Saturday, November 4, 2023

Qx and other pieces

Zagava have recently announced pre-orders for Qx and other pieces, a new paperback of twenty-one miniatures: essays, stories and others.

Here I share my enjoyment of obscure pamphlets found in boxes at the back of bookshops or on trestle tables in village hall sales:  an exhibition catalogue from a Sixties cubist art project; a Ministry of Works guide to a lost city; an advert for date jam from a ‘secret Arabic recipe’; a book of exciting prophecies from the Forties, forecasting the internet and space travel; together with enigmatic cards sent by Thirties radio hams from around the world.

In other pieces I evoke remote country: the golden villages of an Anglo-Saxon hundred; an old alabaster works and a children’s mosaic map; lichened statuary and strange topiary; and why a Roman road swerves.

You may share the company of an artist and a poet in a museum in Autumn, a modern Gnostic, a Shakespearean actor in masks, and a man who wants to know why there are no dragons on his map. You can have a taste of a delicacy fit for the Fisher King; or tea and crumpets in the Cotswolds; or the meanest sandwich ever made.

All of the pieces are collected here for the first time, several are previously unpublished, some are new versions, and others will be familiar to Wormwoodiana readers from this blog but have not appeared in print before.

The publication will be in a slim paperback format in an edition of 199 copies.

(Mark Valentine)


  1. This sounds like a phenomenal delight. I think it is what Mark does best. His gift is to make the mundane numinous.

  2. Ordered, alongside their new Peter Bell book and recent A. L Lewis tribute.

    -Jeff Matthews

  3. This sounds utterly fascinating and intriguing!