Now or Thereabouts was the fourth story in A Romance in Twelve Parts.
A young woman called Ceol undergoes a series of tests in the style of The Apprentice in order to become a Cousin in Faction Paradox; meanwhile, she receives disturbing visitations in her dreams and in reality.
- Little Sister Ceol
- Godfather Starch
- Father Heed
- Mother Anamnesis
- Little Brother Gull
- Little Sister Penelope
- Little Brother Fleece
- Little Brother Dominic
- Snotra is a Norse deity.
- The herdsmen of Klasterhaus are from the Great Prairie of the planet Klasterhaus. They're "cowboys" who excrete microscopic spores which, when inhaled, induce a state of susceptibility to persuasion.
There are several suggestions that old friends Maria and Ceol are actually The Sarah Jane Adventures characters Maria Jackson and Kelsey Hooper, several years after TV: Invasion of the Bane. Ceol's physical description matches Kelsey's appearance; the name Kelsey means "Ceol's Island"; Ceol refers to her "pink velour trackie"; and the story notes that "[t]hey had kept in touch after Maria had moved to the States, but this was the first time they had spoken face to face for several years." It was confirmed in PROSE: Weapons Grade Snake Oil, in which Ceol's surname (before marriage) was shown to be "Hooper."
- Ceol and Maria previously appeared in TV: Invasion of the Bane. Ceol would reappear in PROSE: Weapons Grade Snake Oil.