Barely in Time

George Hilislaw

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Contemporary, Alternate History

Of all the unlucky young fellows ever abused by speculative scientific theories, Danny – the protagonist of Barely in Time, is probably the luckiest one. The trouble that no-one in their right mind could’ve ever predicted had landed Danny in a very tight place! This purely fictional, yet alarmingly familiar world is abrim and acrawl with plotting villains, gibbering egg-heads, sadistic government officials and even more sadistic professors of liberal arts. This world is a grotty place and before it becomes even grottier, Danny has to act – yet the question is, how?  

Described by one highly esteemed critic (who prefers to remain anonymous lest he should be recognized, unmasked for what he is and summarily shot) as “Bertie Wooster’s worst nightmare”, this is a story of a predicament, of a trial by ordeal, of a thorough examination of all the unfunny and unhappy things in this world – but in Satirical and Poetical, rather than in Moral spirit.  
Sir James Beattie – yes, the very same poet johnny who wrote the review for Swift's very successful "Gulliver's Travels", posthumously describes this book as being “well-conducted” and “consistent with itself”, adding that it has “something in it to hit every taste” - even if that means laying out your palate flat.

These, I think, are the chief merits of this yet to be celebrated work of eccentric fiction, as attested by its venerable and thrice-venerated patrons - Messrs Barranco, Bragmardo and Ponocrates.

The copy prepared for print by Messrs Scriblerus and Factotum, proofread against all historical, logical or epistemic truths by Dr Faustus Schlemihl, professor of speculative metaphysics at St Matthew’s College, Cambridge.

Printed in the Year our Lord MMXX,
Blessed and Divinely Sanctioned by Thelemite Monks of the Thelemite Abbey.

Book of the Month: September 2020