Rod Rees writes: Invent-10n began life a long time ago – in 2009 to be exact – when I was playing around with the idea of writing a story about a world where the full implications of living in a pan-surveillance society were being played out. To do this I wanted to create a feeling in the mind of the reader that they were actually in that world so I came up with the idea of combining faux-factual material supposedly published in the e-media of 2020 (the year the story was set) this interlaced with the extracts from the diaries of the two chief protagonists, jive-talking, nuBop rebel, Jenni-Fur, and National Protection Agency apparatchik, Sebastian Davenport. Jenni-Fur is the angry young thing determined to screw-over the PanOptika Surveillance system run by the National Protection Agency … the MI5 of the UK of 2030 (I had to push the story back ten years to accommodate recent changes, sighs).
Given that there would be significant design element in the book I collaborated with a friend of mine, Nigel Robinson, who did the artwork for my Demi-Monde series. And realising that the format would be unusual – I’m still not sure what to call it, though my preference is a semi-graphic novel – we went to the trouble of mocking-up what it would look like and having twenty-five copies printed. This didn’t do any good and the response from mainstream publishers was unenthusiastic.
That was when I got distracted writing the four instalments of the Demi-Monde series and Invent-10n lay on a dongle gathering dust. Then in March this year a friend of mine – Peter Coleborn – who I knew from the Renegade Writers’ group in Stoke sent me an e-mail asking if I had anything, novella-sized, I might consider publishing through his imprint, Alchemy Press. I remembered Invent-10n and sent one of the mock-ups to Peter. Peter liked it (what a sensible lad!).