Dark matter abounds, the universe is a much denser and more populous place than ever we imagined. First off, proof was published that the novels of Jane Austen were teeming with Zombies; later on came news that the size of Iggs' Boson, against all predicted odds, 'ad finally been clocked. Just as we learned that the spaces between protons, neutrons and electrons were no longer the empty stockrooms of a bankrupt time-space consortium, but rather cellars richly stuffed with vintage quirks of nature; so too the polite cesuras of Jane Austen's sweet and gentle narratives were not the quiet zones of repose and reflection we've always taken them to be, but the grim prison cells of a billion screaming dead souls.
Of course, all has not ended there. An inevitable second series is already in the pipeline, as attested by furious scribbling all along the jagged coastlines of Siberia, Alaska and Patagonia. And poor diminutive Jane, it seems, was even more secretive and elusive an Austen than we ever took her to be. As well as seven point five adult novels set in the idyllic England of the Napoleonic Wars, the plucky scrivener also managed to knock out a slew of oceanographic discovery tales of the North West Passage, The White Sea, The Bering Straits & Magellan Sounds (to name but four). But beware, Dear Reader, of holding your breath in these icy waters. Vast hordes of Zombies cling to the rigging of the vessels. Moreover, the cold grey seas navigated by our heroes Bos'un Higgs, Sir Ronald Biggs and Admiral D'Arsole are a-swarm with fearsome & deadly Sea Monsters.
The existence of so many dark forms in the former sweetness and light has caused consternation in both scientific and literary circles. On the one hand, physicists have been forced to go back and re-evaluate previously ridiculed parasympathetic theories such as the existence of Cosmic Ether or the atmospheric accumulation of Orgone Energy. Meantime, researchers into the lost literature of the ancients have now to contend not with one missing volume of Aristotle's Poetics - On Comedy - but the likelihood he wrote extensively on Soap Opera, Advertising and even a Macedonian Harry Potter, Bartholimus Stinkhoof. X-Ray observation of the shadows produced by Zombies wafting their ghostly way through the literature of ancient Greece and Rome has revealed the outlines of billions of formerly hidden characters and scenarios. For example, that the Judgement of Paris was a popular long-running reality show years before the Trojan Sagas or the sea-road novels of Odysseus.
What exactly are these quirks of Boson and Zombie? One theory has it, they are the ghosts of beings that popped their clogs in the Universe's first billionth of a second. A further theory explains that Time, in the beginning, did not actually exist; so a billionth of a second could drag on for umpteen trillion years. So much for theory. What is certain is that people and planets alike are wading through a cosmic soup of former existences just as thick in the explosion of a supernova as during re-runs of the Beverly Hill Billies.
Further still, if Bosons, Zombies and Sea Monsters prove to be just the first new discoveries of the Aquarian Age a-dawning, what zanier revelations are yet to shiver the timbers of our safe European homes? Could it be, after all, that this world really IS the centre of the Universe? Could the Earth, within the arcane warps of time and space, indeed be as flat as a tortoise shell? And will the Devil Incarnate stage a hideous return, slouching like some Great Beast towards Birmingham to be delivered (by caesarian section)? Einstein, himself no doubt by now a Zombie haunting the corridors of CERN, will be turning in his grave (if he still has one).