Amorphous Albion is a Discordian science fiction novel, currently still being written. It was largely inspired by two key events that took place during the summer of 2016: the referendum vote that seems likely to propel Britain out of Europe and into a highly uncertain future, and my own experience of co-creating, co-organising and co-experiencing Festival 23, possibly the best thing I’ve done in my life to date. Somewhere between these two extreme polarities of negative and positive, and with a powerful melodic interplay of magic, psychedelic adventures and powerful friendships battling against the rising background noise of intolerance, violence, global war, terrorism, a massive refugee crisis and a collapsing social infrastructure, Amorphous Albion began to manifest itself.
I deliberately abandoned all of the rules of correct novel writing and dived straight in, with no real plan. Amorphous Albion is Discordian in its conception as well as its themes. It begins on Britain’s south coast in an unspecified near-future, with the counter-cultural doings of the Hove Space Program. These people really exist, although not necessarily as I’ve portrayed them. What follows is a road trip following the broken ley lines of a disintegrated nation, taking in Stonehenge, Glastonbury, Liverpool, Blackpool and beyond, where weird magic and advanced technology coexist with a society largely reduced to barbarism and desperation.
The main characters are Arla Magnesium and Nicky Mandrake, members of the Hove Space Program, plus Dorian Flyte, an exiled Liverpudlian technomancer and the Last of the Bunnymen. Their opponents are the shadowy authoritarian organisation known variously as The Order, AKA The Big Society, who aim to destroy diversity and dissent completely.
While the episodic, cartoon-like narrative and satirical tone is inspired by vintage 2000AD comic strips, the attempt to create a contemporary Discordian saga with a distinctly British flavour draws heavily on the mythology of The KLF (although Amorphous Albion book one was completed before the announcement of 2023, Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty’s own future-set novel). The idea of the Warp In Progress– a multi-media presentation of book one, featuring films and live music- was inspired by tales of writer Michael Moorcock reading his influential fantasy novels onstage while backed by the space-rock band Hawkwind and their psychedelic light show.
Amorphous Albion: A Warp In Progress was created especially for Room 23 at the 14-Hour Super Weird Happening. This will be its first performance, but not necessarily its last. A special limited edition printing of Amorphous Albion Book One is available exclusively from the merchandise stand at this event. Just 23 copies exist. This contains the full text of the story so far, and should make somewhat more sense than the fragmented version used for the live readings. Hopefully the completed novel will be made more widely available in the not-too distant future.
– Ben Graham, 2017
Update May 2017: Amorphous Albion Book Two: The Glastonbury Caper is now available! Like book one, this is roughly 40 pages in paperback and is published in a strictly limited edition. A self-contained novella that also contines the adventures of the characters from Book One, The Glastonbury Caper is a weird retelling of the Grail myth in which the hero is a psychic female muslim refugee.