Book - Automated Alice and Pixel Juice

Jeff Noon

Kneel Downe takes you back in time and remembers when Automated Alice and Pixel Juice by Jeff Noon were due their eBook releases...

Ten long years silent.
Ten long years missing.
Slowly the books became scarcer and scarcer.
The world turned.
But people did not forget…

DATELINE: The final months of 2011.

There is a disturbance in the Vurt…there is a ghost in the wires.
JEFF NOON was back and he had plans. The first of which was the re-releasing of his back catalogue as independent eBooks…

And so, here at last are the first two volumes.

Alice is visiting her Great Aunt Ermintrude’s house in Didsbury, Manchester…


AUTOMATED ALICE originally enjoyed life as a vague idea for a play. When nothing came of this Noon turned his attentions to crafting instead a book. A strange and twisted nod towards one of his inspirations, Lewis Carroll and his Through the Looking Glass tales.

For those of us who read the book the first time round this is a glorious chance to reacquaint ourselves with the lyrical wordplay within. For those new to the strange words and worlds of Mr Noon, a unique and darkly humorous ride awaits.

Taking ideas and concepts from his previous Vurt universe novels and throwing them into a blender, along with Chaos Theory and Quantum Physics, Noon manages to produce a work that is both trademark Noonian and also a touching homage to the gifts and wordplay of Carroll.

Within these electronic pages you will encounter Zenith O’clock (Writer of Wrongs). You will be drawn into the strange and menacing case of the Jigsaw Murders. A Robo-Alice may be encountered. You may wish to run from the devious and scary Civil Serpents but be careful where your feet fall…you wouldn’t want to crush an organic living computer would you?

As with all of Noon’s work this book initially caused something of a rift within his fan base. Those who were looking for ‘more of the same’ were left somewhat bemused by this poetic jaunt through someone else’s universe. Those who were more interested in the author’s growth, in both wordplay and style, were euphoric at what they found.

This, in fact, may ironically be what makes this a perfect starting point for new readers.

Anyone remotely interested in Lewis Carroll’s creations or Noon’s recent Twitter experimentation will find things of great joy within these pages.

Because, when it comes down to it this is what runs through every page. Every subtle twist of language. Every poetic pun.

JOY.

Yes, this would be the perfect starting point for new readers…were it not for…

Pixel Juice

PIXEL JUICE is a beast of a book.

An explosion.

A fusion of prose and images.

Concepts and creativity.

PIXEL JUICE was and still is a pure, unadulterated triumph.
When the idea of collecting all his short stories into one volume was first mooted Noon was less than enthusiastic. He was at a time in his life when the freedom and length of a full length novel was far more exciting for him.

However, with careful editing and the inclusion of new pieces the project took on a life of it’s own.
Here then are Fifty short tales. Gathered together into a book that both manages to be fractured and yet strangely coherent.

There is much here for the dedicated Vurt fan. Back-story. Hints. Clues to a much wider universe.

There are stand alone pieces.

Explorations.

Madness and surreal thoughts of breathtaking scope.

I have said it before but in this collection Noon throws away so many ideas and concepts that other lesser writers could have built an entire career out of.

You will not like every single one but you WILL love at least two thirds. Each persons favourite moments will vary. The variety of styles is giddying. The sense of an author embracing his past and yet finding new ways to speak is exhilarating.

This is how it feels to stand on the cusp of a wave.

Favourites? Too hard to pick. But Tweedles, Creeping Zero and Alpha Box have always held a special place in my heart. The Shoppers still makes my head sing after all this time.

Here is a world of Spook drinks, words in boxes, animals in cages and dark things hunted in the dead of night.

Here is creativity unbound.

A huge mention must also go out to Curtis Leon Fee and his breathtaking, beautiful run of new coordinated covers. I have seen all Ten (yes TEN you eagle eyed readers).

Never have the books looked so good.

So, there you go. NOON is back…now if only we had a new book we could talk about.

….what?….what’s that you say?

Images - Goodreads and The Guardian.