Ultrameta: A Fractal Novel.
Under the biological microscope, fractal geometry reveals itself as the secret structure of Life itself. Like Russian dolls, the closer we zoom in, the more we pass into repeating realms of infinite divisibility. In Ultrameta, Douglas Thompson searches for just such patterns in the confusion and social devastation of modern urban life. Ultrameta is the metropolis of all metropolises. The city we all live in, wherever we happen to be in the world. London, Glasgow, Athens, New York, Tokyo... the ‘City of the Soul’ that has grown within all of us. The time-span of the text ranges from Ancient Greece to the unnervingly familiar present, leading us to uncomfortable questions about ourselves and the life we live. It encompasses a vast emotional and social spectrum, which we plunge through as we follow the main character, Alexander Stark, through a vivid range of different identities, moving from one time and place to another in a seemingly endless cycle of death and re-emergence.
What is Ultrameta? Visionary horror? Experimental surrealism? Trippy outsider art? Like Danielewski’s House of Leaves, this is one of those few books that possess a core of something genuinely unusual, both in its ideas and its approach to storytelling. A tale of ‘Serial Suicide’ – or perhaps of immortality. A circular novel – or is it a story collection? A four-dimensional shadow of, or an enigma modelled on, Life itself? Ultrameta represents a striking development in Slipstream writing and a unique way of looking at the world.
Ultrameta containes 25 illustrated titleplates and a very unusual contents page!
Douglas Thompson’s short stories have appeared in a wide range of magazines and anthologies, most recently Albedo One, Ambit, Postscripts, and New Writing Scotland. He won the Grolsch/Herald Question of Style Award in 1989 and second prize in the Neil Gunn Writing Competition in 2007. His first book, Ultrameta, was published by Eibonvale Press in August 2009, nominated for the Edge Hill Prize, and shortlisted for the BFS Best Newcomer Award, and since then he has published four subsequent novels, Sylvow (Eibonvale, 2010), Apoidea (The Exaggerated Press, 2011), Mechagnosis (Dog Horn, 2012), Entanglement (Elsewhen Press, 2012) and has two forthcoming in 2014, The Brahan Seer and Volwys, from Acair Publishing and Dog Horn respectively. The Rhymer is his eighth novel.