The Infernal Nexus

Roots: The novel opens with quotations from Lewis Carroll and Thomas de Quincey. Braxiatel is compared to Sherlock Holmes. There are references to Klingons (Star Trek), Jules Verne, James Bond, Gilgamesh, King Arthur, Naked Lunch, Frankenstein, Vermicious Knids (Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator), Ernst, and H. G. Wells. The scenes of Benny in the Maze are largely rewritten from Stone's Judge Dredd novel, Deathmasques, with Benny replacing Dredd.

Goofs: Bernice dismisses the idea of a multiverse built like an orrery, despite having visited it in Sky Pirates!.

Dialogue Disasters: As puns go, Mae An T'zhu is pretty bad...

Continuity: Bernice discovers that she is pregnant (see Professor Bernice Summerfield and the Squire's Crystal). Benny has written numerous outlines, breakdowns, contents pages, bibliographies and appendices, all meticulously polished, in an attempt to make a start on her sequel to Down Among the Dead Men. These are all stored in the Braxiatel Collection data systems. Benny carries a personal alarm in her handbag. In order to justify their presence in the Conclave Chamber, she and Jason claim to have formed their own Clan, the Tribe of the Oscillating Wombat.

Jason's middle name is Peter. After the rift into the Ferutu's universe closed in Twilight of the Gods (NA), Jason was caught up in a period of flux, moving between multiverses until he ended up in the multiverse of rock (Hell) (The Door into Bedlam (Professor Bernice Summerfield and the Dead Men Diaries)) [this must have occurred after some time, since he was clearly at the mercy of the Ferutu on Dellah at the end of Twilight of the Gods (NA)]. Because he was no longer in his native timeline, he didn't age during this period, as explained by the Gilhooly Theory of Transdimensional Contrivance. He continued working for Agragazar, and later Volan Sleed when he took over from Agragazar. He has sex with Mae An T'zhu. During his absence from his native multiverse, several of his pornographic movies have become popular, including Xenomorphic Bondage Slaves and Of Men and Several Mice. He writes a pornographic account of his encounter with Mae An T'zhu, entitled The Kiss of the Dragon Woman.

Braxiatel owns several deep space probes, capable of reaching any point in the galactic spiral arm in a single jump. A Starbucks has recently opened on the Braxiatel Collection. The Collection has numerous bars, including The Rat and Pestle, designed to resemble an Olde English pub.

Station Control is located at a multidimensional nexus point between the four hundred and seventeen known multiverses. Souls are accepted currency on Station Control. Multiverses described include the multiverse of rock from The Door into Bedlam (Professor Bernice Summerfield and the Dead Men Diaries), a multiverse where the laws of physics are determined by the assumptions and beliefs of its inhabitants (which include Marpies, humans lobotomised so that they believe they can fly and therefore can), a multiverse permeated by breathable air (ruled by Lucien di Vasht), the Vehicular Protectorates (where the entire multiverse is a single flat world covered with endless swamps and marshland and a network of autobahns, from where Swamp Lobsters, a culinary delicacy, are found, as are Carrion-dogs, which lasso their prey with a substance that they exude), a multiverse which archetypal resonances from the others (and is therefore populated by fictional characters including Frankenstein and his monster), the Cool Cheese Potentates (home of the Rhuugh, who have retractable spines in their forearms). The Faerie races, including invisible creatures called Sidhe, inhabit the multiverse from which the Clan of the Pontificating Dragon hails - their legendary heroes include Oberon and Titania [given the similarities, their multiverse may be that of the Sidhe from Autumn Mist].

Because the laws of physics differ between these multiverses, it is usually impossible to enter a different multiverse from Station Control. The Conclave Chamber in Station Control is the meeting place for the heads of the Clans, including the Clan of the Pontificating Dragon, the Family of the Iron Sun (a Demon Clan), the Hooting Chrysanthemum Men (a Zombie Clan), the Three Small Toad Clan, the Sisters of Perpetual Night, Saurian Clans, Gargoyle Clans, Elemental Clans, Vampire Clans, Animorph Clans, the Sloathes from Planet X (see Sky Pirates!), and God Clans. Despite resembling magic, the abilities of the Demons are based on their technology.

EarthFed interstellar protocols insist on the aid and rescue of stranded people. Eating oogli fruits is forbidden on board EarthFed ships.

Flatchlock is a trichoate, a type of demon containing three separate personalities. This is an evolutionary hangover from a survival mechanism - if the demon is decapitated, another personality emerges, growing a new head. The genial Flatchlock's other two personalities are the ruthless Volan Sleed, and an insane slavering monstrosity, which is not named. When he is the dominant demon, Agragazar forgets that his "siblings" are less agreeable than himself.

Whistling Ninjas are gestalt creatures employed as assassins. They are susceptible to a single specific sound of a certain pitch, which causes them to collapse into their diminutive composite beings. They are often hired as assassins on Station Control, but if they fail in a mission, they have to be hired again if their employer wishes them to try again.

The Monasticy of Slom is a race of land-based squid with a profound religious fanaticism for punctuality.

Links: It is implied that the dimensionally transcendental nature of the Maze reminds Benny of the TARDIS.

EarthFed first appeared in The Door into Bedlam (Professor Bernice Summerfield and the Dead Men Diaries), although they are here referred to as Earthlink Federation rather than Earth Federation [they've changed the name of their organisation to strengthen their links to Earth]. Station Control was also previously mentioned in that story, as was Jason's employer, Agragazar Flatchlock (spelt Agraxar there, but apparently the same Demon). ARVIDs first appeared in Return to the Fractured Planet). Jason has heard of Munroe Hennessy (Professor Bernice Summerfield and the Doomsday Manuscript).

There are references to Jason being trapped in the Ferutu's universe in Twilight of the Gods (NA) and his brief psychic link with Benny in The Door into Bedlam (Professor Bernice Summerfield and the Dead Men Diaries). Jason's career as a porn writer is mentioned (Beige Planet Mars). The Snata is mentioned (Sky Pirates!).

Location: KS-159, and Station Control, 2600AD.

Future History: By 2600AD, Doctor Rupert Alouicous Barnstable Gilhooly is a renowned polymath, and has made broadcasts such as How Stars Work, Dark Matter and You, and How Changing Those Twisty Little Molecule Things Inside Your Cells Can Give You Three Extra Legs and Stuff Like That. He is the founder of astrophysiology.

The Order of the Creational Event is a religious order devoted to documenting the physical processes of the universe since the Big Bang.

By 2600, the Flurrgh have been at war with the Wfflmibibiki for fifty thousand years.

Unrecorded Adventures: Benny has visited the casino-stations orbiting Nova Vegas Prime.

The Bottom Line: Triumphant return to form for Dave, after the slightly lacklustre The Slow Empire, although points are deducted for cutting and pasting a large chunk from Deathmasques. The return of Jason is hugely welcome, especially since Stone writes him better than anyone else.

Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke

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