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  • CRASH! How I Lost a Hundred Billion and Found True Love (Kindle Single)
    CRASH! How I Lost a Hundred Billion and Found True Love (Kindle Single)
    by Julian Gough

    The UK Kindle Single #1 hit.

    Jude lives in a henhouse with no roof, that he bought for ten million euro, at the height of the Irish property bubble. One day, his mortgage is rated the debt in Europe most likely to default... The political and financial elite of Europe arrive, with a plan: help Jude put a roof on his henhouse, stabilize his debt, and reassure the markets. It all goes horribly wrong.

    "This novella is very funny – laugh-out-loud at times…Gough is one of our most talented satirists" — The Irish Independent

  • Jude in London
    Jude in London
    by Julian Gough

    Shortlisted for both the Guardian's Not The Booker Prize, and the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize, Jude in London is an epic, comic exploration of the bizarre love triangle between language, consciousness, and reality. Which is all very well, if you're into that sort of thing.

  • Jude: Level 1
    Jude: Level 1
    by Julian Gough

    Shortlisted for the 2008 Wodehouse Prize for comic fiction.

    The novel's prologue won the biggest prize in the world for a single short story - the BBC National Short Story Prize.

    "Sheer comic brilliance" - The Times

    "The best comic novel I've ever read" - Tommy Tiernan

    "Could be the finest comic novel since Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman" - The Sunday Tribune

  • Juno and Juliet
    Juno and Juliet
    by Julian Gough

    My first novel, of which I am very fond. The adventures of teenage twin sisters Juno & Juliet, in their first year away from home. Life, love and literature, in Galway and Tipperary.

     

    "Like Roddy Doyle in an extremely good mood" - The Washington Post

    "A modern, at times brilliantly ironic reworking of the classical fairytale, with nods to Shakespeare, Austen and Beckett." - Literary Review

    "Hugely entertaining" - Vogue

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« Jude in Waterstones - a new and exciting adventure for Jude, with an unfortunate ending | Main | Irish Writer Pardoned For Stealing Pig »
Saturday
Jul072012

An Open Letter To Jonathan Ive (and Apple)

Yes my short story, the iHole, was here. No, it's not there now...

Yes, there was an open letter to Jonathan Ive (and Apple) here. No, there isn't now.

Sorry about that. (If you are REALLY disappointed, here's a different free story instead, as a consolation prize. It's a comedy about a financial catastrophe involving goats. You might even like it more than The iHole.)

Back to the missing iHole.... For background, I'll just quote briefly from the original open letter:

 

"Dear Jonathan,

My name is Julian Gough. I write fiction. And I have a problem that only you can solve.

I recently wrote a short story called The iHole, and I think it’s the best I’ve ever written. It’s about the design of an imaginary product, and it’s set inside a fictional version of Apple, at some time in the near future. A fictional version of you is mentioned, by name, a couple of times, though he stays offstage as a character.

A major media player wants the story. Their editorial people love the story. The potential audience is a million plus. So far, so good. But now their lawyers have asked me to change the name of the fictional company from Apple, and change the name of the character I’ve called Jonathan Ive..."

 

 

OK, I put that letter, and the story, online three days ago. This morning, we've all come to a satisfactory resolution.  I'm really sorry if you came here to read The iHole and are disappointed. It will be available (legally) again later this year, honest. 

First, I want to say thanks to everyone - Minecraft fans, fiction fans - on Twitter and elsewhere, for their support, encouragement (and even editorial suggestions), over the past three days.

And second, I want to say that THERE ARE NO VILLAINS in what's just happened. Apple behaved perfectly, and the media organisation wanting to use The iHole behaved perfectly, as did their lawyers. I'm not mad at anyone and I don't want you to be mad at anyone. if there was a problem here, it was with archaic laws that make it hard for writers to write about the modern world.

In fact, I particularly want to defend the media organisation involved. There are precious few media outlets for short stories already, so the last thing these guys deserve is to be kicked for having the courage to take on an unusually tricky modern story like mine. They have behaved impeccably throughout, attempting to keep the story intact while still obeying the law.

My attempts to sort this out directly, by going over their heads, have almost certainly made their lives more difficult, for which I apologize. There's always a healthy creative tension between the artist and the industry, but I realize I generate a lot more tension than most. Sorry, everyone...

Finally, I'm happy that we seem to have sorted out a compromise that doesn't damage the story artistically. And I'm very happy to discover that such large numbers of people can still get excited, and passionate, over a short story.

Fond regards,

 

-Julian Gough

 

 Photo courtesy Sophie Gough Fives (age 7)

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Reader Comments (18)

Julian

Brilliant. Your best.

Thanks

Kevin
July 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKevin Horgan
Julian,

Good luck and may goodness prevail!!

Fiona
July 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFiona Forrest
Thanks for that Kevin, and thanks Fiona.

If anything interesting happens before Thursday, I'll tell you...


-Julian
July 7, 2012 | Registered CommenterJulian Gough
Mr.Gouhg,
I am posting from Chile quite touched by your open letter and marveled by the power of social media as I have no doubts Mr. Ivy has already read The iHole.
Brilliant work on both pieces

Good luck, Henry Northcote
July 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHenry Northcote
Greetings from Denmark.

Thanks for letting me read what is a great story. I really should read more fiction again.

Regards
July 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSøren
It's a science fiction short story in the classic mold, a kind I thought had become extinct since we started living in the future. I sincerely hope lawyers are not allowed to shove their blunt legal instruments into its delicate internal workings.
July 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRichard Chapman
Loved it. From absurdity to comedy to melancholy at a perfect pace
July 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJack Cawley
Great letter Julian. I remember years ago apple wanted to copyright the word "pod" - like two peas in a ? . All The best Larry
July 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLarry O'Toole
Clever story. Clever Julian. Hope you get a swift & agreeable response.
July 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWrathOfGod
Love the integration of the MSFT idea...
July 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHubert from Belgium
Microsofties was about Microsoft. No changes to the corps. name there.
July 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMicrosofties
Don't worry about losing the "Apple". Your story stands well enough without it. Call the corporation "Peach" and everybody will understand. If I was Apple, I'd disallow your use of the brand name just for the sentence that talks about sanitary pads.

Refer to Steve and Jonathan as "Steve" and "Jonathan" and leave last names out. We'll get it.

The A-Hole joke was unnecessary and seems out of place. If you must use the joke, find a way for the reader to come up with it. "Bill wants the product name to collate before everyone else's." "The most I'll personally sign off on is 'B-Hole'."

Nicely done otherwise. Only the vaguest hint of Thierry tipping over before the end. Good work.
July 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Andrews
Great story, very enjoyable!
One minor correction: "Thierry was allowed keep" ---> "Thierry was allowed to keep"
July 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip
Lovely story, glad I got to read it as originally intended. I hope you get a timely answer from Apple. Until you let us know the ultimate fate, I'll refrain from sharing it. I know many people who'd enjoy it, but want you to get that million plus audience if it's an option.
July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSusan
Well written, but in my eyes totally unnecessary to have it be Apple.

Look at it this way: How would it change the story, if the company was a smaller company? Are you thinking only a company like apple would be able to fund the project? Or do you want to "loan" the idea of MULTI NATIONAL being the product of normal, though talented people?

If you want the story to be a social commentary, and not worry about details like funding, all you need is to place the iHole into context: THAT the world is full of all kinds of i-stuff. Thus inferring that the iHole is just another gizmo in a gizmo-infected world. For this you do not need to be INSIDE Apple.

The ending is chilling, though. Even if the ending is a mercifull return of investment, brought on by the author, being able to remotely force a re-coding af a product to suit your own end, be it a depressing state or for capital gain, is a terrible thing.
July 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkenneth k
I found a copy of this story on pastebin: http://pastebin.com/ateTJxEK.
July 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDiEvAl
Very nice, thanks for sharing.

Vico @ http://griyamobilkita.webs.com
July 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commentervico
Very nice story! Keep update.
May 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterOnline Marketing

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