back to article Hold on, Booker prize judges - Stob's penned a steampunk hit

Somewhere on the hard drive of every programmer-wannabe-writer’s laptop there is the first chapter of an unfinished steam punk novel. Here’s mine. Clockwork iPhones all round It was late and I was tired, so on the way home I nipped into a Mesco Tetro to pick up a ping meal for dinner. When it came to paying, the self-service …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Most people who think they have a novel in them almost certainly should have.

    With enough lube it might even be possible.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Graham Bartlett

      "Chapter One" by Lou and Peter Berryman

      (Courtesy of the strangest songwriters on the planet...)

      Chapter one my lunch begun I chewed my food and wrote

      Chapter two my salad thru I ate my morning coat

      Chapter three I drank some tea and then I ate the cup

      Chapter four inhaled the door and threw the hinges up

      Chapter five I downed a chive and half a beef burgoo

      Chapter six I had to fix a bowl o' cola stew

      Chapter seven cracked eleven eggs and ate the yokes

      Chapter eight I licked the plate and sucked a case o' cokes

      Chapter nine I had some wine and as my body shook

      Chapter ten I ate my pen and polished off the book

      In all our hides a book resides they say, and I allow

      There wasn't one when I'd begun but there's one in me now

  2. jubtastic1

    Loved that

    More of this sort of thing please.

    1. Burkhard Kloss

      Re: Loved that

      Up with that sort of thing!

  3. Michael M

    Much anticipated novel.

    I'm waiting for Andrew Orlowski's erotic novel about the furry community.

  4. Mr Larrington
    Thumb Up


    That is all.

  5. Piers

    Episode 2... week?

    And the week after....

    and the week after...


  6. Dante
    Thumb Up

    Enjoyed that

    Also reminded me to catch up with Robert Rankin's efforts.

    1. JimmyPage Silver badge

      Re: Enjoyed that

      isn't that an old charter, or something ?

      1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

        Re: Enjoyed that


        More of a tradition.

    2. Hugo Rune

      Re: Enjoyed that

      I can't stand his books. Too far fetched.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: Enjoyed that

        For those who don't already own it, and have sucha device, the kindle version of the complete Aramgeddon trilogy is currently available for nought pounds and noughty nought pence. Or was two days ago anyway.

        Just saying...

        1. Adrian Jones

          Re: Enjoyed that

          Only the first one appears to be free at the moment.

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Re: Enjoyed that

            IIRC, it appears to be the first one, but is actually the whole trilogy in one e-book.

            1. Anonymous Coward

              Re: Enjoyed that

              Got it just now and the description says it's just the first. But what the hell, I'll take it.

        2. stuartrc

          Re: Enjoyed that

          Oh - thanks for pointing that out!

  7. amanfromearth

    Most excellent

    Please write a whole book V. I'm sure it would be a massive success.

    Thumb Up

    Where can I read the rest?

  9. Anonymous Coward


    Please continue.

    If that's all you've got, well it was still worth it.

  10. PhilipN Silver badge


    Good lord are they still going?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Except it wasn’t the same night anymore, Toto"

    Hmmm, that doesn't seem right...


  12. Dave 62
    Big Brother

    Sheer brilliance, I demand more.

  13. Anonymous Coward


    well, its better than harry potter, i guess, never having read potter i have to guess, the best bit of work potter author ever did was go for perfect descriptive title for new book.

    casualy vacant, perfect. describes her, her work, and readers.

    i can only believe that it is an in house publishers joke.

    more from verity, the world is meant to be a fun place.

    1. Benjamin 4
      Thumb Up

      Re: novel

      If only I could give that post the number of upvotes that it deserves.

    2. John Stirling

      Re: novel

      Hmm. Casually vacant judgement whilst confirming a complete lack of basis to do so.

      Ok, they aren't great, but my 7 yr old daughter is utterly hooked. On reading. Real books.

      Think about that for a moment. Of course perhaps I should insist that if she wants to read real books she read nothing less complex than Dostoyevsky but I am of the opinion that might cause her not to be so keen on books. So thank you JK - and good luck to you.

      Of course I might be picking the wrong alternative here - perhaps you could provide the list of books that you deem acceptable. If you could also confirm the ones you have actually been arsed to read, so I know whether your opinion is fictional or based in reality that would help too.

      Anyway - sorry for the strong attempt at a defence of Harry Potter - not really in character - but you set me off. If you'd said you had read them and thought them shit I wouldn't have blinked - it's the casual (that word again) ignorance I detest.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: novel

        > Ok, [the Harry Potter books] aren't great, but my 7 yr old daughter is utterly hooked. On reading.

        > Real books.

        Agreed. I've read a lot of YA fantasy, and it's an area I have some academic interest in, so I read the first two HPs and half of the fourth before I gave up. Some day I'll likely go back and read the lot, but thus far I'm not impressed.

        That said, I give Ms Rowling credit for getting a great many people, children and adults, to read novels at all - and some of them quite long ones at that. A child who will eagerly read one 700+ page novel is a child likely to do more reading, I think. And if she goes on to discover that there are many novels that are more sophisticated, demanding, and rewarding, well so much the better.

  14. Ironclad

    Thumbs up

    "Let there be dinge" resulted in serious drink spillage.

    Love it.

  15. plrndl

    Alternative? Reality?

    I now find it impossible to read any other post on the Reg.

  16. Circadian

    Yup - want more!

    Nice one!

    (And if anyone fancies a Victorian era magic-and-not-quite-steampunk thing, just finished Witch Watch by Shamus Young. Enjoyed it - and if you have some sort of e-reader, he's also done a book (Free Radical) based on the character from System Shock that's being distributed for free. Info at bottom of this page

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Yup - want more!

      I'd recommend Perdido Street Station by China Miéville.

  17. Jelliphiish
    Thumb Up

    you are

    charles stross in drag and i claim my 5 clams..

  18. Danny 14

    A portal to Burnley opened up?

  19. heyrick Silver badge


    Nice. (^_^)

  20. Mussie (Ed)
    Thumb Up

    Dam Nice Work V

    Dam Nice Work V

  21. Soap Distant
    Thumb Up


    Going back down below now...

  22. A J Stiles

    Less vs Fewer

    Actually, "Five items or less" is correct. "Less" refers to stuff, whereas "fewer" refers to things. "Five items" is a quantity of stuff, and you can certainly have less (stuff) than five items.

    You could legitimately (but clumsily) write "Five or fewer items" (because you are counting things); but not "five items or fewer", because "five items" is stuff and you can't have fewer of stuff.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Less vs Fewer

      "Stuff" and nonsense.

      First, the prescriptive fallacy: English grammar certainly allows the adjectival phrase "five or fewer" to be split by the noun it modifies - English grammar being notoriously liberal - and "five items or fewer" is certainly understood by any fluent speaker. There are no other rules for what is "correct" in English, so your claim is excessively strong.

      Second, your argument amounts to the claim that the noun phrase "five items" acts grammatically as a mass (aka collective) noun. That's more than a little dubious. A noun qualified by a cardinal-number adjective doesn't normally act as a mass noun; we wouldn't say "The five men is building a house".

      Third, the whole less/fewer debate is of recent vintage (like so many other English usage shibboleths) - sources[1] say it dates from the eighteenth century (aka "the century when pedants decided to tell everyone else how to write"). The two words have been used more or less interchangeably for most of their existence. Etymology isn't destiny, but when you promote a usage rule that goes against it, you need to justify that departure.

      Fourth, your position is, shall we say, unpopular.[2] Popularity does not determine good usage either; but here again, extraordinary claims require extraordinary support. (And yes, most of the people arguing the other side are also fallaciously prescriptive - "just wrong" or "incorrect" are favorite adjectives - but that just makes their arguments no stronger than yours on those grounds.)

      [1] e.g.

      [2] e.g.,,

  23. stuartrc

    Top reading.

  24. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    Classic Stob. It's the little touches I love - the crack at Daylight Saving Time, the Raymond Chandler bit.

  25. Trokair 1
    Thumb Up


    Please sir (ma'am) I want some more.

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