Jeff lsOOlT (Doubleday £15.99)

’My work's very romantic, very lyrical. Beneath all the invention and techno bollocks there’s actually naked hearts pumping away quite unashamedly.’ On a first read of Jeff Noon's febrile, chrome-plated prose, it’s easy to overlook the very human core to be found in Noonland through the dazzle of the writer's imagineering.

Starting with his award-winning debut Vurt and through three subsequent novels, Noon has been a relentless ideas-generator, reconfiguring contemporary culture into a world of dogboy DJs, shadowcops, automated flying adverts and, most famously, Vurt feathers which, stuck in the throat, induce a dream state where reality mixes with the. . .ahem . .. virtual.

Invention-wise, Noon's latest book Pixel Juice, a collection of 50 short stories, is the same only more so. The reader may well be left with novelty fatigue, so dense is its idea- to-page ratio. You’ll find cyborg sex, instructions for a board game called Pimp and a boy who's allergic to the letter Q.

’lt's quite easily the most fun I’ve had,’ Noon admits in his sing-song Mancunian accent. ’Unlike the novels, there’s less pressure to make things happen all the time. You can get an image, an idea or a feeling and just write a few pages on it and then go on to another one. I suspect it’s most probably the perfect form for the way I think and write.’

Amidst the cod academia, the ’dub remixes' of some stories, even a touch of limerick form lit-crit, ideas and images weave and warp their way in and out of the various stories. ’l'm hoping that people will see it more like a deconstructed novel really. I've tried to get an overall effect. Not a narrative, but an overall atmosphere which connects the stories.’

Noon has always been happy to acknowledge the influence of club culture in his work. That remains very much in evidence in stories like ’Homo Karaoke' and


SHORT STORY COLLECTlON Gates Of Eden Ethan Coen (Doubleday £l2.99)

Jeff Noon: pixel mix

'Call Of The Weird’. Through this, he remains pretty isolated in the wider generic community. ’I do some science-fiction conventions and if you mention something like dance culture, it's like they make the sign of the cross at you. But if you read my stuff I'm saying that dance culture is a science-fiction experience and I know people like Goldie have said that drum ’n’ bass is not about science-fiction, but is science-fiction. So there's a lot of material out there that a young audience will pick up on. It's up to writers to tap into that. Just put away those Deep Purple albums.’ (Teddy Jamieson) Pi'xe/ Jurce is Out on Thu 8 Oct. i’Vymp/iomatiori is published by Corgi "n paperback at {6 99 sinru/tanecxis/y

See book events.

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Putting debut authors under the microscope. This issue: Michael Allin. Who he? Mic hael Allin use“. to ..n '.'ers't‘:.' Il‘ Cairfcxma, (]()lll(} o." to ‘.'."te a"c: travel on five (illiO'Oll'. cc)."t"‘.e"ts. Inspired by a paragraph " the New: Yorker (1001.1 the first (graf‘e to step on Frenc l‘ soil, he spei‘t a ciecacie "eseav‘c h. no the story He "as aiso'.'.o't\ec: -l‘ f:ln‘, nc ’acli'lc; Nicoas Roecg's r’iote Paradise He currently il‘.’(‘8 o" Lo."c; Island h s seven-year-olu so" lac < His debut It s carlecl Zarafa anc: cieta'ls a uri'affe's fai‘tastica, voyacge froi'n t"e plains of Afrc a to oost-Napoieonc l-ra'ice She the" proceed to stro. 550 miles from Ma'series to Paris ‘.'.'he-"e 'ie bec a'ne a l9tn cer‘tu'y' sensation Basically Bas c a'y, 't's a tum-stow fa:rytale for auuits 7ara‘a '.'.as a politicaLly moti‘~;ateci (llll. ‘io'r‘ l\luhainmec: Air 'hoi‘est , the Ottoit‘an ‘.’ice."oy o" l‘qypt to (haves X, n order to “end of" Laropeai‘ fl?(‘l".(\".l'()." HT his war against the Greeks It 's also a role story l)(".".‘.’(’(‘l‘ l'lt‘ Ti'enc " peopie anu a pic; a" "la The ladies of the dag hac: the" ' (l().'l(‘ in very mu.“ styies, men more ci'a‘.a’.s .'.i°.l‘ giraffe motifs ano .-c us '.'.ei‘e ".ooicec: ()l‘ cyraffe-snapecl biscu=ts First line test 'At Khartoum, Shampat B" uqe 'l()\.‘. spans the very l)(‘(]ll‘:".'l(} of the Nile Cast A cgi'affe callecl Zarafa, Manammed A anu ms 800 nix/es, Etienne Cieof‘roy Sa.“t-'rlr.aire, the ‘ounciinc; pro‘essor of t"e Natona Museum of Nat..rai H'SiOl", .'."c: accon‘oa" ec: Xarafa o" ‘.'.a moon. r‘ l"a"ce Laugh ratio Despite the o.//areness o‘ the same cc .".((‘l)°., t ‘-.‘.'()cll(l' not be st‘ck " ; a"fi.c).".e's ".ec is out to suggest that t" s "‘ai‘, '.'.ei he t"e 3east a'i‘as l‘Q ooo-. l,o..’ read al' year For whom the book is credited s l)()()-K s '1)" lacx Ail n 8' a" Dome ciso'“

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