‘Dear Mr Jobs
Readers of my books (The Shadow and Night and Dark Foundations) will know that I posit the widespread use of a Diary in the 14th Millennium; a small slablike device that does almost everything from telecommunications to imaging. I am prepared to overlook your pale imitation -shown in public this week as the so-called Iphone – as minor plagiarism. Mine, after all, has a ten year battery life and a few other tricks. Indeed as a token of goodwill, let me make you an offer. In view of the much publicized claim by Cisco that it owns the trademark Iphone I am prepared to allow you to use my term ‘Diary’, perhaps in the form of the ‘I-Diary’ , for the modest sum of say £100,000 sterling.
One other observation. An odd thing happened to meet this week: an Amazon review of Dark Foundations disappeared. One day there were two reviews; the next just one. For the benefit of posterity, here is the missing review (I got it from the cache).
(five stars******) Finally!, November 1, 2006
Finally! This book is here! I have been waiting so long!
The Dark Foundations by Chris Walley is an excellent continuation of an excellent series! With the exception of a very annoyingly nerve-wracking cliffhanger ending, I am completely happy with this book! This book is really quite shocking – you never even suspect anything like it from the first two books. It continues the story of Merral and the fight for Farholme and the Assembly, but introduces some additional sideplots and stunning backhistory from a non-Assembly world. None of the characters are flat, even Lezaroth the captain of the ship that is leading the war against Farholme, you grieve for, because of what he once was, and what he then became through following Nezhuala (who kind of seems like the Antichrist). Excellent, excellent, excellent!
At the time I was very miffed because it’s a nice review and I didn’t want to lose it. However since then, two new reviews of Dark Foundations and one of The Shadow and Night have appeared: all three are five stars. So that makes up to the missing one. But this raises lots of questions. Who removed it? Why? Is it an Amazon mistake? Did friend Barlow regret his statement? Has he been unmasked by Amazon as a serial reviewer, or worse? Or did his pastor corner him and say, ‘Brother Barlow, I hear you have been favourably commenting on a heresy?’ Who knows?
Can I say as a British author, whose main sales are in the States, that one of the few handles I have on whether or not my books are liked is Amazon. I like reviews. They are also a reasonably quick rebuttal to those who say ‘well, are they any good?’ (Do they really expect me to actually say ‘no?’) So if you’re thinking about writing an Amazon review and you want to write something nice and positive, please do. It will be appreciated.