Several weeks have passed since the collision of Iain Banks with Iain M. Banks that opened a tear in the universe. During this time, hundreds of monstrous creatures have spewed forth from the rip: dragons, ogres, demons, zombies, indescribably deformed horrors; even Gordon Ramsey – all have set-upon the city of London, wreaking havoc and destruction wherever they roam. Thankfully the police have been able to put-down all of these other-worldly threats, quickly eliminating the menace before any significant damage occurs.
But a new creature has now emerged; a monstrosity beyond description – a glimpse at this beast might reveal tentacles, eyes, tumorous mounds of flesh, horns, claws, scales, fins, wings, hooves, fangs, neoplasmic cysts, tails, tongues and jaws in abundance: no two reports yield the same picture. Now the giant’s shadow has been spotted in the water of the Thames, and police surround the embankments.
A many-eyed tentacle rises from the river and sweeps along the shore, levelling buildings before sinking back into the water. Next: hundreds of tongue-like protrusions emerge and wrap themselves around a bridge, pulling the structure down into the depths.
“This is hopeless” says an officer “our weapons are useless against this…this… kraken…. this Cthulhu-” his words are cut short by a banshee howl of inconceivable horror that rises from the depths, and soon more tentacles emerge, biting colossal holes in buildings and dragging screaming officers into the Thames.
“We need the world’s leading expert on monster cephalopods” yells the police chief.
“He’s already here” responds another, and all the cops turn to see the muscular figure of China Miéville, hands on his hips, standing on the embankment, staring down into the waters.
“China, thank God you’re here… we need to-” but before the officer can finish, China has dived into the Thames and vanished beneath the surface.
Now the police look on, impotent, as a titanic struggle ensues. All they can see are shadows and forms in the murky depths, thrashings and monstrous screams of agony. Giant tentacles and many-coloured limbs splash and contort against the water. The creature rolls and struggles – and still China remains submerged.
“What the hell is going on down there?” asks the commanding police officer, but nobody has any answers.
Now, with a deafening screech that shatters windows, the waters are suddenly calmed. Gentle waves lap the shore, and there is no sign of movement beneath.
The police lean over and look down into the still water…
And then a figure emerges; it’s China Miéville! dragging with him a disgusting yet limp tentacle. He heaves the entire giant out of the river and drags it back to the site of the rip in the universe, pushing the dead creature back inside, it will never emerge again.
WINNER: CHINA MIÉVILLE