You could say it all started with the red-eyed tramp with the slimy fingers who put the wind up Neville, the part-time barman, something rotten. Or when Archroy's wife swapped his trusty Morris Minor for five magic beans while he was out at the rubber factory.
Omally groaned. "It is the end of mankind as we know it. I should never have got up so early today," and all over Brentford electrical appliances were beginning to fail.... Could it be that Pooley and Omally, whilst engaged on a round of allotment golf, mistook laser-operated gravitational landing beams for the malignant work of Brentford Council? Does the Captain Laser Alien Attack machine in the bar of the Swan possess more sinister force than its magnetic appeal for youths with green hair? Is Brentford the first base in an alien onslaught on planet Earth?
"Another Rankin classic"
You are now leaving the age of Aquarius please lower your seat when rising from your head. It was something to do with the cycles of history. The way great civilizations rise and fall. Golden ages and dark ages. Things of that nature.Few people noticed at first. The changes. They were subtle to begin with. Like when the Leader of the Opposition challenged the PM to step outside and settle things man to man. And the PM agreed. Or the way the baked ham rose up against Dave while he was standing in the check-out queue at Budgens. Small things. But they just kept getting bigger.And by the time everyone realized that something very strange was going on, it was all too late.The Earth had left behind the age of science and reason and moved once more into a time of myth. A time of legend and heroes. Of romance and wizardry and wonder.It was a time to take the mother of all giant leaps and enter -The Garden of Unearthly Delights
Look out there's a monster coming. The Ministry of Serendipity control everything. They run this world from their secret underground lair beneath Mornington Crescent Underground Station in London. And when they learn of the crashed alien spacecraft lying at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, they send out their crack team of paranormal investigators to recover it.
Amazing, but true: Brentford Town Council, in an act of supreme public-spiritedness (and a great big wodge of folding stuff from a mysterious benefactor) has agreed to host the next Olympic Games. The plans have been drawn up, contracts, money and promises are changing hands. Norman has designed some stunning kit for the home team, and even the Flying Swan's been threatened with a major refit (gasp!).
Once upon a time Jack set out to seek his fortune in the big city. But Jack gets a bit lost on the way, and when he finally comes to a big city, it is Toy City, formerly known as Toy Town. And there is a serial killer loose upon the streets.
"Film Noir in Toy Town"
Cornelius Murphy is a big-haired seventeen-year-old tall school leaver, devoted avoider of regular employment and Stuff of Epics. And together with his diminutive companion and bestest friend Tuppe (the stuff of epics to a slightly lesser degree) they set out in a 1958 Cadillac Eldorado to travel the length of the British Isles in search of the missing chapters from a great and wonderful tome: The Book of Ultimate Truths. Penned by self-styled Most Amazing Man Who Ever Lived, Hugo Rune.
"Couldn't Get Past Chapter 7"
The Jehovahs have always been a tight-knit family and one of the biggest names in universal property development. The driving force behind them is the old boy, God, although in recent millennia he has ceased to play an active role and has become something of a recluse. Now tragedy has struck the House of Jehovah.
The compelling story of a family of fervent God-botherers which may or may not be a family memoir and is certainly full of tall tales.
Roll up! Roll Up! You have never seen anything like it in your life. The last thing Raymond expected when he went down to his allotment was to be abducted by a flying starfish from Uranus. But these things happen and when he learns that he is being sold as a delicacy in a Venusian auction, he is grateful to be rescued by the travelling circus. But this is not your everyday circus, this is Professor Merlin's Greatest Show off Earth, with ancient exotic performers who travel between the inhabited worlds in a Victorian steamship.
Were you aware that there are, hidden in the streets of Brighton, 12 ancient constellations, like the Hangleton Hound and the Bevendean Bat? Well, there are, and on each one hangs a tale, a tale so strange that only The Lad himself, that inveterate spinner of tales and talker of the toot, Hugo Rune, can get to the bottom of them. And he'd better do it quickly, because if he doesn't solve the dozen mysteries before the year is out, that'll be the end of the world as we know it.
Ahead, where once had been only bombsite land, the Lateinos and Romiith building rose above Brentford. Within its cruel and jagged shadow, magnolias wilted in their window boxes and synthetic Gold Top became doorstep cheese... Something sinister is happening east of Ealing. The prophecies of The Book of Revelation are being fulfilled. Lateinos & Romiith, a vast financial network, is changing all the rules with a plan to bar-code every living punter and dispense with old-fashioned money.
"A cracking story by Rankin"
From the point of view of 2050, you're history. Theological warfare. Elvis on an epic time-travel journey - the Presliad. Buddhavision - a network bigger than God (and more powerful, too). Nasty nuclear leftovers. Naughty sex habits. Dalai Dan (the 153rd reincarnation of the Lama of that ilk) and Barry, the talkative Time Sprout. Even with all this excitement, you wouldn't think a backwater planet like Earth makes much of a splash in the galatic pond.
The final novel in the Armageddon Quartet and arguably the best of the three. Fast, frantic and furiously paced and introducing the now legendary Lazlo Woodbine, 1950s genre private eye. The host of stars include Harpo/Chico the two headed lovechild, Barry the time-travelling Brussels Sprout, Elvis Presley in his greatest role ever and Rex Mundi, who still bears an uncanny resemblance to a young Harrison Ford.
It is the year 2060 and oh no! The world is going to end again! In 1977 Elvis Presley faked his own death and set off on a journey into the future with his best friend Barry the Time Travelling Brussels Sprout. Mr Presley's mission: seek out and destroy The Antichrist and save civilisation as we would one day know it. Good old Elvis! Things, however, do not go quite to plan. There is a boy genius whose intention is to rule the world. The demon hoard known as Legion that has taken up residence in the internet.
It has always been John Omally's secret ambition to become a rock star. In his youth he mastered air guitar and wardrobe-mirror posing, but he lacked that certain something. Talent. But at last an opportunity has arisen for John to get into 'The Industry'. A band called Gandhi's Hairdryer are looking for a manager, so all John has to do is persuade them that he is the new Brian Epstein. It should be a piece of cake. But - and there's always a but - there is something rather odd about this band. Something other-worldly.
The epic conclusion to the epic trilogy - and trilogies do not go out with a bigger bang than this one. Young school boy Norman is dead. His father fell out of the sky and flattened him. And as Norman did not engage in full time employment before he died he is rather miffed to have it thrust upon him in the afterlife - at The Universal Reincarnation Company. There are too many filing cabinets and much too much paperwork. The fault lies with God (a flawed genius, in the opinion of Hugo Rune).
"Rankin fans will enjoy the over-the-top craziness"
Part two of the three-part Epic Adventure - featuring a lost car park, the Hidden King of the World and more conspiracies than you can shake a stout stick at. Cornelius Murphy, big-haired tall boy and Stuff of Epics, has a plan. That with the aid of a reinvented ocarina, he and his best friend Tuppe enter London's Forbidden Zones (areas cunningly hidden from us through the A-Z street directory and a conspiracy of black cab drivers) and liberate the countless billions of pounds worth of booty that lies therein.
"Spoilt by Poor Editing"
There is nothing more powerful than a bad idea whose time has come. And there can be few ideas less bad or more potentially apocalyptic than that hatched by genetic scientist Dr Stephen Malone. Using DNA strands extracted from the dried blood on the Turin Shroud, Dr Malone is cloning Jesus. And not just a single Jesus, he's going for a full half-dozen so that each of the world's major religions can have one. It's a really bad idea. In Brentford they've had a really good idea.
"Another great book"
The story of Billy, whose Grandmother left him the "voodoo handbag" in her will, after he had sold her soul to science. The tales it told Billy would change his life for ever - and the lives of other people too.