The Deformed Visitor


The Deformed Visitor

When an extraterrestrial traveller arrives on the London Underground, she is mistaken for a disabled and grotesquely disfigured girl. Neglected by unsettled commuters, she finds solace by forming an intimate friendship with a stray dog. Exploring themes such as loneliness, physical beauty, and prejudice, The Deformed Visitor is a challenging novella which deconstructs the science fiction genre, and rebuilds the human heart.

Price – TBC
Year – 2018

Publisher – Zarathustra Books

Buy it from Zarathustra Books

Photo of Danny working in London, where his experience of the overcrowded city and his ambivalent feelings towards urban life became the foundation of his novel The Deformed Visitor.

Sample text from The Deformed Visitor

From Morden to High Barnet, the longest, blackest line on the London Underground, hundreds of thousands of daily commuters at rush hour shuffle and squeeze – tinned like sardines. Somewhere in the middle of the tube map, branching off like arteries to the heart of the city, Central, Piccadilly and Victoria lines overlap with a congested stream of office workers coagulating the entire system; pin-stripe-suited like barcodes scanned in and out of the sliding doors for production. Yet it was at the moderately busy station of Highgate on the Northern Line that our timid visitor arrived. Flustered and overwhelmed, she tried to make sense of the map, but had no idea where to begin.
I have called her Cookie, since when she arrived on our planet, she wore a crimson scarf like an American Camp Fire Girl selling cookies, and her eyes were as sweet and deep brown as a chocolate chip. However, contrary to my own perception of beauty, the underground commuters found her to be repulsive. This was because she had, what appeared to them, a severe facial disfigurement; they had mistaken her for a disabled young girl. Although she tried the best she could to wear a disguise of human fashion – albeit a quaint rendition of a child as if taken from a vintage postcard depicting a girl scout frolicking in the great outdoors – her protruding lip which swelled and drooped with a melancholic expression like a gentle Manatee’s mouth had in fact caused everybody in her path to avert their eyes. Children were scolded for staring, and adults spared themselves the embarrassment of superficial pity by pretending they hadn’t noticed her; those games adults play which bewilder poor children.

Copyright © 2018 by Danny Hahn