News update

March 14th, 2019 • Posted in News |

Blood of the Four is now out in Paperback in the US, with UK release to follow.  Check the book page here for ordering links.

The reissues of all four Hidden Cities books are now available from Diversion Books. If you buy all four you can put them together like this…

A beautifully illustrated edition of The Silence is available from the German Publisher Buchheim Verlag.   Artwork by Daniele Serra. Pictures and ordering information can be found here

Both Tim and Daniele will be at the Leipzig Book Fair from the 22nd – 24th March, and would love to meet fans. Details can be found here

Finally Tim and Christopher Golden are guests of honour at EdgeLit in Derby. It’s a one day event on Saturday July 13th, and tickets can be booked now, here

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2018 … my triathlon year

December 21st, 2018 • Posted in News |

It’s been a fun year! I raced in two half-ironmans (the Grafman and Cotswolds Classic), the olympic distance Cardiff Tri, and my season culminated in the mighty Brutal ironman (you can read my write-up of that monster here). Training went pretty well, though I was disappointed with my times at both of the half-ironmans I raced. I think I was fit and ready, but both races were extremely hot, and I faded on the run both times. The Grafman in particular was really tough, and it’s the first time in a while that I considered not finishing. That thought doesn’t hit me often … but with the run making several laps back and forth past the finish line, it was tempting! I hung on though, and as my coach said, you learn more from a bad race than a good one.

I raced my nice new Canyon Speedmax several times this year, what a beautiful piece of kit that is. I even bought an aero helmet. That’s me… all the gear, no idea.

I also did a couple of fun sportives. The Wye Valley Warrior is a tough beast, I finished in a decent time and even managed a couple of mile brick run straight after! I also raced the Velothon again, finishing in a time of 4:59:57! Ahh, that 5 hour mark… That was a great experience, and I’m sad to see it won’t be happening again. I think it was a great event for South Wales, but it’s all about making money, I guess, and it wasn’t.

I raced a couple of half marathons this year too, including the Might Contain Nuts half a few weeks back––hilly, muddy, wet, rocky, and glorious.

2019 is a big year for me. I have a significant birthday (okay, okay, I’m 50), and when my wife asked what I wanted to do to mark the occasion I said, “Er … hmmm … do you fancy a holiday in Canada?”

“Is there an ironman?” she asked.

“There … might be.”

And there is. On July 28th, my actual 50th, I’ll be racing Ironman Canada in Whistler. Epic. Can’t wait. Yet my nervous side is already kicking in, because I’ve had to hire a bike and will it be OK? Will it be stupid hot like it was this year? How will I find cycling on the wrong side of the road?

But I’m going to set those worries aside. I’m going to train hard next year, and enjoy the day. Apparently there are sometimes black bears on the run course … what’s not to love about that?

I’ve also signed up for the Lemur Loop next November, in which you run a 10k trail run loop as many times as you can in 12 hours. What was I thinking…?

Season’s Greetings to you all. I hope you hit your targets for 2019. And remember, whether you think you can do something, or you think you can’t, you’re probably right.

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2018 … my writing year

December 21st, 2018 • Posted in News |

2018 has been another busy year for me, and the twelfth year that I’ve worked as a full-time writer. Working from home has always been something I enjoy, especially as I’m lucky enough to have my own office/library/den. I’m often asked about motivation and discipline when I tell people I work at home, and I usually say that I’m quite good at settling down to write once my wife’s gone off to work. I guess it does work out––I get the books written, and I’m still earning a living, despite the ongoing trials of being a professional writer––but for me there’s always an accusing voice at the back of my head when I’m not actually working at my desk. It’s quite draining, because on the other hand I know very well that a lot of what a writer does isn’t actual writing. There’s thinking time, prevarication (thinking time), exercise (thinking time), dog walking (thinking time) … you get the drift. So for 2019 I’m trying to shed that guilty voice. It’s not all about getting words out every single hour. It’s about the end product, and however lazy I feel I’m sometimes being, I still write a couple of novels per year, short stories, treatments, screenplays … In short, I need to allow myself to believe I’m doing things right.

Sometimes, though, disruption happens that can’t be avoided. This year we had some work done to our house. It took about 6 weeks in total, maybe a bit more, and that was a really disruptive time for my work. There’s not only the noise and chaos, but also drinks and biscuits for the workmen, chatting to them, and the mental disruption that goes with that. I’m quite happy writing in the hustle and bustle of a coffee shop (where I’m writing this!), but when I’m at home I need peace and relative silence (apart from music). It’s even tough sometimes when my family are home. So those 6 weeks were pretty unproductive.

And yet … 2018 was a good year. I wrote three novels this year (well, maybe two and three-quarters), which by any standard is pretty good going.

The first is still unannounced (more details soon, watch this space in the New Year).

The second was The Edge, the third book in the Relics trilogy. Wrapping up that story was hard work––any trilogy is tough to write, and I’m honestly not sure I’m going to rush into one again soon. But I’m delighted with how it’s turned out, and it’ll hit the shelves next June.

The third novel was Firefly: Generations which I delivered to Titan just days ago. There seems to be a lot of buzz about these new novels, so it’ll be great to see that one out there sometime next year.

I also continued working on Playtime, the script I’ve written with the excellent Stephen Volk, and which is still in development. Hopefully that’ll move forward on 2019.

Books published this year were Blood of the Four (with Christopher Golden), The Folded Land (Relics book 2), and the novella Rime from PS Publishing. Diversion Books in the USA reissued the four Novels of the Hidden Cities (again in collaboration with Chris). I also had quite a few short stories published in anthologies such as Hark! The Herald Angels Scream, New Fears 2, Phantoms, and This Dreaming Isle/

I had a fantastic time at the International Vampire Film and Arts Festival in Transylvania along with my partners in crime Rio Youers and Christopher Golden. It’s a beautiful part of the world and we couldn’t have been made to feel more welcome. I also attended FantasyCon (of course) in Chester.

Next year I’m Guest of Honour at EdgeLit in July, and there are a couple of other conferences/festivals where I might be a guest, I’ll post details as and when they’re firmed up.

2019 is looking to be very exciting indeed. First and foremost, the movie of The Silence will be released! I can’t say much more yet––announcements coming soon––but it’ll be great to see it out there, and Titan will be releasing a movie tie-in edition of the novel. Books due out include The Edge (Relics book 3) and Firefly: Generations. I’m also hopeful that My Haunted House, the spooky animated kids’ film I wrote, will go into production.

I’m developing a spec TV pilot, which will be my first job in the new year, and I also have a screenplay I’m itching to write.

I’ll be working on a new novel, and for a bit of a change I’ll be writing it longhand. I’ve spoken with friends who do this and it really appeals to me. I wrote my novella Rime longhand a couple of years ago, and it was a really freeing experience. I’ve got notebooks and fountain pens at the ready, and once I begin I’ll be moving around, spending more time out of the house writing, and leaving the damn phone at home!

So, it’s been a good writing year for me, and 2019 is looking to be very exciting indeed. I hope you’ll come along for the ride. It’s the readers who make all this possible, and I sometimes still pinch myself when I realise I make a living out of daydreaming. I pinched myself even more, and even harder, when I recently watched The Silence (it’s brilliant)! So thank you for continuing to read my work.

Lastly, a big thanks to Tim Love who maintains my website, keeps the news up to date, and blogs about stuff when I forget!

Season’s Greetings to you all, and I’ll see you in 2019.

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Book sale…

November 23rd, 2018 • Posted in News |

Having a little clear out at Castle Lebbon (in reality a 3 bed semi, but I can dream…), I’ve come across limited quantities of some of my books that are just hanging around.  Waiting, frankly, for you to buy them.  And it’s Christmas soon, why not get your grandfather a signed and personalised copy of The Silence instead of another box of toffee, or your Aunt a copy of Coldbrook instead of sherry.  It’ll be more healthy for both of them.

So, if you’re interested in any of the follow just drop me an email: timlebbon(at)gmail(dot )com.  Postage costs to be calculated for individual orders.

There are just a few spare copies of each!

The Silence –– £8/$15 (trade paperback)

Relics –– £8/$15 (trade paperback)

The Folded Land –– £8/$15 (trade paperback)

Coldbrook –– £6/$9 (mass market paperback)

Blood of the Four (with Christopher Golden) –– £15/$25 (hardback)

The Thief of Broken Toys –– £7/$10 (paperback)

I also have a few rogue copies of loads of my other books, including limited editions, hardbacks, and a few very rare finds.  If there’s something you’re particularly interested in let me know, and I’ll venture down into the dungeons and sub-basements (the cupboard under the stairs) and see what I can find.  

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FantasyCon 2018

October 5th, 2018 • Posted in News |

It’s nearly that time of year again … the splendid FantasyCon is upon us!  It’s always a highlight of the year for me, when I get to see loads of mates I sometimes only see once a year, buy books, eat curry, drink the odd pint of beer, and generally be among like-minded people for a couple of days. 

So if you’re going and want to check out what I’m up to, here’s my schedule for the weekend:

Friday 5pm – PS Publishing event, where my novella Rime will be launched along with a whole host of other great books! 

Saturday 4pm – Titan Books will be launching two new anthologies containing short stories of mine, New Fears 2 and Phantoms.

Sunday 11am – Unsung Stories will launch This Dreaming Isle, another new anthology I’ve written for.

Sunday 3pm – British Fantasy Awards, where Relics is nominated for Best Horror Novel. 

I’ll also be found hanging around the book room, the bar, and probably several local Indian Restaurants and pubs.  Can’t wait! 

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Fantasycon releases

September 30th, 2018 • Posted in News |

Tim has a new Novella and three short stories out at Fantasycon

The short stories are:-

  • ‘A Man Walking His Dog’  in Phantoms, edited by Marie O’Regan.
  • ‘Emergence’  in New Fears 2, edited by Mark Morris. 
  • ‘Land of Many Seasons’  in This Dreaming Isle, edited by Dan Coxon

The Science Fiction Novella “Rime” will be launched at Fantasycon by PS Publishing.  Previously available as an ebook exclusive this is the first print edition and will be available in signed and unsigned Hardcover editions.  You can pre-order from PS Publishing here

Over in the archive you can read Tim’s thoughts on the writing of Rime here.

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The Brutal extreme triathlon – race report

September 17th, 2018 • Posted in News, Random Stuff |

They call it The Brutal.  That really should have given me a clue.  In truth I knew some of what to expect, because I did the half-iron distance last year and loved it so much––despite feeling like (and probably resembling) a gutted chicken by the time I’d finished––that I entered the full ironman this year.  The organisation, the stunning setting and scenery, the low-key atmosphere, the camaraderie, and the sense of achievement after completing the half convinced me that this should be my big race of the year.  And big it was.

So, so big, so long, so epic, it’s a day I’ll never forget.

So, where to begin?  How about the hotel the night before, the fight, the police, the raucous wedding, drunken 2am singing (not by me), the drive-by shootings* (*one of those did not happen).  My lovely wife came up to support, so I thought we’d treat ourselves and stay in the Royal Victoria hotel, only about 200 metres from race base.  It looked nice from the outside.  So did Fawlty Towers.  To be fair it wasn’t bad on the inside, possessing a sort of it-was-grand-here-30-years-ago charm that I guess I prefer to the sterile this-could-be-a-lunatic-asylum aura of a Premier Inn.  It had character.  So we checked in and decided to eat straight away.  It would be a stretch to call the allegedly thrice-cooked chips once-cooked, but the pizza I had was almost definitely a pizza.  Then it was off to do the usual pre-race stuff––register, eye the racing-snake competition and get scared and convinced I haven’t done enough training, rack my bike, go to the briefing, dump my stuff in transition so that I can claim a chair for myself, stand staring at my three big bags and mountain pack slowly convincing myself that I’ve forgotten just about everything.  All went well, and I was feeling pretty relaxed and eager to get going.

We then went back to the hotel to chill with a very small glass of wine (for me) and a nastily larger glass for my wife and a bit of mindless Friday evening TV.  Except we were destined to discover the TV didn’t work.  Oh well.  Entertainment came in another form, however, when a fellow guest had an argument on the second floor and punched his hand through the window, almost showering us with glass as we walked back.  We locked ourselves in our room and piled the furniture against the door (not really, but the thought was there), and watched two police cars and a van turn up.  This was all before 8pm.  It was looking to be a long night. 

Who needs sleep the night before what has been voted by Triathlon 220 magazine as ‘the world’s toughest ironman’? Eh? What am I, a wimp?

Luckily, the wedding guests seemed to have drunk themselves into a coma by about 1pm, their last shred of energy expended in a slurry rendition of a song I’m not sure even they recognised directly beneath our window.  And … I had one of my best night’s sleep before an ironman, ever!  I must have had 5 hours!  I sprang out of bed at 5am* (*crawled), the usual pre race nerves and chafe cream application (I did it myself … it wasn’t the time to get distracted), then it was down for the swim.

Temperature was announced as 16 degrees.  Applying the Brutal Quotient, I’d guess maybe 14, but after a bit of ice-cream head I set off and settled into a comfortable rhythm.  Lake Padarn is a stunning place to swim.  The water is clear and crisp, and whenever you turn for a breath you see staggeringly beautiful scenery.  Two laps and out over the timing mat for another two laps, and I was taking longer than I should.  It’s entirely likely that my 1:26 swim and 4200m recorded on my Garmin was due to my unique swimming technique* (*shit sighting and zig-zagging like someone dodging a sniper’s bullet), or perhaps it was that Brutal Quotient again.  What, was I expecting this to be easy?   

A power walk 200m back to transition with Tracey––up at 5am to support me, bless her!––and then I did something I’ve never done on an ironman, or any race, before.  Any guesses? 

A full change.

About now is when I should apologise to everyone else in the transition tent.  Although a) most other people were stripping off and showing various degrees of naked flesh, and b) after that cold swim no one would have noticed much.  T1 must have been 10 or 12 minutes, but every one of them needed.  I hadn’t really been focussed too much on time, and this was all about comfort.  The ride to come was long* and would be tough*.


A quick kiss from Tracey, then onto the bike.  Now, a comment here about the weather: right now it was OK.  Overcast, a little drizzly, but temperature-wise it was perfect, and I was very comfortable in bib short, a skin, jersey and arm warmers.  More about the weather later.  Oh yes.

5 miles into the bike, just after the steepest hill on the route (although far, far, far, far from the longest) I saw a guy by the road who appeared to be in trouble.  Still standing and holding his bike, he was wobbling and pretty much out of it.

“You okay mate?”

“No, I’m not….”

And when his eyes started rolling and he hit the deck, I knew he was in trouble.  I called the race medic immediately (had the number programmed into my phone.  Top tip: ALWAYS DO THIS).  In my race-head state and still a bit wobbly myself from the swim, the mileage I gave them was 14 (my average pace to then) instead of mile 5, but luckily they called back 2 minutes later to confirm and I corrected myself.  What a numpty.  Meanwhile the guy was sitting against a wall and he’d come around a bit––still dizzy, and with pains in his neck that were worrying me a lot.  So we chatted for a while, talked about races we’d done and wanted to do, all the usual triathlete talk, until the medic rocked up. Phew!  After chatting to the medic about what I’d seen I shook the guy’s hand, wished him luck, and went on my way.  I checked in later, and he was OK, but obviously they’d pulled him from the race.  Sad, but better safe than…

This half hour stop knocked me for a bit, and it took me a while to settle back into my bike.  The beautiful scenery helped.  I really can’t think of a more gorgeous place to race––the mountains, the vast skies, the deep, stunning scenery, streams tinkling by the roadside … just wonderful.  It took my mind off the pain.  For now.

So, the bike was four epic laps, each about 29 miles.  The big part of each lap, and the most stunning, was the climb out of Bedgelert and then up and over Pen-Y-Pas, with a nice descent back into Llanberis. Each lap was around 2,500 feet or so of climbing, the the Pen-Y-Pas climb was a long slow drag, but none of it was too steep.

The first lap felt great, and I’d have done it in about 1:50 without the stop.  A quick bottle fill-up, then I was out onto lap 2.  I saw a guy a few miles in being helped into the medic’s car with blood all over his face, but that was the only accident or mechanical I saw.  Considering the weather later in the day, that was a miracle.  Within a few miles my main concern was that I needed a wee.  I was trying to take on a litre of water per hour to keep up with my prolific sweat rate (sorry about the detail, but hey ho).  Now, around where I live close to Abergavenny there are always field gateways and little nooks and crannies where you can stop, but North Wales seems to be Solid Stone Wall country!  I swept down into Bedgelert––a lovely descent, and a beautiful town with people sitting outside coffee shops having a lovelty cappuccino and cake…––and a few miles later I found what will, henceforth, be known as Tim’s Quarry.  Three stops, three pees, observed only by a confused goat.

At the end of lap 2 I saw Tracey, had a hug, and she helped me with nutrition––more gels, more flapjacks, two more bottles of water, and a bag of mini cheddars which went down a treat.  Then it was on to Lap 3. 

This was getting tougher.

But looming out of the distance, like a giant hauling itself from the rocky terrain of Wales, snarling and drooling and with me, and only me, in its sights, was Lap 4.

This was when the wind picked up.  I’m not sure what speed, but by the time I’d hauled my sorry ass to the top of Pen-Y-Pas and started on that lovely descent back to the end of the bike ride, I was almost having to pedal to move downhill.  Two things struck me at this point (beside the heather, litter, and assorted sheep being blown around by the hurricane force winds):

  1. If I’d brought my Canyon, I’d have been blown off (not in a good way) and ended up in a wall or a hedge or halfway down a rocky slope.
  2. I do this for fun.

It was a tough lap, lap 4.  It made me question things.  Myself.  Bike manufacturers.  The Brutal Quotient, that means that this ironman bike ride is 116 miles, not 112.  But hey, no one said it was going to be easy.  I was very happy to get off the bike and hit the changing tent.  May I hereby issue apology #2 for any of those who caught an eyeful when I changed, but really by now I was past caring, and I’d just spent almost 9 hours on a bike so GIVE ME A BREAK!

Also on lap 4 I feared I was starting to hallucinate.  When one boy racer whizzed past me in a souped up red Renault Clio, so close that I felt the breeze against my legs when he roared by with a splutter of oversized exhaust and fat tyres, I thought it was odd enough.  Then two more came.  Two more.  Two more.  I shook my head, blinked a few times.

Two more.

Is this a North Wales thing?  That all boy racers are legally obliged to buy a red Renault Clio?  Very odd.  Very funny.  Apart from the tosser who almost hit me.

It’s time for the run.  Three laps of the lake, and then up and down Snowdon.  By this time Tracey had gone on her own brutal adventure to climb the mountain on her own, and I planned on seeing her while I was on the way up and she was coming down.  I sort of hoped she might have bought a pasty for me.

The wind was really up now, and the mountain tops were no longer in view.  On Lap 1 I hooked up with Simon and James, a lovely couple of guys who were probably running a little too fast for me, but they dragged me around that lap and we had a good chat. Unfortunately, they were also bearers of bad news––the mountain had been closed due to a red weather warning, and we’d have to finish our marathon with 2 extra laps of the lake.

My first thought: bollocks.  Snowdon is what makes the Brutal brutal. It’s iconic, and although I was tired and aching and hurting in places I wasn’t sure I’d ever been aware of before, I’d been looking forward to it.  But I needn’t have worried … the brutality of those lake laps were destined to come back and bite me.

My first concern after Lap 1 was to check that Tracey was OK. I called and she was on the way back down, having been evacuated from the cafe at the top and told to get back down ASAP just a minute after buying a big cup of tea and a pasty.  Yes, she got me one too!  But knowing she was Ok meant I was OK to head off on four more 5 mile laps of the lake.

Simon and James were a bit too speedy for me so I told them to go on ahead … and thus began a very lonely few hours.  It soon became dark, and by Lap 3 I had to use my head torch full-time.  There were a few pockets of support––I’d call them pouches instead of pockets, though they were very vocal and fun––but other than that it was me against the elements.  

And the elements were giving it everything.  Wind roared and howled along the lake.  Pitch darkness fell.  A couple of times I found myself walking up slopes with my eyes closed.  The feed station on the far side of the lake was an oasis of human contact, light, and mini cheddars, but I was started to find it really hard going.  At one point, mounting a rise, the wind nearly blew me over, and it took my breath away.

There was about 2 solid miles on the far side of the lake which was tough and technical trail running, terrain lit only by the limited splash of my head torch.  It was slippery in places, and for tired legs this was very hard going.

4th lap was the worst.  I was in a dark place, and also in a dark place. Exhausted, more tired than I’d ever been in a race, I ran 100 seconds and walked for 30.  Then walked uphill, and staggered down the trails, careful not to trip and fall.  It really was …. brutal.

And then the finish line.  There was a marshal with my medal, and Tracey, and that was it.  The most subdued finish line I’ve ever seen, but also the most welcome.  I had a hug from Tracey––I might have sobbed a little––and the marshal, and then wobbled into the tent for a cup of soup, tea, and a sit down.

Bloody hell.  I’d done it.  16:58 hours of racing in the most beautiful, rugged, brutal landscape nature has to offer.  I’d never really had a time in mind, but I’m happy with 17 hours.  48th out of 81 finishers is fine with me.

Physically and psychologically, this was the hardest race I’d ever done, and there were times––long moments––when I really wasn’t enjoying it and wondered just what the hell I was doing.  But as usual you forget the pain and the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment kick in.  Big thanks to my coach James, couldn’t have done it without you, mate.  A big shout-out to the NEWTs, best tri club there is, for all your support and help and for tracking me through what turned out to be a Very Long Day.  Probably for you as well as me!  Also kudos to Brutal Events, the marshals, organisers, and everyone else involved in putting on a stunning event, keeping us safe, and doing everything they can to ensure the athletes achieve their aims.

And finally a massive thanks to my lovely wife Tracey for coming along to support me in every way possible, as always.  I definitely couldn’t do this mad sport without you. Love you.  

On reflection, I’m not too disappointed the mountain section of the race was closed.  It doesn’t detract from how tough this race is. The extra two laps ensured it was iron distance, and that last ten miles for me was the hardest couple of hours I’ve ever spent doing anything, ever.

Brutal by name…


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Post Summer catchup

September 11th, 2018 • Posted in News |

I hope you all had a great summer, there’s a bit of news to catch up with so here we go.

As you know Tim is keen on pushing himself to the limits physically, so this coming weekend he is taking part in the “Brutal Triathlon” – voted by Triathlon 220 Magazine as ‘the world’s toughest Ironman’.  You can read all about it, and sponsor him if you wish, here.

On the book front Tim has finished the final draft of “The Edge” which is the third book in the “Relics” Trilogy.

He has a new short story in the collection “Phantoms” coming soon from Titan books.

Over on Kickstarter is a campaign for a Dark Fantasy and Horror Anthology – This Dreaming Isle – in which Tim has a brand new story.  Various pledge levels are available for ebook, paperback or hardback and all the details can be found here.  The campaign runs until September 22nd.

This Dreaming Isle Cover

Tim will have another tie-in novel, Firefly – Generations out in October 2019 – the discovery of the location of one of the legendary Ark ships that brought humans from Earth-that-was to the ’Verse promises staggering salvage potential, but at what cost? River Tam thinks she might know…   The press release can be found here.

Finally for this update, “The Map of Moments” has been republished with a very nice cover, but more exciting is that the other 3 books in the series will be out in December and if you sit them all together they look very nice.

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Happy Birthday Tim

July 28th, 2018 • Posted in Random Stuff |

Yes, it’s that time of year again when I get to choose the best cake in the shop for Tim.  I’m not sure how he will be able to resist this year’s effort, so join me in wishing Tim a very Happy Birthday.


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Brian Keene news

June 13th, 2018 • Posted in News |

Tim is coming to the end of his European jaunt, and I’m sure a blog post covering his adventures will be up in the next week or two.  While he has been away his good friend Brian Keene was badly burnt in a fire.  You can read about this on Brian’s blog here.  Due to the way health care works in the US Brian has a very large (and ongoing) medical bill to pay.  To help with this a GoFundMe page has been set up.  So if you would like to contribute to that you can find the page here.


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