Archive for all lies and jest

Unexpected items in bragging area

Hello! I should really update about what I’ve been doing elsewhere, as it’s all got quite busy. (And also, I was desperate to use this title.)

In December I was accepted into a Guardian writers’ workshop, and a result of that I’ve written three articles for them – two are linked from my Guardian profile, and the third, on genderswitching the classics, is here.

I’m also guest blogging for The F-Word in January and have written one post for them so far, called “Can’t you take a joke?”

So life is busy (particularly since I have a job and two children and technically no free time) but fun. My most recent Guardian article, about the concept of Twitter as a virtual literary salon, led to a Twitter conversation with Neil Gaiman – which, admittedly, involved him very nicely letting me know that I’d got one of my facts wrong, but he was also sweet about the article itself.

It’s been interesting writing for the Guardian, the Huffington Post and the F-Word (and Choler, of course) as well as my own site. The nature of the comments has varied wildly depending on the site: the F-Word has been lovely, the Huffington has frequently involved people rather missing my point (which is the risk involved in trying to be funny on the internet). I have largely avoided reading the Guardian comments altogether because the commentators there are notoriously often very harsh (and also often miss the point), as I know from years of watching people take Charlie Brooker’s articles utterly literally.

In fiction-related news, I shall soon have some print copies of my novel for sale at £6.50 plus postage: please email fausterella at gmail if interested! The e-book remains available on Amazon etc.

Oh, and you can currently get 25% off my short stories or my genderswitched Austen book at with code LULUBOOKUK305.

I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I think 2012 is going to be exciting.


How I predicted the iPhone (not really)

So my novel is set in a different world from this one, but only very slightly, like the width of one quantum universe away. If quantum universes work the way I think they do, which they probably don’t since my ideas on the subject come exclusively from science fiction. Anyway, one of the minor differences in my world is that there are items called iTems, which act as phones, GPS services, people finding devices etc.

If you’re thinking “Well, that’s not much of a stretch, is it? Bet it took her all of five minutes to come up with that,” then you have hit on the exact reason why I’m annoyed about this, because I came up with the idea in 2002. When it was genuinely science-fictiony, or at least more so. I didn’t called it the iTem then, just the Item, and I called it that mainly because my mother has a habit of calling all objects she’s looking for “the item” (as in “Have you seen the item?” “Yes Mum, the remote control/cup of tea/cat food bowl is on the sofa/ in your hand/ on the floor in front of you.”) In the book it functions as a minor plot device, nothing more. Nevertheless, I felt it helped to signal that my book was a little bit set-in-the-future, a little bit speculative.

And then it took nine years to get the book published, and in the intervening period Steve bloody Jobs invented the iPhone plus everything else beginning with ‘i’ (the launch of i-Cecream and the rebranding of i-Celand, i-Reland and i-Srael can only be a month away at most). So when I came to write the final draft of All Lies and Jest, I realised that I had lost the only tiny shred of science-fictionality my book possessed.

On the other hand, in order to bring my invention up to date all I had to do was move the capital latter across one. So it became the iTem and it does all the things the Item did except much less impressively because everyone already knows about the idea (or iDea) of multifunctional phones beginning with i.

Thanks, Apple. I could have been a visionary.


I was going to take a photo of my iPhone for this post. Then I realised it was the one thing I couldn't photograph.