XX

Rian Hughes

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20 August 2020
9781529020595
Synopsis

'Extraordinary imagination . . . As the book races towards a mindboggling climax it leads the reader to some remarkable ideas about the nature of life, the universe and everything. Simply stunning.' Big Issue

At Jodrell Bank a mysterious signal of extraterrestrial origin has been detected. Artificial Intelligence expert Jack Fenwick thinks he can decode it. But when he and his associates at Hoxton tech startup Intelligencia find a way to step into the alien realm the signal encodes, they discover that it’s already occupied – by ghostly entities that may come from our own past.

Have these ‘DMEn’ (Digital Memetic Entities) been created by persons unknown for just such an eventuality? Are they our first line of defence in a coming war, not for territory, but for our minds?

XX presents a compelling vision of humanity's unique place in the universe, and of what might happen in the wake of the biggest scientific discovery in human history.

As compelling as it is visually striking, Rian Hughes' first novel incorporates NASA transcripts, newspaper and magazine articles, fictitious Wikipedia pages, undeciphered alphabets, and 'Ascension', a forgotten novelette by 1960s counterculture guru Herschel Teague that mysteriously foreshadows events.

Wrapping stories within stories, Rian Hughes’ XX unleashes the full narrative potential of graphic design. Drawing on Dada, punk and the modernist movements of the twentieth century, it ask us who we think we are – and where we may be headed next.

The battle for your mind has already begun.

Vastly ambitious, XX is the most astonishing blend of narrative, meta-narratives and visuals. Real ‘wow’ moments and big ideas combine with brilliant typographical flourishes to create the Moby Dick of sci-fi.

Daily Mail

Genuinely unlike anything else I have ever read . . . The confidence and style with which Hughes juggles all his material is only matched by his extraordinary imagination and vision, and as the book races towards a mindboggling climax it leads the reader to some remarkable ideas about the nature of life, the universe and everything. Simply stunning.

Big Issue

XX keeps you turning the pages, engages with big ideas and delivers an authentic jolt of awe as it takes its galaxy-spanning conceit to the limit, and then some.

Financial Times