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UQ11

by Jean Lamore

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Overview

A story of wind, beasts, we and angels. In UQ11 an idea of what an angel might be, is woven into the story to become a recurrent presence. However, birds and all winged creatures having been designated as vectors of bird-born plague, there are scarce any angels left since they would have been mistaken for large birds and pre-emptively eliminated. The angel if he/she is indeed that, is raped by the very one whose guardian she proposes to be who is none other than the protagonist. The doubt factor is important in that hardly anything is what it appears to be, and the angel is perhaps not at all an angel but rather a hamadryad, a wood nymph fleeing its fallen tree during global deforestation, leading to a reversal in the psychological relationship between she and her protégé who now sets out on the quest to find a remaining forest, at least a single surviving tree in order to relocate the forest divinity; a paradox, he being on the side of the polluters and the exploiters who would rather render the lands barren than hope for some miraculously saved woodlands. Along the way, mass graves and fossil evidence of angels are found and so too are devastated sylvan settings. The evidence of the killing off of angels and the traces of a major silvicide (elimination of all trees) herald the dissolution of any possible remaining spiritual protectorate, a burning of the bridges between what is mortal and that which is immortal.

Serious publishers only get one or two chances in life to publish an author of such extraordinary genius and importance to the canon of contemporary literature that the question of whether his or her work is commercially viable becomes silly. With Jean Lamore there was nothing to decide: his first novel AKA The Book of Fever and the work you find here UQ11 may only acquire a few readers each month, but they represent rarely seen vision and a rare form of intelligence. I am humbled in their presence, and only ask you to devote a few minutes a day to the prose world of Jean Lamore, a writer who can keep company with Joyce and Faulkner, Beckett, and Pynchon… — David Applefield, Publisher.