Last week saw the release of my new novella, The Remington, published by Phrenic Press.
I’ve always enjoyed writing about people and worlds that exist about five inches to the left of reality. Fantasy fiction about dragons, goblins and elves have never really done it for me. I’m much more likely to write a story about an ordinary person with an ordinary life, except for one niggling little difference, like a cube of nothingness in the middle of his study, or a day in his week that’s mysteriously gone missing. I usually end up labelling these kinds of stories ‘surreal’, though I’m not sure that quite captures their essence. Whatever one calls this genre, The Remington falls squarely into it. The story’s protagonist, Howard, seems in every way ordinary, except for one thing: nothing ever happens to him – literally nothing. We soon discover there’s a reason for this, and it has quite a lot to do with another character, George, and his typewriter, the eponymous Remington.
Praise for The Remington…
‘I know it’s a cliche, but once I’d started ‘The Remington’ I couldn’t stop. What isn’t a cliche is that I would describe this unusual and hugely entertaining (and very funny) novel as written in a style of ‘grounded surrealism’, in places almost ‘Tristram Shandy-esque’ (though it is emphatically not a shaggy dog story). The writing is deft and full of skill and confidence – essential for a plot of this level of intricacy. In true Alex Woolf style, as the story progresses realities begin to blur and merge, revelations leap out at a greater and greater pace, until the final ‘Ah’ of understanding at the very end. Although the second half requires quite a bit of concentration to keep up, it is all in all quite brilliant – likely the most though-provoking novel you will read this year.’
Jonathan Ingoldby, author of The Remembered
‘A great premise, brilliantly handled, an unlikely but thoroughly entertaining blend of Tom Sharpe and Stephen King. The Remington is a splendidly comic tale that explores the keys to the creative process, and which juggles parallel plots with a brilliantly deft touch. The characters leap from the page, but you’ll need to read the story to appreciate what an achievement that is. One can only imagine that it was written in a single night, in a dimly lit attic with the musical clatter of an old typewriter.‘
Jason Hook, author of Wendy and the Wallpaper Cat
‘Alex Woolf’s The Remington is both witty and laugh-out loud funny; the story effortlessly combines the comic sureness of touch of PG Wodehouse with the exuberant invention of Flann O’Brien. It also features a gratifyingly large amount of bad weather.’
Martin Jenkins, author of the SF novel A New Science of Navigation
‘Part love story, part parallel-universe drama, and part meditation on the author as god, The Remington is a beguiling blend of food for thought, tender humour, and metafictional playfulness. A treat!’
Dan Brotzel, author of Heaven Bent
The story is available as an ebook for just 99p here.