Put down what you're doing. It's time for some results. So we didn't quite hit our numerical target — there were 41 entries last week, against 53 the week before — but the range, inventiveness and sheer art of the 9s entered leapt again, and was so disturbingly high that I'm calling it a win. I hadn't really managed to divert the meteor collision yet anyway. Working on it.

I would have found it so hard to pick a winner that I'm relieved (I just mis-typed that as "relived", which is ominous...) that judging this week was performed by series co-writer Kristen Cloke Morgan, whose episode last night left people quivering silently and deciding that yes, maybe another glass of wine is a good idea, and what's wrong with grown-ups using night-lights anyway. She said...

"I think this is the one, as my step-son is studying microbiology in college & I love the idea of science and science fiction meeting in the "9 Room".


And that, for the few out there who didn't spot it right away, is a bunch of Streptococcus bacteria devouring a dish of blood. It's new on the menu at KFC*. There are two other equally creepy custom-made microbial images — and lots of other great 9s — on the competition page here.

So @edge_of_the_map and @BigD1980, please DM me your information, and I'll put you both down for a tie-in copy of INTRUDERS, signed to whomsoever you choose, when it becomes available. There are other goodies on their way from BBC America, which I will disperse according to whim and in as unfair a way as possible.

And now... we're into the penultimate week of this competition, ending next Saturday, the 5th. You know what that means. Actually, maybe you don't. Maybe I don't. But start sending in new 9s, is my point. Our target this week is "lots". If we fail, I will give Madison your address and a rusty scalpel.

The rules, as always, are here. And do I have to remind you to pass this on and RT?

I really hope not.


* This remark was deployed for humorous purposes, and is not intended to allege or imply any shortfall in either food quality or standards of hygiene. Personally, I love me some KFC. Feel free to send a bucket, right now. And again tomorrow. Until further notice.