that the world is quite a different world from the one for which it has been prepared.” – from Prelude of Nemonymous Night

I had genuinely forgotten some of the now possible relevances in this book, but I have just been reminded on Facebook to look for them in my long novel NEMONYMOUS NIGHT (Chômu Press 2011) — and I found this:

“The dream sickness – like a ‘flu pandemic – caused queues at doctors’ surgeries for tablets intended for an illness from which they didn’t know they suffered …”

**See more in the comments to this post below**

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EDIT: The great cover is by Heather Horsley

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Nemonymous Night – Chômu Press

ORDERING: HERE

I have a few author copies of the book available for any reviewer who is not due to receive one from the publisher and who is also willing and able to formally review it on-line or in print. Please contact me at dflewis48@hotmail.com

“Um…Bird Flew?”

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Sep 11: Heather Horsley seems to have now created a variation on the Nemonymous Night cover:-

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THE RING: Isak Dinesen

“To the two actors in the pantomime it was timeless; according to a clock it lasted four minutes.”

The young woman married to a young man, after familial doubts, and she goes on a visit to see what turned out to be his sick sheep and listen to talk of a vicious sheep thief with her husband’s elderly shepherd, a visit on sufferance without her dog Bijou that might have scared the sheep, later without her wedding ring, ‘lost’ somehow in a glade or grove, along with that direly disheveled thief? A Zeno Paradox of time, as the pantomime works through, with eventual reunion with her husband, and the meaning of it all never fully to be even half-understood. In the grove or glade, that pantomime with his blade and phosphorescent face. But which of their eyes was the bijou? That glimpse of truth?

”For a second the eyes of both followed it.”

“In the dumb movement her young form had the grave authoritativeness of a priestess conjuring down some monstrous being by a sacred sign.”

“…and closed his eyes. The movement was definitive and unconditional. In this one motion he did what she had begged him to do: he vanished and was gone. She was free.”

But free from whom?

***

Full context of this review: https://etepsed.wordpress.com/1303-2/

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A TEMPORARY MATTER: Jhumpa Lahiri

“In the dimness, he knew how she sat, a bit forward in her chair, ankles crossed against the lowest rung, left elbow on the table.”

That elbow marks the start of the very first in a series of scheduled temporary power-cuts at 8 pm…

“I remember during power failures at my grandmother’s house, we all had to say something,” Shoba continued.

And the current encroachment of aberrancy in their marriage, including a still birth, seems to start resolving itself, a relationship around a calendar of William Morris wallpaper designs and complex cuisine that he, Shukumar, conducts after he becomes a bit of a hermit and she widens her horizons, and they tell each other secrets during the recurring darknesses, home truths or failings that they had not before told each other, sessions that evolve because of Shoba’s backstory statement above. A pattern or gestalt that is also still-born? 

There is a remarkably poignant ending in this organic story of slow-emotional, slow-motional light-and-dark strobes… finally weeping together, but why? Having watched others outside their wobbly marital bubble during the serial darknesses, this being one telling example…
“The woman laughed, slipping her arm through the crook of her husband’s elbow. ‘Want to join us?’
‘No thanks,’ Shoba and Shukumar called out together. It surprised Shukumar that his words matched hers.”

***

Full context of this review: https://elizabethbowensite.wordpress.com/1372-2/

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WIND, RIVER, ANGEL SONG by Cécile Cristofari

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“…slowly winding down, like a swing still swaying for a while after a child has hopped off, before it quietly stops, forgotten.”

This somehow possesses idyllic, rhapsodic pangs of poignancy based, I think, on a visionary theme-and-variations upon the pattern of effects that the Covid pandemic (like hospitals shutting to visitors of patients) had on humanity in recent years, not Covid itself but something potentially far worse or far better, leading to an equivalent era where we now today dread “drowning in hurricanes and heatwaves”, and if I divulge anything more about the nature of these variations from Covid’s patterns, as based on the title, it would spoil the evolving inspirational effect, and it would spoil what I also saw as HOPE. And the elements regarding expectations of infection and immunity. The metaphorical lockdowns here are literally more radical yet possibly desirable as new growth, and these variations are centred upon the scenario of a mother giving birth to her daughter and what happens to them both and her husband thereafter. It is all like a beautiful musical ‘dying fall’. (And, perhaps akin to something I have often pondered upon all my life, from my being a small child onward — what happens in the forest when a tree falls; with no human being there to watch it fall, perhaps it does not happen at all?)

My previous reviews of this author: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/tag/cecile-cristofari/

The full Interzone context of this review: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2022/07/23/interzone-292-293/

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SUBIRA’S LATTICE by Val Nolan

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“…letting the cold iron fall again with a weighty rattle.”

This is a visionary rollercoaster and a tunnelling dumbwaiter by which we, as a memory-sequestered and coercion-implanted slave called Subira, are allowed to be taken alongside an advisory familiar she first encountered as a monster crystallised within a wall. A vastly mind-crazing, -shattering, -reconfiguring Venus as created by geologic strata of words and a complex colonial history, depicting terraforming as well as what native beings lay still within Venus to be mined as yours. Trinket industries, shackles for proclivities as well as a massive challenge-and-response…Subira and the Marchioness on this journey with us, following a mad-science accident by someone called Frankenkristall, one with cancerous crystallisations spreading, but somehow leading to Venus itself being re-christened if not re-crystalled as Subira, ‘human agency as a geologic process’, then ourselves reborn as parkland humans within a telescope that is bigger even than the mind we mine it with. Putting to rights what some of us once did wrong with our trinket minds.
Inspiring! 

“‘Yes. It has chemical engines,’ the Marchioness said. ‘Ones powerful enough to reach orbit.’”

My previous reviews of this author: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/tag/val-nolan/

Full Interzone context of this review: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2022/07/23/interzone-292-293/

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RIVER OF NAMES: Dorothy Allison

“…the three of them slit their arms, not the wrists but the bigger veins up near the elbow;”

This powerful narration is attritionally unfurled by an explicitly named “lesbian”, a narration of her past which is at the inverse tontine’s top of an enormous pyramid of siblings and cousins caught up in an incessant skein of rape, self-harm, death by inevitable or foolhardy accidents and by design, heinous cruelty, death by child birth, torture by child abuse, where even “pricks” become manifold ‘broom handles’, et al…
And all this is heard by her beloved Jesse, a woman today who comforts the narrator with love and belief in this wildly cruel backstory… that river of names in the head. The narrator’s head.
Whatever the laughing gas involved.

“If you fight back, they kill you.”

*

Yes, we know what momentously happened in the UK this very week, a metaphor of death by ‘same-sex groping’ of so-called ‘broom-handles’…or simply by a form of truth in the ever-flowing river of accepted self-deceit around us, a river that political narcissism at the top of the pyramid can so easily produce?

“A full bottle of vodka will kill you…”

***

Full context of above review: https://elizabethbowensite.wordpress.com/1372-2/

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Fugue by Joe Koch

“We woke up together,” I say. “One must presume we’ve already met.”

An inferred translation somehow available of the “asemic” writing of the narrator telling us of his awaking, along with all of us, I guess, with complete amnesia other than the ability to see the reality around us, here the narrator awaking to the person in bed with him and, after getting up, the emerging concept of ‘children’ as some sort of guilt, especially when one of them touches the other’s arm. A numbing disjunction at right angles to this book’s previous disjunctions, I feel instinctively.

***

Full context of this review: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2022/06/10/vastarien-vol-5-issue-1/

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THE COP AND THE ANTHEM: O. Henry

“…averted the ignoble fate of the menaced mallard.”

After ‘eleemosynary’ Soapy, of whom we have an image of frayed trousers, received Jack Frost’s warning card, and thus he needs his own ‘hegira’ to what he calls the Island. And he does this by reprehensibly breaking the law several times unsuccessfully enough not to be sent to such a ‘rosy dream’ by any policeman, then magistrate.
Law as philanthropy! The masher cinch. A wishful ‘transplendent’ goal that is hailed to a halt by an anthem from a chance church organ, infusing Soapy with an algorithm of remorseful humiliation moving through the slow motion gears towards a new purpose to obviate the encroaching coldness by more positive means.
Except the “dreadful enchantment” in all the previous fair cops became an unfair one as “a hand laid upon his arm” simply for doing nothin’ at all!
PS: But what about the woman he tried to ‘mash’ — who was looking at shaving mugs in a shop at the time Soapy did this — and who hoped he would take her to a pail of suds?

All my other reviews of O. Henry stories: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2020/02/17/o-henry-stories/

***

Full context of this review: https://elizabethbowensite.wordpress.com/1351-2/

From Internet: ‘Hard toilet soap with a pleasant smell was produced in the Middle East during the Islamic Golden Age, when soap-making became an established industry. Recipes for soap-making are described by Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi (c. 865–925)…’

And the origin of the name Masher seems to be Islamic.

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Straw World by Erik McHatton

Earlier already written extracts from this ongoing review above…
”…it was only ME you had it in for!” — “I certainly feel picked on after the previous work above […] making me wonder who anyone is, including whether it was meant to be me after all!” — “The compelling nature of this work somehow strait-jacketed me from straying off-text towards this journal’s no doubt wonderful items of mind-opening artwork between the texts.” — “This is one of those reading experiences you are confident you will remember in future dreams as well as reality.” — “I knew I was to be piled high in one of the rooms or there would be a different spoiler at the next time of reading the climax of this perfect disjunction of a story.” — “a magically realistic panoply of cardboard reality around them, with backstories, some model people in black” — “both satisfying and desperate for the reader’s own attempts to fulfil the reading of this work, whatever its ending…” — “Also, there is this work’s own “connectivity” to the previous ‘stories’ above in the Vastarium, thus creating the culmination of their ‘evolution’ […] such cells as selves swimming in the abyss we call self.”

8148C2A9-EC30-498F-BCBF-AAEC5BB2D7AFStraw World
Erik McHatton

“…if you give yourself over, the pieces will all fall into place in the end.”

An unforgettable ineluctably immersive disturbing yet inspiring art installation described in words, and if I say more I will spoil its gradual effect on you, as it did on me.
As it explicitly invited contributions to its gestalt, another of mine is the photo of yore.

Full context of above review: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2022/06/10/vastarien-vol-5-issue-1/

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BEHIND THE SHADE: Arthur Morrison

“….he closed his finger and thumb upon the brim of his hat, and let his hand fall forthwith. Preparing now to accomplish this salute,…”

Neither the reviewing officer’s replaced nod of an aborted salute as described above or the ‘deacon in a dudgeon’, the real eponymous shade in this brief work about a smaller, if bijou, house than the rest of the neighbourhood is “a cone of waxen grapes and apples under a glass cover” in the window, curtains tied behind it, of Mrs and Miss Perkins, mother and daughter. Earlier, a fell man from Stidder’s Rents in this often choking and sticky brown fog of the East End bashed about Mrs P thinking it was his own mother! And Miss P took over being Mrs P, leaving her mother’s digestive organs to shrink inside the bijou house, I infer, as she, the younger one, tried giving paid piano lessons to make ends meet in the way the above closing of finger and thumb met, I guess. Causing a lot of envy in the neighbourhood. And their landlord Crouch came so often pestering for rent, that, after the strange morbid discovery he found inside the bespoke small house, after bellowing through its keyhole, on a bed and a wooden box respectively, the shade of fruit could hardly give him financial or even spiritual recompense, I guess. Forgive the spoilers and possible misreadings and for leaving the parcels till last. Just as the tropes and leitmotifs of this story that I put together as gestalt seem to make it somehow much bigger than its overt textual briefness of size. A recurring shade bigger than the endemic shadow it throws throughout.

“All this while nobody watched closely enough to note that the parcels brought in were fewer than the parcels taken out.”

***

Full context of this review: https://nemonymous123456.wordpress.com/the-penguin-books-of-the-british-short-story/

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Twenty-Nine Palms in Reverse — Daniel Braum

“There is something kinetic in the stillness. It dawns on her it’s been too long
since she’s felt this connected and alive.”

Only connect with Yuli in what I gather is the intense genius-loci of a Californian desert and all its creatures predatory or otherwise, its axle-breaking routes to ridges, and a search for herself somehow by herself in counterpoint to her relationship with a stripper called Noam and a past one called Adam. A catharsis or purging, with the hope of something in counterpoint to the counterpoints themselves. Steve with Steve, too, and trees with trees, each tree called Joshua, and “before the Park was a Park.”
Highly atmospheric and so thoughtful I shall still be thinking about its moments, fore and aft, as above and below. As Zeno-slow as a tortoise’s crossing.

“…in the moment and being in strings of moments…”

***

Full context of this review: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2022/06/10/vastarien-vol-5-issue-1/

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Henry James’ The Figure In The Carpet — figured out!

The Gestalt Real-Time Reviews of Books

HENRY JAMES: The Figure in the Carpet

I

“I had done a few things and earned a few pence –“

The Jamesian-textured prose narrator is asked by a friend George Corvick, to review a book by the celebrated Hugh Vereker, whom the narrator is to meet later. To write this review forThe Middleinstead of Corvick because the latter is called to rescue some woman or other in Paris.
The narrator’s chance to shine. Mine, too? In fact, I did once real-time review a HJ, if not HV, book, i.e. the impossible ‘The Sacred Fount’HERE!
AndI actually once read ‘The Golden Bowl’!

II

“We had found out at last how clever he was, and he had had to make the best of the loss of his mystery. I was strongly tempted, as I walked beside him, to let him know how much of that unveiling was…

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May 5, 2022 · 6:28 am

The Covidual: the new Jungian Individual

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Tricking the Above, the Below and the Across

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Isolation Bonnyville-Style

The Gestalt Real-Time Reviews of Books

The Big Book of Modern Fantasy
Edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer

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Light as Laughter

The Gestalt Real-Time Reviews of Books

“One day, the absurdity of it all might make them laugh out loud. But, by then, they would have forgotten what laughter might accomplish.”
’Nemonymous Night’ (Chômu Press 2011) — the finale of this book

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E1BBD3C3-0E73-4D9D-AD45-B8BD784A1E91 A year ago today

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The Tenacity of Feathers

The Gestalt Real-Time Reviews of Books

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Not Forgetting SunNemo

The Gestalt Real-Time Reviews of Books

The Nemonymous Night Covid-19 distillation –

Nemonymous Night is a guided tour through a sinister fantasia of the everyday and the extraordinary that will haunt the reader like their most tenacious dreams and lead them to the centre of their own unimaginable reality. — HELLNOTES (2011)

Quotes from NEMONYMOUS NIGHT (Chômu Press 2011)

“Only later does the book discover that the world is quite a different world from the one for which it has been prepared.”

“The dream sickness – like a ‘flu pandemic – caused queues at doctors’ surgeries for tablets intended for an illness from which they didn’t know they suffered …”

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“in the Core’s scatter-orange light…”

There is much about the CORE in Nemonymous Night, and when within the Earth it’s seen as another SUN in another sky. Cf Covid as CORona. (Also see my own Core Mythos in some of my published stories in the 1990s)

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THE HAWLER, KLAXON CITY, THE ANGEL MEGAZANTHUS

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These three novels were the base material for my distilled novel NEMONYMOUS NIGHT (Chomu Press 2011).

Now available in December 2015 for downloading free of charge on Word Documents:

The Hawler (Novel) –
https://www.dropbox.com/s/g0x42i0gjrhg3x5/HAWL%5B1%5D.doc?dl=0

Klaxon City (Novel) — https://www.dropbox.com/s/2vbn9imkiie9y3y/KLAXON_CITY2%5B1%5D.doc?dl=0

The Angel Megazanthus (novel) –
https://www.dropbox.com/s/7ty4uh2dagdqrz3/angel%20megazanthus%20word2.rtf?dl=0

These novels were written in public on piecemeal blogs over the period 2005/6.

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