A truck is driving off-road, through dense forest. It drives for hours, into woods where thick variegated shrubbery, vines and branches twist and converge – blocking out all but the sharpest splinters of sunlight. It drives into the wilderness of the wilderness where no man has before set foot, and where silver trout, carp and perch swim unafraid in the crystal brooks.
The truck stops in a clearing and three masked men alight. Minutes later a fourth figure disembarks; it’s Republican nut-job and human rights atavist Sarah Palin. She walks around the truck and opens the back doors, ordering her men to haul out the person who’s been held captive within. A figure is pulled from the vehicle and pushed into the clearing where he waits, hand-cuffed and hooded, to meet his fate. Sarah Palin approaches this man, un-cuffs him and removes the black sack of a hood which has covered his head the entire journey. The man is revealed as none-other than weird-fiction troubadour China Miéville.
Sarah Palin looks him up and down, her eyes lingering on China’s chest for slightly longer than is appropriate.
“Yes, he will do” she says, “he looks very fit,” she leans to China’s left ear and whispers “athletically and aesthetically.” Stepping back Sarah Palin gestures with her arm the forest that surrounds them, “you’re free to go” she says, and turns away as if disinterested. China Miéville shrugs and moves off; walking into the endless woods, he is soon lost to sight.
After several hours have passed, Sarah Palin and her men still surround the truck. She looks at her watch and signals, “That should be long enough. Let’s go: the hunt is on.” Camouflaged and armed with long rifles, the team sets off on foot, tracking China Miéville through the forest.
But sixteen hours later they are exhausted and baffled: China has eluded them throughout the night, and dawn has brought no further traces of him. They are sitting in a grassy opening, discussing their plan of action, when one of Palin’s goons suddenly stands and points. Something has disturbed the shrubbery on the edge of the clearing. The branches and leaves are shaking with an unnatural rustle which becomes more and more violent until… fifty, no!- a hundred rabbits spill out of the woods, charging towards the small group.
To their left another noise is heard, and they turn to see a colony of beavers tearing towards them. More sounds, and a gang of elk emerges; wolves and quails, deer and boar: the air filled with birds of every kind imaginable. And at the centre of this stampede is China Miéville, riding atop a bear that bolts towards the terrified hunters.
One of Sarah Palin’s men runs for his life; another lets off two shots, but is soon swamped by rampaging wildlife; the third man is trampled by the hooves of a dozen hurrying herbivores. Only Sarah Palin now remains, and as China Miéville points from atop his bear, the stampeding animals converge and lift her into the air, carrying the former governess off into the dark woods, where her screams gradually fade away, and where an ancient justice still reigns…
WINNER: CHINA MIÉVILLE