Update: now available in paperback!
New! The Future Fire gave All Lies and Jest a long and thoughtful review – they liked some aspects more than others, but I’d say overall it was a positive review. Summary quote: “Harrad awakens empathy and conscience in equal measure; her work should appeal to fans of subversive, other-centric speculative fiction in the vein of Clive Barker’s Cabal, and supporters of Ultraviolet’s commentary on political and theological extremism“.
This book gave me the most reading fun I’ve had in a while… a funny and darkly satirical story which will appeal to anybody who isn’t po-faced about fantasy literature or the occult. (Five out of five stars – Goodreads)
I love books about vampires & wereanimals & it was really fun to read one written from a sceptical perspective. Well paced and extremely readable. (Five out of five stars - Amazon)
This book was really fun. It’s about this girl who wants to meet some crazy new people, so she tracks down this guy who thinks he’s a vampire and makes friends with him. But there’s a bunch of mad zealots who think he’s trying to bring about the Antichrist, and they want to kill him. There’s lots of other nutcases too, like a werelizard guy, and some girl who thinks she’s an elf and stuff. So the girl, Elinor, gets all caught up in the middle of it, and she’s trying to sort it all out without getting killed… (Five out of five stars – Amazon)
Set in a rough London the Rough Guide writers only see in their nightmares, All Lies and Jest takes on the vampire novel, goths and the new fundamentalism with great panache and humour. Harrad creates great places for her characters to intermingle (bondage parties, church groups and pubs for werecreatures of all stripes), and numerous tasty ways to kill them off.
Fine holiday reading and well worth the price of admission. (Four out of five stars – Amazon)
All Lies and Jest is my first novel (well, technically my only completed novel so far, though I’m working on that). I originally wrote it in 2002 and rewrote it in 2010-2011 when Tim Dedopulus agreed to take it on as part of his newly formed fair trade publishing project. He’s publishing four novels in all to start with (and if you have a reasonably sturdy stomach and an interest in feminist horror then Sezin Koehler’s American Monsters should be right up your bloodstained, vagina-dentata-strewn alley – I found it gorily fascinating).
About All Lies and Jest
Here are some of my attempts at brief descriptions of my book.
All Lies and Jest is:
- a “darkly humorous subcultural romp” (c. Tim Dedopulus)
- a vampire novel with no actual vampires in it, and a dark comedy that’s actually quite light.
- about alternative culture in an alternative universe.
- mildly speculative fiction about religion, a quest, and what people will do to get what they want.
- a book featuring faux-vampires, cultists, fanatics, Christian BDSMers and a were-mosquito.
- a mainly-lighthearted look at alternative London under the thrall of a fundamentalist USA.
- the story of one woman trying to change the world, and one woman who can’t stop changing herself.
If any of those appeal, you may wish to consider taking a look at it. Other actions could include buying a copy of the book, writing a review of it for Amazon or your blog or anywhere else that appeals, and telling your friends about it. Please regard these as suggestions rather than orders, since you can’t actually order people to do things through the medium of a web page. Well, obviously you can, you just can’t enforce it. Yet. Give me time.