XX: A Novel, Graphic (Paperback)
  • XX: A Novel, Graphic (Paperback)

XX: A Novel, Graphic (Paperback)

Paperback 1008 Pages
Published: 19/08/2021
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'Extraordinary stuff . . . There are ideas larger and more mind-bending, I think, than those I have come across in any other sci-fi novel.' - Mark Haddon, author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

At Jodrell Bank a mysterious signal of extraterrestrial origin has been detected. Artificial intelligence expert Jack Fenwick thinks he can decode it. But when he and his associates at Hoxton tech startup Intelligencia find a way to step into the alien realm the signal encodes, they discover that it’s already occupied – by ghostly entities that may come from our own past.

Have these ‘DMEn’ (Digital Memetic Entities) been created by persons unknown for just such an eventuality? Are they our first line of defence in a coming war, not for territory, but for our minds?

XX presents a compelling vision of humanity’s unique place in the universe, and of what might happen in the wake of the biggest scientific discovery in human history.

As compelling as it is visually striking, Rian Hughes’ first novel incorporates NASA transcripts, newspaper and magazine articles, fictitious Wikipedia pages, undeciphered alphabets, and ‘Ascension’, a forgotten novelette by 1960s counterculture guru Herschel Teague that mysteriously foreshadows events.

Wrapping stories within stories, Rian Hughes’ XX unleashes the full narrative potential of graphic design. Drawing on Dada, punk and the modernist movements of the twentieth century, it asks us who we think we are – and where we may be headed next.

The battle for your mind has already begun.

Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9781529020588
Number of pages: 1008
Weight: 1116 g
Dimensions: 234 x 154 x 58 mm


Genuinely unlike anything else I have ever read . . . The confidence and style with which Hughes juggles all his material is only matched by his extraordinary imagination and vision, and as the book races towards a mindboggling climax it leads the reader to some remarkable ideas about the nature of life, the universe and everything. Simply stunning. - Big Issue

Vastly ambitious, XX is the most astonishing blend of narrative, meta-narratives and visuals. Real ‘wow’ moments and big ideas combine with brilliant typographical flourishes to create the Moby Dick of sci-fi. - Daily Mail

XX keeps you turning the pages, engages with big ideas and delivers an authentic jolt of awe as it takes its galaxy-spanning conceit to the limit, and then some. - Financial Times

The look is every bit as vital as its plot and its prose. Compulsively readable. Its ideas are grand, and it moves like a thriller. Come for the lush design, stay for the Clarkeian ideas and sly sense of humour. - SFX

Rian Hughes’ stunning visual spectacle of a novel . . . this staggering book! - SciFi Now

Brilliant, exciting, absorbing, and mind-blowing . . . It's one of those towering achievements we keep hearing about. XX is truly modernist in every way. Whatever Goethe's Faust was, whatever Melville's Moby Dick was, whatever Joyce's Ulysses or Kubrick's 2001 was, XX is its latest expression - a perfect work of art about what it means to be human in a world of gigantic ideas. - Grant Morrison

This is a book which only Rian Hughes could have created, which should make us all eternally grateful that he did. - Kieron Gillen

A novel that is novel is so many ways. A brilliant co-mix of text and graphic design in which sign, symbol and word are linguistically intertwined and reinvented. - Steven Heller

Rian Hughes is a luminescent pop culture demon. - David Quantick

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A mysterious signal of extraterrestrial origin has been detected. Jack Fenwick thinks he and his colleagues at Intelligencia can decode it, but what if the message isn’t from aliens? What if the message is the aliens?... More

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