Here we are on a cosmic adventure with Alfie Fleet and Professor Pewsley Bowell-Mouvemont. The OUTLANDISH blog tour arrives at Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books with an interesting Q&A interview that might just get your Bowells (Mouvement) going in the wrong direction.
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In The Cosmic Atlas of Alfie Fleet it says that there is a stone circle in the basement of Number Four, Wigless Square, that opens portals to different worlds. Is that true?
Alfie: It sounds bonkers but it’s completely true. All stone circles have the same power. Up until now no one knew why Stonehenge was built thousands of years ago. When you understand that it was put there so tourists from other planets could visit Earth it all makes sense though.
Professor: That’s why there are stone circles all over the place, you see. Australia, America and all over Europe, of course. There are some very silly theories about them. Some archeologists think Stonehenge was used as a giant musical instrument, the idiots! The truth is that Earth was very popular with tourists back in the days before all the noise and pollution and celebrities.
How many other worlds are there?
Professor: Well, we have the co-ordinates for a few thousand, but there are plenty more to discover. Here at the Unusual Cartography Club we make maps of them and put the best ones in The Cosmic Atlas. This morning we’re off to … ahh … where are we going again this morning, Rupert?
Alfie: It’s Alfie, Professor. My name’s Alfie, remember? And we’re going to visit planet Earwax II.
Professor: Oh yes, that’s right. Thank you, Rupert. Marvellous place, Earwax II. I discovered and named it myself you know, just after I discovered Earwax I. Couldn’t think of a decent name at the time and I do get a terrible waxy build-up in my ears, so …
Alfie: We get the idea, Professor.
Professor: It’s an interesting planet. Very pretty. Some lovely vistas and landscapes only slightly spoiled by the fact that the whole planet is overrun with giant gibbon things that try and pull your arms off. Luckily, we have Derek so giant gibbon things aren’t a problem for us.
Alfie: Derek’s my best friend but she’s quite scary.
Oh yes, Derek’s from a world you visited called Outlandish, isn’t she?
Alfie: Yes, it’s all in the book. Her full name is Hunter-of-the-Vicious-Spiny-Dereko-Beast and she’s from a tribe called the Children of Skingrath. She was their Under-Sixteens Beating-People-Up Champion.
Professor: Where is young Derek?
Alfie: In her room, learning English. She’s learning from her favourite pop songs so she says ‘yeah yeah baby oh yeah’ a lot at the moment. It’s a bit weird, but we don’t mention it.
Professor: Derek is quite likely to pull your intestines out and wear them as a scarf if you say the wrong thing.
What’s the best world you’ve visited?
Alfie: I’m new at the UCC so I haven’t seen very many yet but I really loved Outlandish. Apart from all the horrible danger and people trying to kill me every five minutes I had a lot of fun there. Plus they have elves and actual magic. Proper, twinkly, finger-waggling, ka-boom magic, not just people in silly hats pulling rabbits out their sleeves. My mum likes a world called Blysss, which is a beach paradise world. The people there bead your hair as soon as you arrive and you’re forced to lay around in a sun-lounger all day drinking fruit cocktails with umbrellas in.
Professor: Hmm, that’s a tricky question. I’ve seen hundreds of worlds since I joined the Unusual Cartography Club but I very much like a planet called Sminkey-Sminkey.
Alfie: Is that one of the worlds where you’re worshipped as a god, Professor?
Professor: Yes, yes it is. The slugfolk of Sminkey-Sminkey always welcome me with open feelers, and they have an excellent Moustache Museum. The Temple of Bowell-Mouvemont is well worth a visit, too …
And the worst world?
Alfie: The Professor discovered a world he named Maureen a few months ago. It’s just a big desert with sand lobsters and really boring.
Professor: Although it does have three suns, so it’s a good place to get a tan. I once got lost on a lost world called Lost. Had to eat moss and my own dandruff. Plus, the local people would shove me into a sack every week and throw me into a pond. I never did find out why. It wasn’t very pleasant though.
Professor, you are the President of the Unusual Cartography Club. Can you tell us more about it?
Professor: No one really knows exactly how old the UCC is, but its members have been mapping planets around the universe for at least ten thousand years. I joined in 1763, when I was just a young lad of fifteen. Of course it was all very different back then. Toffee was made from sheep bladders and there was a total eclipse of the sun that lasted thirty-eight years. Everyone dressed in leaves back then, and had a twitch in their left eye. Is it leaves, or leafs? I can never remember.”
Alfie: Leaves. And none of those things happened on Earth. You’re thinking of another planet, Professor.”
Professor: Am I? Which one?
Alfie: I don’t know. I wasn’t born in 1763.
Professor: Well that was silly of you. Those were good times. Happy days. Except for wearing leaves. Surprisingly, they’re not as comfy as they look.
Alfie: You’re supposed to be talking about the history of the Unusual Cartography Club. No one’s interested in wearing leaves.
Professor: Hardly surprising. It’s the caterpillars, you know. They wriggle into your ears and that feels weird, though a few weeks later butterflies come flapping out. It’s quite lovely when that happens.
Alfie: The UCC, Professor.
Professor: Of course. Of course, of course, of course. Where was I? What am I talking about? Who am I?
Alfie: You’re fifteen and joining the Unusual Cartography Club.”
Professor: Ah yes, so it was 1763, a very good year if you liked skin diseases and stepping in horse poo. Oh, we used to have a lot of horse poo back then. It’s very good for growing cucumbers …
Professor: What? Eh?
Perhaps a different question … What’s next for the Unusual Cartography Club?
Alfie: Wait and see! The UCC has always been a secret society but we’re going to change all that and open it up to everyone.
Professor: It wasn’t really a secret society, you know. It’s just that people lost interest in stone circles.
Alfie: It’s all about how you present the information. If you wander up to people in the street and tell them you just got back from a cheese-eating trip to Cheeseworld they just give you funny looks. But if you give them a glossy brochure offering three week holidays on the paradise planet of Blyssss for a very reasonable price …
Professor: There’s a Cheeseworld? Why wasn’t I told? Really, Rupert, you know how much I enjoy cheese and I am President of the UCC. I should be informed if you’ve discovered a world of delicious cheeses.
Alfie: It’s Alfie, and there’s not really a Cheeseworld. I just made it up as an example.
Professor: And I’m feeling quite peckish. Forget Earwax II. Come along Rupert. Let’s be off. Cheeseworld awaits. Toot toot. Coming through. To infinity and behind …
Dragging Alfie behind him, the Professor straps on a motorcycle helmet and strides away, bringing this interview to a close. The last thing we notice is that he squeaks when he walks, exactly as if he’s wearing a tight ladies’ corset under his clothes …
Do check out the other stops on the blog tour for more fun, frolics, and mayhem.
Also check out Martin Howard at the following places @MJHowardWrites on Twitter and visit his website: https://booksbymart.pub
Thank you for reading and have a great adventure.