Comic Relief, which involves people being "funny for money". Children dress in red clothes, adults sit in baths full of baked beans, and in the evening we all cry our eyes out watching heartbreaking stories of people doing everything they can to survive against the odds.
For this Red Nose Day, we decided to compromise our principles and write fake internet reviews of books we haven't read, in return for donations to Comic Relief. For a bit of background, read the guest post I wrote for the Ginger Nuts of Horror blog, where I talk a bit about the various varieties of fake review I have encountered over the last decade or two. I reckon it's quite the eye-opener!
I'm about to get started on writing the reviews, but it's still not too late to reserve a slot for your own book. Our fundraising goal is one hundred pounds, and at the time of writing we're three quarters of the way there. Even more would be amazing. I'll keep writing as long as you keep donating! If you want us to "review" your book(s), go to our JustGiving Comic Relief page and donate five pounds, euros or dollars and we'll add a book of your choice to the queue.
Or feel free to make a donation without asking us to review anything! We've produced fifty-eight issues of Theaker's Quarterly Fiction to date, given them all away for free, and you don't owe us a thing for any of that – we do it because we love doing it! – but if you did want to show your appreciation for any of our work, whether it's here or on any other projects that you've enjoyed, a donation to Comic Relief today, however small, would be an amazing way to do it.
So: don't trust anything you read on our blog today. It'll all be flim-flam, trickery, bluff, dishonesty, padding, chicanery and fakery, but in a good cause. I don't know yet how funny it will be, but if it fails to raise a chuckle or two I hope at least it will help you to spot some of the telltale signs of a fake review. And where better to start than with a fake internet review of my own book, the first book we published, the first thing to appear in our magazine, by our very own fictional reviewer…