PrintE-mail Written by Martin Unsworth


A slightly different offering this time from self-publishing phenomena Downe, but at the same time keeping many of the same styles, and occasionally characters,  that his fan base have come to love.

Sporadic is an anthology of ideas, a journey through the processes of the sci-fi punk's mind. Containing short stories, some of them very short, and rather impressively, actual poetry. This is from the man who created a futuristic rock band (The Phazelords, who feature within the pages of this collection) whose raison d'être was 'Kill All Poets'. It will come as no surprise to those who have read any of Downe's previous works, or indeed his Twitter feed where many of his stories originate, that his words work perfectly in this form of prose.

What will surprise some is the depth of some the writing this time out. As mentioned, this is a collection of ideas, some which may not have actually worked out in the author's head at the time, but nevertheless are captivating and absorbing in their own right. Not every chapter takes place within Downe's VirulentBlurb Universe, but the ones that do feature some familiar characters, which is always a good thing and will keep fans going until the next trip to the place of Dream Cages, Wolf-Spliced Detectives and striking red-haired girls. Oh, and balloons.

There are chapters that proudly display Downe's wit and skewed view of the world, and in particular, the world of the literary community. The fourteen-point Manifesto being the most obvious, 'The Dictionary is not the Bible... It never was'; 'THERE IS NO PUBLISHER... You are the publisher'; and - in a clear swipe at people like himself - 'Starting a Twitter account and declaring yourself a writer does not make you a writer...' We beg to differ in this case. Those who share a twisted, surreal sense of humour will also enjoy The Adverse Calender [sic], although you may never countdown to Christmas the same way again.

In many ways, Sporadic is Downe's most accessible work to date. In fact, it would be a perfect entre into his Universe. There's no more perfect time to dive in and enjoy some cyberpunk poetry and explore strange new worlds, and indeed, strange new words.

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