Thomas P— is exhausted.
He’s been travelling for work so much he barely knows where
he is. And then, while waiting for a table at a restaurant, he sees someone from his past.
Exactly as she was twenty years ago, when they first knew each other. Deeply shaken,
he tries to carry on as if nothing happened.
But when it happens again, in a different restaurant, in a different city, Thomas’s world
begins to unravel. Haunted by a magnificent black parrot and a past he wants to forget,
he becomes paranoid, unsure whether he can trust himself and the world around him.
After he sees another friend he thought he had forgotten, he realises he is lost and
alone, and afraid of his own mind. Then an enigmatic woman tells him he is not seeing
things but rather his memory has been mined to create life-like androids that are
replacing the human race one by one.
And then he is arrested.
Will Thomas resist the mysterious woman and get his life back? Or will he join her cult
and take up arms in the fight to save us all?
The Nucleus of Reality, or the Recollections of Thomas P—, is the story of a man trying
to remember why he ended up losing everything but himself.
L. A. Davenport is an Anglo-Irish author and journalist.
Sometimes he lives in the countryside, far away from urban distraction, but mostly he lives in the
city. He enjoys long walks, typewriters and strong black coffee.
The genesis of The Nucleus Reality, or The Recollections of Thomas P—, began in the queue for
Wagamama in Liverpool. I was in that great city for a conference, and I was exhausted and
somewhat disorientated. Really, I just wanted to go to bed, but I needed to eat more, and so there
I was, standing in the queue, my mind racing but latching onto nothing.
Then, while I was waiting my turn, I saw the most extraordinary thing: A friend of mine, right there
in front of me, exactly as she was twenty years ago. I was stunned. For a second I wondered
whether it actually was her. But of course it wasn’t. Was it? And if it wasn’t her, how could
someone look so much like her? And why now, why here, in a place with which neither of us had
It took an instant for me to realise that there was a story in this, and I began to construct the
opening scenes while I waited to be seated. Realising that a) I would forget the details if I didn’t
write them down and b) the whole story was crystallising in my mind in one go, I pulled out my
notebook and started writing. For the rest of my meal, and under the puzzled gaze of the man
sitting opposite me, I sketched out the plot from start to finish, writing in a blur, trying to pull down
onto the page all the people, scenes and many, many ideas that filled my mind.
When the waitress, who with patience and kindness had indulged my distractedness, finally
brought me the bill, I sat back and flicked through my notes. Here was a book, I realised, not just
a set of ideas; moreover, a book that was ready to be written.
But it didn’t turn out like that. I had that experience in the restaurant towards the end of 2019, and
we all know how things turned out the following spring. Still, the idea wound’t go away. Indeed, as
I adapted and moulded it over the coming months, it grew, becoming ever more complex and so
much more than a book about the consequences of someone realising they can no longer trust
what they see.
It began to encompass ideas about the nature of memory and recall, our sense of identity, what it
means to be disassociated from ourselves, how the cruel exploit the vulnerable and care nothing
for the consequences, and the impact of severe mental illness on both the individual and those
Then in August 2020, I finally had the chance to start writing again. I thought it would be difficult
to write this book, especially as I knew I wanted it to be in the first person, but it was strangely
easy to find a voice and let it flow. I realised I’d been wanting to write something touching these
topics for a very long time.
L. A. Davenport is author of the novel Escape and the short story collections No Way Home and
Dear Lucifer and Other Stories, as well as the memoir My Life as a Dog.
The Nucleus Reality, or The Recollections of Thomas P—: https://pushingthewave.co.uk/books/
My Life as a Dog: https://pushingthewave.co.uk/books/my-life-as-a-dog/
No Way Home: https://pushingthewave.co.uk/books/no-way-home/
Dear Lucifer and Other Stories: https://pushingthewave.co.uk/books/dear-lucifer-and-other-
Thank you for checking out my blog. If you would like to support the content I create, then you can donate to me on Ko-Fi! I do all of this for free and in my spare time, which can be extremely time consuming. Click the button below to go to my Ko-Fi page!