Peter Johannsen and the Device of Wonders

Illustration for title page (c) S. Dyer 2012

I’m very pleased to announce that I’ve just finished my first book – Peter Johannsen and the Device of Wonders!

All that’s left is some editing and checking some of the continuity issues raised by having a range of different narrators. As I’m going to attempt to find an agent / publisher for this or, possibly publish online, I won’t be able to give too much of the plot away, but I’m going to copy over extracts so you can get a’feel’ for the piece.

Perhaps the hardest part is going to be considering how to get the concept of the book across to prospective agents / publishers etc, so, if you, dear reader, have any thoughts on that, do let me know!

At the moment I think it sits somewhere between the avant garde end of Science Fiction, a detective story and poetry. As a large part of the narrative is told through Peter’s personal notebook, I’ve included some of his illustrations, some of which are scattered through this page.

So, here’s extract 1.

This comes from near to the beginning of the narrative and is from the viewpoint of Peter Johannsen of the title. He has awoken disorientated and confused. He has found a small metallic device in his bedroom:

Shiny-bright-chrome new shine ‘twas, reflecting e’en in curtained gloom sparks and slices of himself and foot and carpet pattern full. Broad ‘twas. Thick to grip in hand. And somehow ‘cross that glance told it he in clean design that purposeful was it. No part of other this. No. Replete, complete, inherent inside ‘twas all itself, no component. No. What on earth? Where did this come from? I don’t remember this. Tired mind of his, struggling, yet move ‘gainst pushing probe of temple-cross found not place for IT from world of he. Stranger to all possess he yet…yet familiar in curve it was. Reach he out with moments doubt.

Hard it was, as thought and scrambling fingers hard to turn with mass of it. Stretch and pull it to he then. Swing-back-surprise then as though free from stuck came it, yet resting in palm, rumour (c) S. Dyer 2012of weight remain. Consider it he; spoke soft its form with subtlety pure of what it be. Indented curves, four no more, fit fingers made to hold sure. Full size of palm was it, yet enough to grip tight, project below with curved base. But sought his eye most on all ‘twas top– undoubtedly top –of red translucence. ‘Twas curved dome that spoke of…Press. Press! No button seen yet had he with more call to function than this. PRESS! In wondering caress he ran thumb light-touch o’er crimson curve, gauge and hesitant. Where did this come from? I don’t remember this.

As pause he there time passed, pulled up close and tugged hard on conscious mind of he. Noise. He must have clattered on falling; call he out then? I bet I woke Annie. Shit. She was so tired, not what she needs. Pull up on bed and scraping up to sit. Had he woken her? Replay through see – of whispering beginnings in doubt – saw he then in real time fall and how long there quiet was he. If over he go why not she awake? Was it late? She up and gone? What time is it? Then turn he to left, THE DEVICE in hand, gripped tight unthinking.

Annie? Did I wake you?

(c) S.Dyer 2012

The words in bold also form a part of the narrative. They are gathered together into a block of text at the beginning of each chapter, sometimes complimenting and sometimes extending the meaning of the main events. Here is an example of this from later on in the book:




thru’ THE DEVICE adrenalin hedge push-tumble surround tasted gift ‘afore step leather toiled day trammelled yet Station urgent muse tarmac forward ruled he thru’ blare figures tell motion ‘tween lay figures all connect THE DEVICE sat push peace eye action secrecy must there tense presence look press coat pass atop now slow twitch other quick yet beheld corporeal search form difference shoe grey coat office OTHER SELF still connection two wordless soul ask all deliberate full re-buffed Tread then seemed swing action yet ache sought turn knock emphasis scraped forceful ‘tween uniformity gainst glimpse wonder wrought doubt Palpable trek turn attain THE DEVICE

(C) S. Dyer 2012

Lastly I’d like to introduce the two other main characters in the book – Inspectors Purcell and Trevere, who are charged with finding out exactly what did happen to Peter Johannsen that day. And whether the DEVICE is dangerous, otherworldy or simply a figment of Peter Johannsen’s imagination. But will the partnership last long enough to reach the end of the mystery, or will the tensions between them prevent their ever reaching the truth?

“O.k Peter. I think we’ll call it a day for now.” Purcell nods to Trevere who stands up and signals Carlyle to come forward.

“Sergeant Carlyle will see you back to your cell for now, Mr. Johannsen. We’ll get some food sent along shortly. O.k. Carlyle, off you go.”

“Right you are Sir,” Replies Carlyle and he leads Peter Johannsen gently by the arm towards the door into the corridor. As he is level with Purcell Peter Johannsen stops and smiles at Purcell with a look of understanding.

I said you wouldn’t believe me.” He begins, then, looking at the black notebook still resting under Purcell’s hand he asks, “May I take that back with me?”

“No, I’m sorry Peter,” replies Purcell,” This is evidence now.”

“Is it?” Asks Peter Johannsen. For a long moment Purcell and Peter Johannsen look benignly at each other.

“Come along Mr. Johannsen, I’m sure I can find you something to write on,” Carlyle promises and receives an approving nod from Trevere, as he successfully escorts Peter Johannsen through the doorway.

Trevere walks around to the other side of the desk, says

“This is Inspector Sergeant Trevere, interview terminated at eleven oh four am, Thursday 29th,” and presses a switch on the recording device. Purcell sits deep in thought. Trevere remains on the opposite side of the table, puts his hands in his pockets and jangles some coins. “Poor sod.” He mutters.

Purcell looks up, smiling sadly.

“You mean?”

“Well, either he’s being deliberately obtuse or he needs to be sectioned I’d say.” Purcell lets out something between a sigh and a murmur at this.

“Mmm, I’m not sure.”

With a look of surprise Trevere replies, “With all due respect, you can’t possibly believe all this nonsense about flying and coffee from the sky and mysterious machines and such? It’s rubbish! He’s clearly off his…” Trevere pauses long enough to reign in his vitriol and searches for an appropriate acceptable term. “…clearly not in a fit mental state. Surely you would agree that?”

“Yes, yes,” Concedes Purcell. “But there’s something missing here. Something we’re missing. Why would he go walkabout like that unless he had some reason?

Well, that’s all I’m giving away for now!  I know it is hard to pick up a story from a few extracts but, if you have any comments or suggestions please leave a message.

If you are interested in publishing or representing this work here are my contact details:

Thanks for reading!






About Stuart Dyer

Stuart Dyer, Christian Writer and Musician living in West Sussex, England. Works in the hope of producing the worthy novel or solo; giggles at Oliver Hardy, Peter Sellers and Spike Jones; admires Hudson Taylor, Dickens, Salinger, Bill Bailey and Neil Peart; listens from Wagner to Miles with lots of stops in between; dances to motown and aims to achieve balance in all things.
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