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Cern Zoo: Nemonymous Nine

01/09/2009. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts

Buy Cern Zoo Nemonymous Nine in the USA - or Buy Cern Zoo Nemonymous Nine in the UK

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pub: Megazanthus Press. 264 page small enlarged paperback. Price: 10.00 (UK), $14.85 (US) ISSN: 1474-2020.

check out website: www.nemonymous.com

I should point out that although I reviewed the previous volume, 'Cone Zero: Nemonymous Eight', last month, this is not a monthly series. However, the use of anagrams with the book title apparently is. Twenty-four stories with a hint of zoos about them and only a hint as to who might have written the stories on the back cover. Although well-written, I was still wondering when they should be considered SF. Indeed, very few of them even have a whiff of the subject in the purple prose.



The fourth story, 'The Lion's Den', does look at least well-researched where a head zoo keeper gives his observations of life at the zoo and the problems caused by those not caged, man. The spooky aspect is when a man enters the lion's enclosure, strips and vanishes as the lions approach for a ready meal. Over the months that follow, there are reports of a lone lion walking the space between various enclosures but no evidence until a couple extra guards are attacked and the zoo eventually closed. The story is vivid from the way it is written and the ordinariness given by the unknown writer.

Some of the stories at the far end of the book are written by authors who remember something of their SF roots but being well-written doesn't mean too much when it isn't wrapped around a strong story idea. 'The Ozymandias Site' represents this with visiting aliens to a planet discover an eclipse. Even if they came from a planet with no moons, basic celestial mechanics would have given them a grasp of what an eclipse was even if they hadn't seen it first hand.

If you want a change from Science Fiction and its grey cousins and love purple prose on more mundane subjects then 'Cern Zoo' will probably suit you. It's not as if any of the material isn't badly written just that for the most part, it isn't our genre or subject matter. There are some instances where the stories could have done with having done with having a bit more plot chucked at them but when they do, it's obvious the writers did their research to bring the material to life. Choose with caution.

GF Willmetts

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