The Pen is Mightier than the Nerd (part fifteen)

Find enclosed another chunk of  ‘the Pen is Mightier than the Nerd’, my novel written exclusively for twitter, and now made slightly less exclusive by printing it here.

Life and art start to collide here; I was actually tweeting this on my way to a real convention pretending to be Mervyn, who was tweeting about going to a convention, both called ‘Act III’ and both run by someone called Derek…

Here’s the funniest thing; Mervyn Stone was REALLY at the convention, in the form of actor John Banks, the man who poses for Mervyn’s photos, and who brilliantly takes the part of Mervyn in the new audio ‘The Axeman Cometh’.

Here he is, at the convention in question, posing with actress and writer Beth Chalmers:

There, now I’ve completely ruined the illusion, I now hand you over to the pre-pre-climactic segment of ‘The Pen is Mightier than the Nerd’.


I’m on my way to the convention.

Typical daft bad luck; I live in Uxbridge. Which is very near to the hotel.

But I would choose to pick a fight with a homicidal maniac, which meant I couldn’t go home.

So I’m lurching along a tube line towards the convention.

‘And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Chalfont and Latimer to be born?’

So I’m in my room.

I’m uncomfortably aware the murderer knows I’m here. But then again, I know the murderer’s here.

And I know what you look like, don’t I?



I’ve waited most of the day in my room. Looks like my goading hasn’t worked.

I’ve felt a bit of a fool waiting behind the door with a baseball bat.

But you’re not that easily fooled are you? I might have guessed.

But soon you’ll have no choice. I’m on the first panel tomorrow and you’ll have no choice but to stop me

I venture out to socialise, my eyes roving round the hotel.

I try talking to a few guests, but I’m sure I look distracted, so I give up and go to the bar.

It really is very pleasant here. The building is very beautiful.

Well, the building we’re not in is very beautiful. We’re stuck round the conference centre at the back.

I see Derek, the conference organiser, and I slip into a quieter part of the hotel. I’m a bit embarrassed about missing my signing session today. Due to the hiding-behind-the-door-with-a-baseball-bat thing.

No-one here. A couple of fans enjoying the sun. A few unlucky types dressed up as monsters. God, they must be boiling in those suits…

Perhaps I should go back to my room and wait it out.

I’m just going back to my room now. Key in the door, and relax.


By by mervyn

To buzy looking for me

Should have kept an eye on the monsters

How else could I get near u?

As u said, u know what I look like

Poor mervyn what a way to go

Beaten 2 death by a cyberman

Delete! Delete!

Ha ha

Now 2 find that Perspex brick

I always said I’d step over the body of my mother 2 get a souvenir

Now I can practice with Mervyns body


They’ve called the police. They’re arriving now.

Funny things people get up to in conventions. There’s a thing they call ‘cosplay’…

Where fans dress up as their heroes. Doctors, companions, aliens, vampires…

But who in their right mind would want to dress up as me?

I thought I was being clever. I guessed the murderer must have been in some kind of monster costume.

So I fibbed on twitter, pretending to go to my room, while all the time I was watching my door from across the hall.

Unfortunately the murderer was following a different me. Some poor sod who admired me so much he put a cushion up his jumper, powdered his hair grey and put on a battered black corduroy jacket.

The poor chap was beaten to death with a ray gun.

Or, as I was quickly informed by the fan who found the body, a cyber gun.


Oh god, here comes D.I. Wells.

Why is he here? I’m practically in Middlesex. I’m sure this is completely out of his jurisdiction.

He assured me this is very much still his case, thank you very much. And of course he’d been following the whole thing via twitter.

I tell him I think I know who the murderer is. He laughs. Not interested, and leaves.

I suddenly feel very alone.

I get myself another room. It costs most of my fee for appearing at the convention, but I can’t take any chances.

He might look for me again.

From the state of that fan’s room, you were looking very hard.

You’re very keen to get hold of that autograph, aren’t you?

I look at my timetable. I have a panel tomorrow, with Jennifer McLaird at ten o clock.

So that’s when it ends. Try and stop me.


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