Cheerio, And Thanks For The Apocalypse
There are certain subjects one must avoid in dealings with the English. This collection is about all of them
England’s greatest thinkers, greatest politicians, greatest spiritual leaders, greatest free-market economists, all gathered in one book – and pilloried.
Atomic bombs, life in the aftermath – it’s nothing when compared to life in Grimsby of the New Industrial Revolution era. History? Who cares who writes it, it’s all nonsense, a house of cards built in a draughty room. Religion? Well, I have to agree with you there, it’s pretty terrifying when you think about it.
Humans, peculiar creatures at best. Once upon a time tea – properly made, with boiling water – controlled us and reined in our worst excesses. Now it seems that only soap has that power, and it too is losing its efficacy.
The Dog With The Bakelite Nose
[Absolutely NOT about dogs!]
Ten slightly mouldy slices of England’s brilliant future failures, each successfully consigned to the pre-apologetic, more successful past. Wonderfully tragic beginnings meet gruesomely happy endings, miserable lives wallow in cheerful second chances. Old-fashioned blokes, being blokes, doing awfully modern bloke things such as inventing stuff and exploring space, but with not a caricature or stereotype left undisturbed. The science is ridiculous, the plots are risible. The opening line of the first story is “Awoogah! Awoogah!” and that’s got to be one heck of a clue. This is England’s beautiful, bumbling, blue-blooded belligerence, lovingly portrayed in properly-punctuated, politically-incorrect, purple prose.
Enjoy tales of rocket-ships crewed by utter idiots, of hung-over gurus struggling to meet demand, of some minor problems with the shape of the moon and of how we, the Smiths and the Browns and the Greens, side-stepped the rat-race, won the space-race and lost touch with the human race.
This book is not about dogs, there are only two in the whole text and they are mentioned but incidentally. The characters in this book are much less well-adapted to the modern world than are either the Collie or the Labrador – they are Englishmen.
The Dog With The Bakelite Nose
The Rarest Gift Of All
The Man Who Invented Extremely Wet Water
Dry Sherry And Victoria Sponge In Space
Take Me To Your Leader
A Simple Matter Of Suitable Transportation
Woomera, We Have A Problem
Pendulum Swing, Pendulum Do
Voting Makes You Free
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The Cat Wore Electric Goggles
[Absolutely NOT about cats!]
Twelve mildly amusing fictions in vague science from an old-fashioned English gentleman. Dashed splendid adventure with some gentle medieval scifi, proper old-style rocket ships, an alien invasion of England, secret government satellites crashing and releasing stockpiled dinosaur DNA, some insane Cold War time travel, groovy Victorian orang-utans in space, the televising of England’s first Moon landing, a very rude first contact, young Mr Darwin’s explanation of evolution placed in startling juxtaposition to flora and fauna on a distant planet, one or two maritime ghosts, a terrifying new virus and a detective with a very serious career problem. I refrain for obvious reasons from mentioning here the elderly ladies in fur bikinis, and the least said about the Austin-Morris Motor Car Company’s robotic labour relations the better. Suffice it to say that the man from the past isn’t happy, and all’s well that ends well (although not much does end well).
You won’t be a better person for having read this collection, but you will have a very respectable frown and a ruddy good permanently raised eyebrow under which to secure your monocle. Life is such utter nonsense.
The Cat Wore Electric Goggles *
One Saturday, Almost 2,000 Years A.D. **
VTC = 1:1 +/- H times ATP
The Improvement Engine
One Small Step for Ma’am, One Giant Leap for Ma’amkind
The Unfortunate Fatal Incident at 7 AU
Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright
Shall I be Mother?
The Especial Relevance of Cowpats
You fools! You fools! You insensible fools!
The Truth, The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth
The Almost Omnipresent Omniscient Monks
This is a blathering collection aimed directly at your brain-gland’s sense of humour. It’s all dreadfully civilised nonsense, and not at all serious. The science is improbable, the history inaccurate, the plots farcical and the fiction stretched to the limit of suspended disbelief. Ten words are used throughout where one might have sufficed because, well – language is there to be used, not to be throttled into extinction.
Scientific science fiction this isn’t and space-opera is a term that simply doesn’t apply here. This 100,000 word anthology is the complete antithesis of glitzy Hollywooden sci-fi. It is tongue-in-cheek England-centric recent future history as it never was, as it never would be. It’s pure escapism, with tea and good manners.
No sex, no endless stream of gratuitous violence, and the only really unpleasant moment is when an especially-stupid Labrador dog is space-sick in his goldfish bowl helmet. Chin-chin, tickettyboo, and do please smoke me a kipper – I’ll be back in time for a cold G&T as the sun sinks over the last myths of the British Empire.
The Model-T Virgin
Begging Your Pardon, My Lord, But Cook’s Been Eaten Again
Robots Knitting With Rubber Needles
Je Pense It’s All Going Very Bien
Footloose, En Pas De Basque
In Which Mr Cadwallader Shampoos His Parrot In The Rain Using Some Very Dated Popular Science
Diary Of A National Service Chap
Blood-Curdling Screams And The Whitworth Screw-Thread
The Day The Earth Took Tea