A holding page for Wish I Was Here: an anti memoir, coming from Serpent’s Tail in May 2023

Not so much how to preserve the past as how to get in touch with it at all.

It’s not how good or bad you are at remembering. It’s the level of dissociation you were experiencing at the time.

A short, fragmented, hybrid, skittish attempt—based on a decade of blogposts and other kinds of writing including some fiction—to find out why you can’t find out anything about yourself by “looking” backwards. Also why repression & forgetfulness are better for writers than than trying to come to terms with something that is no longer there. But also how the future isn’t looking much better; and how the wishfulness of fantasy and sf have been messing us up since the mid-1970s.

I will be compiling an earlier version of the author, who was suppressed for fifty years by London, writing, and the writing industry. His lostness, his elusiveness, his fragmentariness, his willed lack of agency, his tendency to live off to the side of events, will occupy this book the way he occupied his life. I hesitate to use the word haunt. I also intend to contact his darker sibling. This creature knows the score! They’re at home in every text! This book will be their book, a book of personal metaphysics or surreal phenomenology. It will be what, between the two of them, they arranged my life to be: a memoir without history. There will be no continuity and no social or professional revelations.

Flashes not of memory but of pure disconnected imagery. Or maybe impure. In fact they’re flash-throughs: something is passing through and sometimes you can slow it down, or it slows down of its own volition, allowing you to examine it a bit more–or at least catch a glimpse of some aspect you hadn’t previously noticed.

Then later, or perhaps earlier, the author reading a hacked-about excerpt against a Matt Rogers soundscape. More on which soon. It’ll be available to buy.

You’re in a struggle with memory’s means of communication. What’s signal? What’s noise? What’s neither, only some artefact of the process itself? Ghosts, late style & the Zen of the weird. Wish I Was Here reads like an ugly cross between “You: Coma: Marilyn Monroe” and The Ladybird Book of Understanding Maps.