|Posted on Saturday, May 01, 2004 - 04:12 am: |
NEMO~4 is now available! It's stunning, it's breathtaking, I wouldn't have believed it possible ... silkily sleek Ö and on top of which, it is quite disturbing/reality-shifting to handle and to view at the pre-reading stage (in a creative way). You'll know what I mean when you see it.
Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org to enquire as to receiving Nemo~4 -- including the country in your address so that it can be forwarded to you as reasonably as possible.
Best wishes, Des
|Posted on Thursday, May 06, 2004 - 07:34 am: |
Silky, sleek, svelte, lithe, pliable, clean-limbed, sexy ... Nemonymous~4 is available. It's already causing a stir after a few days of issue!
Please enquire here:
|Posted on Sunday, May 09, 2004 - 09:59 am: |
A customer wrote to me today saying that Nemonymous~4 had arrived "as fresh and pristine as new-fallen snow".
|Posted on Sunday, May 09, 2004 - 03:09 pm: |
I love the cover. It is so utterly baroque. I love the way the vines entangle with the ruined stone face and the fact that the one eye of the statue is occluded by a bird's nest. The vibrancy of colors is quite remarkable as well, especially in the flash of water in the stream running beside the statue--the hues of blue are amazingly realistic for a painting. In the context of the rest of it, however, the statue included, the collage in the nude of what appears to be someone Photoshopped with Tom Cruise's head attached and peeing in the stream is a bit off-putting. Was there perhaps some kind of error made? Is that part of it the actual painting or added to it by the graphic designer?
|Posted on Monday, May 10, 2004 - 03:31 am: |
Tom Cruise is always offputting.
But I've just seen Jo„o Barreiros' collection of NEMOs side by side: they look especially good all together. A bit like the old STAND, but better...
|Posted on Monday, May 10, 2004 - 02:06 pm: |
"...Van Vogt's THE WORLD OF NULL-A, there was something about that which absolutely fascinated me. It had a mysterious quality, it alluded to things unseen, there were puzzles presented which were never adequately explained. I found in it a numinous quality..." - Philip K. Dick
'numinous' is of course Dick's secret reference to Nemonymous which didn't at that time officially exist.
|Posted on Tuesday, May 11, 2004 - 08:41 am: |
Another customer - having just received Nemo 4 - told me today that its smell was particularly pleasurable!
|Posted on Friday, May 14, 2004 - 10:06 am: |
To recapitu-late, Nemonymous~4 was issued to a stunned group of contributors only a week or so ago. :-)
And now many customers have been stunned, too.
No reviews, yet, so I can't quote any. But, just as an example, someone wrote to me just with these words: "Jesus, Des, it's gorgeous."
Please see http://www.nemonymous.com for further details.
Nemonymous Four is conceived, edited, financed, published and distributed by myself from the UK. But without the creative interpretation and implementation of my various specifications by Andy Cox at TTA Press, i.e. designing, typesetting and printing, Nemonymous Four wouldn't be half so gorgeous!
|Posted on Friday, May 14, 2004 - 10:15 am: |
Re the smell--it smells like the beach at low tide at the Mumbles in Swansea: kelpy, with a twinge of the regret inherent in the stranding of so many of the ocean's creatures in tidal pools during that time. It also has a hint of frangipani flower mixed with the half-time sweat of an English premiere league football player. And do I detect a pinch of cinnamon? A whisper of cardamom?
|Posted on Friday, May 14, 2004 - 10:20 am: |
My dad was born not far from Swansea - in Llanelli.
Obvious reference to Llanelli (pronounced 'Cthulhu') here:
We shall swim out to that brooding reef in the sea and dive down through black abysses to Cyclopean and many columned Y'ha-nthlei, and in that lair of the Deep Ones we shall dwell amidst wonder and glory for ever.
|Posted on Friday, May 14, 2004 - 10:45 am: |
It looks lovely, Des
|Posted on Friday, May 14, 2004 - 11:26 am: |
That's clever. How did you do that, dear .?
On the 'last day' facility it says "It looks lovely, Des" but then when you click on it, there's nothing there.
|Posted on Friday, May 14, 2004 - 11:48 am: |
It smelled like snow to me.
|Posted on Saturday, May 15, 2004 - 12:55 pm: |
Ah: if you click and drag the area of .'s message to highlight it, you'll see his/her text revealing itself,
|Posted on Monday, May 17, 2004 - 05:36 am: |
It smelled like victory.
Hang about, or was that the smell of napalm in the morning?
The beach at Figueira da Foz (here in Portugal) smells like the beach at Mumbles. Talking about mumbles, that's what I do when I try to speak Portuguese. Extremely difficult language!
|Posted on Monday, May 17, 2004 - 01:58 pm: |
Difficult? C'm on, man! I speak it since I was 1yo. No big deal.
|Posted on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 - 02:12 pm: |
The Power of the Nemo by Anonymous.
One of the great things of Nemonymous is trying to guess who the authors are. So I make a file with the ToC and fill in my best guesses after the story titles. Of course, as one of those authors, I already know one.
So I jump from the white Nemo frontipiece to the white of the document. apologising to the concrete: set in Portland, so my money goes to the ubiquitous Jay Lake. Or Tim Pratt. Or...
the painter: this is too much, an artist overfocusing on details ends up all in whiteness. Now the editorís fondness for John Caleís ďFour Minutes, Twenty-Two SecondsĒ is notorious, but isnít this taking things too far?
What is this? Words I type are incomplete, fragments of whiteness are appearing through my text. This is crazy: I know Windows has some large security leaks, but this is too much. And my firewall and antivirus software has been updated. Letís save the file and reboot.
What now? The file canít be saved? Jesus wept translucent tears! Oh man, reboot the PC.
What? The PC wonít be rebooted? And this whiteness is spreading like an invisible stain, wiping all data away...
It may even wipe my story away. Which story was that, BTW? Are there secret hypnotic patterns imprinted on that silky cover, radiating from their invisible ink? Am I not allowed to guess at my co-authors? What story did I write?!!!
There must be some reasonable explanation here. Letís email the editor, and things will be cleared up. Who was the editor? D.F. sumtiní? C.S. Lewis? Lewis Carroll? F. is lewd?
Doesnít this white book say who the editor is? Lemme see. Hey, all the pages have gone blank! Only a few words on page 2:
ďThe nemo is a...force; the nemo is...what I am not.Ē
What nonsense is that? And why am I holding this blank notebook?
|Posted on Wednesday, May 19, 2004 - 07:24 am: |
Thanks, Anonymous, for your comments. Good job someone told me how to bring up the invisible ink using lemon juice and saffron. Des
|Posted on Wednesday, May 19, 2004 - 07:43 am: |
The first comments have come through already regarding Nemo~4 (from a member of the Nemonymous discussion group) as follows:
Congratulations on Nemo #4, Des!
Just finished reading it through my lunchbreak, and it's a beautiful thing. Flicking through, the tales that nestled most closely against my brain:
EMBRACE - a trad horror tale in some ways, but I found the concept of a 'semi-tangible' manifestation compelling, and very horrible...
MY BURGLAR - for its rich description, the way it sustains the reader's interest in spite of it... and its lovely psychological twist...
THE PAINTER - for its stylish, slow-burn narrative, and the denoument... (But no spoilers here - in case folks haven't read it yet...)
NOCTURNE FOR DOGHANDS - for its material surrealism... A fantasy, not without humour, but depicted with a literalism that makes it truly
On the negative side, I couldn't get on with GENEROUS FURNITURE, and what there was of MALEDICT MICHAELA I loved, but it seemed to lack an ending...
Overall - enraptured. Easily tops Nemo #3, I reckon! Looking forward
to seeing other readers' views.
|Posted on Thursday, May 20, 2004 - 05:45 am: |
Des. I'm skint. When I'm not be rest assured I'll be placing a Nemo order.
|Posted on Thursday, May 20, 2004 - 07:55 am: |
Any skint readers please contact me and I can lend you a copy of Nemo 4 until you pay for it - then it will be yours.
My address: email@example.com
|Posted on Friday, May 21, 2004 - 07:28 pm: |
Some thoughts on what I've read so far.
"Apologizing to the Concrete" -- When I first read the title, I thought of concrete as opposed to abstract, rather than the material of which sidewalks are made. An opener that sets the tone for the stories to follow, although I, personally, found it a bit lacking in the story department.
"Determining the Extent" -- A touch slight, I thought. With some of Nemo's stories, I feel like I'm missing something. With this one, I felt like it was the story that was missing something.
"Embrace" -- Very much like what I expected from Nemonymous before I read anything in its pages. Dark and weird -- the closest to what one would consider a horror story, I think, of the first 10 pieces.
"The Frog's Pool" -- I'll have to confess I didn't get more than a paragraph or two into this one. I just didn't care for the style.
"Leaves Like Hearts" -- Absolutely amazing. Basically a mainstream piece, but I personally have never been one to hold that against a story -- and it has a very 'fantastic' feel to it even if the content is essentially mimetic.
"Like a Slow Motion War" -- Another superb story, although maybe a notch below the previous one. These are my two favourites so far.
I haven't commented on the other stories I've read -- "Creek Man", "The Death Knell", "Generous Furniture", and "My Burglar" -- for a variety of reasons, but certainly the quality has been impressive, overall. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of it, and my Nemo 3 as well. Worry not -- I will studiously avoid reading the denemonisations in 4 until I have read 3.
Would anyone else care to share their thoughts?
|Posted on Sunday, May 23, 2004 - 04:03 am: |
Thanks, Jamie. I've pointed the author of LEAVES LIKE HEARTS to this post.
As to THE FROG'S POOL, this, I feel, deserves perseverance, being an amazing story. It pays dividends. But the editor would say that, wouldn't he? But it's true!
|Posted on Sunday, May 23, 2004 - 04:06 am: |
PS: I hope, Jamie, you will be able to comment on the rest of Nemo~4 when you've read it. des
|Posted on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 11:55 am: |
Here we go. Out of order, but what the hey.
"The Rorschach-Interpreter" -- Great absurdities reminiscent of Vuckevich. The one story I've been compelled to tell people about in person, and one I wish I could have written myself.
"The Painter" -- A story I could really relate to on a personal level, and also one that casts the packaging of Nemo 4 in a whole new light.
"Vole Mountain" -- Imagery that's stuck with me. Plus, I have a weakness for stories where you know things happen but they're not really wrapped up in a very straightforward manner.
"Nocturne For Doghands" -- The sort of striking image-concept that will either grab you or leave you cold. It grabbed me.
"Maledict Michaela" -- The best literary rendering of foot- and shoe-fetishism I've seen. I felt like it lacked a bit in resolution, though, but that may just have been me.
"Sexy Beast" -- I wasn't quite clear on a couple of points in the story, but I think I've figured them out now, and it's an interesting idea.
"The Withering" -- I found this one to be a bit of a letdown after the others. Not so much a knock on "The Withering" as a testament to the quality of Nemo 4 on the whole.
Come on, now -- I can't be the only one willing to comment on Nemo, can I?
|Posted on Monday, June 07, 2004 - 10:53 am: |
First formal review of Nemo~4 here:
Many thanks to the reviewer and to D & her Whispers of Wickedness site.
Meanwhile Nemo's editor/publisher has been busy at site below!
|Posted on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 11:27 am: |
More comments are coming in:
Firstly, from a post to the Nemonymous discussion group:
It looks great, smells good and, like its predecessors, has the satisfying feel of being the mongrel offspring of book and magazine.
There's been a lot of talk about the all white cover and it certainly is striking. This cover concept (and a helpful quote and namecheck
inside) suggest the inspiration of the Beatles famous 'White' album. Like that record, Nemonymous # 4 feels to me a collection of very
disparate works yoked together beneath a provocotively blank flag of
As to the stories, I loved Generous Furniture and Nocterne For Doghands; very different but brilliant surrealist stories, the latter
reminding me of Nemo #3's Insanity Over Creamers Field in style and approach - same author, I'll wager. Generous Furniture manages to
combine a dreamlike quality with ironic comment on our aquisitive society and is the sort of oddity that wouldn't find a home anywhere
but here. Mind you, you could say the same about the excellent Like A Slow Motion War, a brilliant meditation on time, loss and loneliness written with assurance and wit; a pivotal piece of the
Nemo # 4 jigsaw. These stories were the high points, for me.
'Merely' very good rather than brilliant were My Burglar, The Withering and the superbly titled Apologising To The Concrete. All these stories were compelling and tightly written but lacked that extra weird dimension that sums up Nemonymous for me.
The Rorschach-Interpreter and The Painter were good but felt a little too typical of their kind, the former being wantonly over the top in
its excess and slightly uneven in tone, the latter something of an in-joke for Nemonymous regulars (and another reference back to 'that'
While I couldn't make head or tail (or tale) of The Frog's Pool, it's nice to see some perplexing experimentalism about the place once in a
while. I just feel that the story you want to tell should require the experiment, rather than the other way about.
Overall, though, Nemonymous #4 is a fine collection of stories and an improvement on the volumes that have gone before in the sense that
the tales are more varied in genre, theme and style.
Comments from a customer who just wrote to me by email:
There was good fiction here, and the opening, 'Apologising to the Concrete' was probably the most effective. 'The Death Knell' was well written, but faded out a little at the end.
'Determining the Extent', 'Generous Furniture', 'Like a Slow Motion War', and 'Vole Mountain' had less appeal for me, as at the
end of the day they didn't really go anywhere.
The stories that did appeal were 'Nocturne for Dog Hands' and 'The Rorschach Interpreter' (which could really be enjoyed if you were
prepared to step into their bizarre, other-worlds), The Painter which had an old-fashioned feel to it), and the eerie 'Embrace'.
'Sexy Beast' was a good, straight-forward horror story, and 'The Withering' superb one; it reminded me of the stories of Robert Bloch.
'My Burglar' was excellent but I have to admit that I struggled with 'The Frog's Pool' at times.
As to the cover ... it certainly is different.
|Posted on Saturday, July 03, 2004 - 04:05 pm: |
A review of Nemo~4 has just appeared here:
And a contributor to the Nemonymous discussion forum has also said this about Nemo~4:
"I've finally finished reading Nemonymous 4, a very varied box of flavours (anyone for lark's vomit? chocolate anchovy?). It certainly seems a
departure in some respects from previous issues, in that there was no recurring theme that I could detect, though overall the stories did seem to
sit well together. 'Maledict Michela' was stylish and energetic. I also enjoyed 'Vole Mountain' and 'The Painter' was an engaging read. Of the more experimental pieces I found 'Generous Furniture' interesting, though I have to agree with the other reader who struggled with 'The Frog Pool.' I liked the layout of this issue, very clean and uncluttered, and the stories more
clearly identified than in the previous issue, by the use of the cool grey headers. 'Nemonymous' continues to mutate but is always professionally
turned out and now has an established feel."
|Posted on Sunday, July 18, 2004 - 07:06 am: |
Some more comments from a Nemo customer just in;
Here are my comments on Nemo 4. I wrote them ages ago and then found I'd lost your email address, so sorry for the delay. Needless to say (but I shall say it anyway) I read the whole thing through as soon as it dropped through the lettebox:
Nemonymous Part 4 is ninety pages of short fiction in the purest form I imagine it's possible to get on paper. No illustrations or authors with their bylines to distract you, not even a cover illustration this time to put you in some sort of mood, just a quick quote from John Fowles and away we go.
So what did I think of the tales? As usual Nemonyomus continues to be the only small press publication I read where I find myself having to
pencil notes in the margin, and from these my favourites appear to be as follows:
Nocturne for Doghands: `Utterly, totally, and wonderfully surreal', say my notes `Chopin's Ballade No.1 in G Minor forever reeks of piss'
is not a sentence you see every day. I thought the concept of the 89th note, and the idea of not being able to complete a musical composition without having to reach into another dimension was excellent. Despite the whole raison d'etre of Nemo, I really want to know who wrote this one now.
The Frog's Pool: A fable with geology and sex changes. Liked it.
Sexy Beast: `Good!' says my note. To expand slightly I thought this was sexy, scary, with great visual imagery in the form of the bone
sculpture that acted like a giant venus flytrap.
The Painter: `Very well written' and I liked the ending, too.
Vole Mountain: A great title for an examination of fractured realties through the obvious medium of ice cream. Some lovely bits about
existentialism. Well written as well.
I also liked `Apologising to the Concrete', `Creek Man' and the funny little piece `Determining the Extent'.
Overall a real mix of fiction, some of which I have to admit I found completely impenetrable, but fortunately Nemo still comes through with enough of the good stuff to keep me reading
|Posted on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 08:34 am: |
Iíve just stumbled on this interesting review of Nemonymous Four:
|Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 04:13 am: |
Anyone interested, there's the chance to win a copy of Nemo 4 on my site:
www.reddiesel.co.nr -- also part of the Weirdmonger Wheel.
|Posted on Tuesday, October 19, 2004 - 07:46 am: |
Some interesting comments today on Nemonymous~4 given to the Nemonymous Discussion Forumon Yahoogroups, as follows:
Just finished it. Well, what do I say? Strange, intriguing, infuriating...The blank cover did have an effect on my reading experience, made it feel as if the stories were enclosed in a mist, like the characters in "Measuring the Extent" (one of my favourite stories in this issue). It gave an extra layer to anominity to the stories and made them stand out more. I have not read any other reviews, deliberately, so I wasn't influenced by anyone else's opinion.
The theme is relationships (do I get a prize for working that out?), between, among others, married couples, lovers (is there a difference?), patient and doctor, musician and music, prisoner and captors (and ultimately himself), collector and his obsession and, of course, burglar and victim - another of my favourites. The stories are in alphabetical order and in another order as well, whether intentional or serendipitous I don't know, but the relationships being examined, develop. First with an unspoken obsession for a stranger the narrator sees gunned down in the street, then between friends and their relationship with a mysterious (never explained) creature, then with a "normal", "stable" couple, whose veneer is sliced away by the viewing of a peculiar television film and a strangely everlasting trip to the beach, then an employer with his employees, who he sacrifices to some arcane ritual and on into the bizarre, poignant and frightening. There is some beautiful imagery, not least the dream in "Leaves Like Hearts" in which a tree is split open to revel an entombed lost lover (this story also contains a wonderfully observed depiction of grief and funerals). The man whose arms are changed into dogs in "Nocturne for Doghands", the oppressive presence of Vole Mountain, and more.
My own favourites, and this is subjective, are "My Burglar", clever, evocative, I was in that bedroom, I was with that crook. "The Rorschach-Interpreter", which was wonderfully witty and crammed full of imaginative ideas, "The Painter", which evoked, for me, one of Algernon Blackwood's non-ghost stories, the type found in the "Stories of Mystery and..." Damn I can't remember the title, but that type of tales anyway. "Embrace", understated terror, full of subtle, and surprising, threat, and also the aforementioned "Measuring the Extent" and "Sexy Beast". These are a few of my favourite things about Nemonymous 4, it doesn't reflect on any of the other stories (sorry if I didn't mention yours), all of which are excellent works, and all, very much part of a whole, yet distinctly individual. Clever trick Des.
Every piece of writing in this issue is polished, sharp and flawless, sometimes, perhaps, it attempts to be a bit too clever, but on the other hand, that has always got to be better than dumbing down, at least these writers are trying.
Thanks for that!
PS: Don't forget, incidentally that submission guidelines for Nemonymous~5 have recently been posted here:
|Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2004 - 07:41 am: |
New review here:
|Posted on Sunday, November 21, 2004 - 10:55 am: |
A very full and thought-provoking review by Mike O'Driscoll here:
And the first time I believe the cover of #4 has been depicted on the Net.
|Posted on Sunday, November 21, 2004 - 10:42 pm: |
Already had one reader's reaction to MO'D review:
I agree. This is one of the most, if not THE most extensive and introspective reviews of Nemo's that I've read. I'm pleased with it, though I don't necessarily agree with all O'Driscoll's points.
Then I came to what he said about my "pick" of Nemo #4:
"'Vole Mountain' too, deals with absence and loss, though in a more elliptical manner. Its quiet, elusive and understated language succeeds far better than the more ostentatious prose of some of the other stories present here, in demonstrating the emotional numbness of loss. It is a quietly devastating tale, and demonstration too that if the nemonymous project might be nearing the end of its shelf-life, its editor hasn't lost sight of what constitutes a powerful piece of fiction."
I couldn't have said it better, myself. I'm very happy he did! That said, I am sure "its editor hasn't lost sight..." of anything. "It's editor" sees very clearly through the fog, which is why he's captain of his own ship!
Keep comments coming, if possible - either directly to Boards or via myself.
|Posted on Monday, November 22, 2004 - 08:03 am: |
One thing has struck me again this year. And this has applied to all issues of Nemonymous in a remarkable and a statistically significant manner, I feel. That is, the marked polarity of the reviews concerning individual stories. I claim that this is a phenomenon that derives from the actual mode of presentation (physical, psychological and otherwise).
Just as one example, the review yesterday on Alien Online said:
"'Leaves like hearts' for example, consists of entire paragraphs where nothing at all is said at very great length. Stripped of much of its overripe language, the story might have evoked some real emotion rather than irritated the hell out of me."
Whilst the recent review on the Laurahird review site said:
"I would have happily paid the £5.50 cover price for ĎLeave Like Heartsí alone. The language, the emotion and sense of otherness were all spot on. I want to know who wrote it! I want more of the same."
Anyway, I expect at least two more full reviews before revealing the authors' names on 'Veils & Piques' during January.
|Posted on Monday, November 22, 2004 - 08:47 am: |
And on this very thread above, Jamie said:
"Leaves Like Hearts" -- Absolutely amazing. Basically a mainstream piece, but I personally have never been one to hold that against a story -- and it has a very 'fantastic' feel to it even if the content is essentially mimetic.
I'm a great believer in the vagaries of taste. And all Reviews are a bit like Russian Roulette!
Mike's yesterday has given me the most food for thought. I'm indebted to him.
Nobody seems to mention *at all*, one of my own favourites in Nemo~4 (if editors can have favourites) which is 'The Frog's Pool'. A very
slippery story. Only Nemo could have published it!
|Posted on Monday, November 22, 2004 - 12:23 pm: |
Passage beelow is from the author of 'My Burglar', with permission. Both of us feel that Mike won't mind this particular response being shown publicly. And I personally think that - in the situation provided by this type of publication when the author is still in nemonymous purdah - can this sort of response be made more easily from writer to reviewer. And perhaps back again?
I read Mike O'Driscoll's in-depth review of Nemonymous 4 with interest, and actually feel that he sort of missed the point of my particular story.
Mike's comments were: "'My burglar' for example, begins as an effective exploration of the voyeuristic thrill of burglary, but the unnecessary inclusion of a backstory, and the narrative's meandering off into sexual obsession undermines the story's ability to sustain its impact".
Now, when I wrote the tale the sexual obsession was actually central to the narrative, and the conclusion of this obsession gives final the psychological twist to the piece - because the burglar has become sexually besotted with this woman, he has allowed to her to steal something indefinable from him. It's basically the whole point of the story.
I also stand by the character's backstory; giving him a history makes him less of a cipher, and allows us to see how far he has fallen into his own brand of madness. He used to have a job, a wife, a real life. Now all he has are his obsessions.
But I suppose this is all by-the-by. Reviews are merely a statement of personal taste, and once we've written a story we send it out and expect a reader to pin his own perceptions to it.
I enjoyed Mike's review of the mag, and it certainly provoked thought. I'm glad he thought my story significant enough to comment upon it!