Within these pages are old people in space, conscripted into the English military (and we have no idea how we’re ever going to get the universe to smell fresh and clean again). The truth about what really happened during the Industrial Revolution is revealed, including full details of that nasty accident with the first half-dozen steam trains, most of the bankers and all of the lawyers. We have mill-owner’s sons rebelling with a spot of ballet, mill-owner’s daughters wantonly playing the cello and mill-owner’s wives demonstrating the noble art of fainting into a small glass of something medicinal from the Orient.
The obligatory migration of the human species away from planet Earth is achieved in über-cheap Virgin Model-T spacecraft - available in any colour you like, so long as you like Virgin red. On high days and holidays we have Her Majesty The Queen meeting, greeting and sipping tea on the lawn with some very nice, very polite aliens, while in her darker moments under threat from rogue comets Her Majesty slips into a pair of rubber gloves and washes the dishes for Europe. The UFOs involved are classic flying saucers and the robots are cute, especially the short one with the trowel and the teddy bear who has to hurriedly invent some ten commandments for the human species (and he only manages four and a half, but they’re good ones). Even the very few zombies involved are extraordinarily polite, upper-crust and quite out of their depth without the help of a maid.
If you love rolling around in parts of the English language that haven’t seen the light of day for a long while, and if you don’t mind the occasional dozy Labrador dog throwing up in his goldfish-bowl space-suit helmet, then this is the book for you. Chin-chin, tickettyboo.
The Model-T Virgin
Begging Your Pardon, My Lord, But Cook’s Been Eaten Again
Robots Knitting With Rubber Needles
Je Pense It’s All Going Very Bien
Footloose, En Pas De Basque
In Which Mr Cadwallader Shampoos His Parrot In The Rain Using Some Very Dated Popular Science
Diary Of A National Service Chap
Blood-Curdling Screams And The Whitworth Screw-Thread
The Day The Earth Took Tea