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Ed Hillyer (aka Ilya)

THE END OF THE CENTURY CLUB: COUNTDOWN (1997)

A disparate group of young people, marginalized, bored with their limited lot in life, decide to set up their own club night, and thereby carve out for themselves their own space, their own place. Pooling their meagre resources they team up to create from ‘something close to nothing’, a café-cum-nightclub (cum-dropout’s drop-in centre), the END CLUB. Here they begin to make plans to host the party to end all parties, one that will mark the end of one century and the start of the next millennium. Along the way, they might even learn how to spell ‘millennium’ right.

Against all odds (some very odd indeed)…

The near future isn’t short of threats to survival, and not only of their brand new venture. Rival local venues, small-time gangsters, and not least the strong arm of the state itself seem to conspire to end their enterprise before it has even begun.

BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL, United Kingdom Comic Art Convention, 1997.

 

THE END OF THE CENTURY CLUB: TIME WARP (1999)

Is there any such thing as society? The dodgers, divers, duckers and weavers of the END CLUB continue to fight for their questionable rights.

Issues of race, gender, sexuality, class, religion and economics enter into their orbit, scattershot like sparks from a blazing catherine wheel. ‘Baby, you’re a firework’. Lives speed up, slow down, then splinter across the timelines as events career toward their club night’s big launch, Take Two (new and improved). But how do you stand out from the herd, when everybody’s wannabe-fringe nowadays? Culture vultures circle. Doom portends.  ‘The flow of time seems to be sweeping them toward their deaths, as swimmers are swept toward a waterfall.’

THE CLAY DREAMING (2010)

Set during the first Australian cricket tour of England in 1868, this magnificent début novel explores an extraordinary friendship between King Cole, one of the Aboriginal players, and Sarah Larkin, a bookish spinster living in London.

Sarah’s quiet routine, divided between her father’s sick room and the British Library, takes on a completely new aspect when the cricketer arrives unannounced on her doorstep. “King Cole” (Brippoki) enlists Sarah – a copyist working in the Reading Room but to him the “Guardian of the Words of Dead Men” – to help him search for his ancestors. Together they delve deep into the past and pursue the mysterious Joseph Druce, a convicted felon transported to New South Wales nearly eighty years earlier.

From Lord’s cricket ground and the Athenaeum Club to Greenwich’s Royal Observatory and the muddy banks of the River Thames at Shadwell, Brippoki is increasingly dizzied by the unfolding spectacle of the city. While his quest is spurred ever onward by the Great Serpent coiled at the heart of his London Dreaming, Sarah must challenge her preacher father’s core beliefs about evolution and degeneration, and even the nature of knowledge itself, before setting out on a journey of her own.