Review of 'I, Phone' by David Wake and an update on the new book

I, PhoneI, Phone by David Wake

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Readers will doubtless notice the reference to the Asimov classic `I, Robot' - and the pun. This is a witty Science Fiction story somewhat in the tradition of Douglas Adams, in which the narrator is a smart phone called Jeeves - referencing the smooth and intelligent valet who ministers to the hapless Bertie Wooster.
The phone's owner, Alice Wooster, lives in a future where virtual reality has taken over from real life, and most of England has been drowned by global warming. It is also an adventure story, as the heroine is framed for murder by persons (?) unknown.
The narrative follows her attempts to stay one step ahead of the law, and the bad guys. At the same time, Jeeves desperately tries to comply with the conflicting instructions from his programming - to protect Alice and to obey the law.
The result is engaging and funny. My only problem is that I found the phone a more likeable character than the human heroine. But in a sense, given the society she had grown up in, it's hardly surprising - and she does grow in the course of the story, as she has to run and fight for her life.
Whether or not you agree with the serious predictions inherent in the science fiction aspect of the story, the whole is a tour de force, with a nice twist at the end.
(This review also appears on

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I'm currently reading 'Wind Follower' by Carole McDonnell and a book about near-death experiences, but got interrupted over the summer by the usual suspect - my head.

I'm currently working on 'Winterbloom' though I should add that that is only its working title. Writing it has been rather like trying to herd cats. It also has a sub-title, which may be something like: 'Sherlock Holmes and the mystery of the mmf mmf' but as I'm not Conan Doyle of Steven Moffat (alas) I'm not sure I've got it right.

What I really want to do is write a humongous fan-fic with Sherlock and John (Cumberbatch and Freeman) interacting with my world, but I'm honestly not sure I can do it. Never mind the problems inherent in writing fan-fic, I'm dubious about my technical skills. You have to immerse yourself so completely in the world you are writing about - and also I'm definitely in the 19th century not the 21st, regardless of whatever world I'm writing about.

I should also add that the worlds in my 'verse have now expanded to three (not counting the one that Semyon Magus was carrying around in his suitcase). The newest world is rather more indeterminate than the others.

As usual, I am throwing in everything bar the kitchen sink. My passion (!) for the legend of Rennes le Chateau continues, and while Dan Brown (my hat's off to him) has probably done the definitive version of the legend (or whatever it is) I am still intrigued by the story and what, if any, foundation it has in reality.

I'm a huge fan of Patrice Chaplin's take on the legend, which centres on Girona. As this account involves a powerful, Kabbalistic ritual, it started me thinking...and off I went!


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