I’m writing an encyclopedia entry on email novels for a guide to digital textuality and came across one that was new-to-me: Mo Fanning’s Place Their Face, the 2007 story of Lisa Doyle, a single, slightly desperate woman looking for love, whose email inbox is open for readers to explore. Because I wanted to enter it into the ELMCIP Electronic Literature Knowledge Base, I searched around for Mo Fanning and discovered he published a later version of Place Their Face as a print novel in 2008. I checked Google Scholar to see if anyone had cited the email novel (I don’t think so) and discovered this lovely patent for a reading lounge chair where readers lying on their stomach may “place their face” in a hole through which the book or magazine may be seen.

I’m not sure yet why the email novel is titled “Place Their Face”. But if I were still updating my list of email narratives (anno 2004) I would add this story to the list.

2 thoughts on “Place Their Face

  1. Laura Santini

    Dear Jill Walker,
    hope this is not bothering you. In the last years, I’ve been drawn to experience some early examples of digital email novels, but have not been able to get to “Kind of Blue” as all links are either taking me to an error page or re-direct me to Nottingham Trent University.
    Would you be so kind to provide a URL where I can read Rettberg’s novel – I would have asked him but could not find his email address.
    Thanks
    Kind Regards
    laura

    1. Jill

      Hi Laura! Yes, it’s online on Scott’s website: http://retts.net/kindofblue/. I see the link from his website is broken – I’ll tell him to update that!

Leave A Comment

Recommended Posts

Machine Vision

Cultural Representations of Machine Vision: An Experimental Mixed Methods Workshop

Call for submissions to a workshop, Bergen, Norway
Workshop dates: 15-17 August 2022
Proposals due: 15 June

The Machine Vision in Everyday Life project invites proposals for an interdisciplinary workshop using qualitative approaches and digital methods to analyse how machine vision is represented in art, science fiction, games, social media and other forms of cultural and aesthetic expression.

Digital Humanities Machine Vision

What do different machine vision technologies do in fiction and art?

For the Machine Vision in Everyday Life project we’ve analysed how machine vision technologies are portrayed and used in 500 works of fiction and art, including 77 digital games, 190 digital artworks and 233 movies, novels and other narratives. You can browse […]

AI and algorithmic culture Presentations

My talk on caring AIs in recent sci-fi novels

I’m giving a talk at an actual f2f academic conference today, Critical Borders, Radical Re(visions) of AI, in Cambridge. I was particularly excited to see this conference because it’s organised by the people who edited AI Narratives A History of Imaginative Thinking […]