Currency $ USD
Switch to £ GBP EUR


Books are now in your hands

261 %
Average rating

Evil Machines

A darkly funny set of linked tales about vengeful phones and hoovers by Terry Jones

This book is published, but you can still pledge for rewards!

Evil Machines cover

On Python & BBC

The Synopsis

How do you feel about your phone? Or your car? I bet you don’t think about them much, except when they go wrong. But what if they go really wrong and turn properly bad… evil, even?

Join Terry Jones on a journey into the dark heart of machines. Over the next six months you will get to lounge in Terry’s shed as he writes about the lift that took people to places they didn’t want to go, the vacuum cleaner that was too powerful and the terrifying train to anywhere. Brisk and cheerful on the outside but as dark as Roald Dahl’s finest within, Terry Jones’ collection of thirteen cautionary fables will be finished for November 2011.

Fortunately, this is just before Christmas, so you may want to order the beautifully stitched, bound and illustrated Hardback edition (if we can find a non-evil printing press to play ball). Early-bird patrons can even get a personal dedication from Terry.

In the meantime, here’s the beginning of the very first story, 'The Truthful Phone'. If you would like to listen to Terry reading the second ('The Nice Bomb'), you’ll find it in his shed once you've made a pledge.

November 2011
Fiction (suitable for all ages. Particularly good for Luddites or those who like a bit of an edge to their silliness)

The Excerpt

You might think that there was nothing particularly evil about a Truthful Phone. It simply told the truth, which is, of course, “A Good Thing To Do”. But the way this particular telephone told the truth was not at all good. In reality the thing was evil from the tip of its mouthpiece to the end of its cord.


The Reviews

This book has 2 reviews with an average rating of 5 stars.

you have certain expectations when you pick up a book written by a favourite actor or author. For me I have watched and enjoyed Terry's writing from Monty Python, Ripping Yarns, the Python films, Crusades and his Douglas Adams based idea S.S Titanic.

From the first page of this beautifully binded... (read more)

This book starts off as a collection of unrelated short stories about malicious and anthropomorphic devices. It reads quite like a children's book, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, as the wicked humour and Monty Python style silliness are united to make it an incredibly funny book: not to mention... (read more)

The Author

Terry Jones is a legend. Not in the sense that he’s a long-dead or semi-mythical figure about whom stories are told around roaring log fires (although that might still happen). No, Terry Jones is a legend because he’s achieved more than ten men might reasonably expect to do in a lifetime. And because we know attention spans are short, here are ten Jonesian highlights:

• Being unable to stop laughing when doing the read-through of the sketches he and Michael Palin wrote for Monty Python’s Flying Circus (he was the one usually in a headscarf or a bowler hat).

• Co-directing Monty Python & the Holy Grail (1975), a film so funny it made all subsequent films set in the Middle Ages seem like comedies.

• Directing The Life of Brian (1979) a film so funny it was banned in Norway (according to the Swedes).

• Writing his adaptation of Starship Titanic (a game devised by Douglas Adams) entirely in the nude.

• Allowing his son Bill to do the Director’s Son’s Cut for the DVD of his movie Erik the Viking (he’d originally written the book for Bill in 1983).

• Convincing us Chaucer himself was murdered by a naughty Bishop, and that the oh-so-perfect Knight in the Canterbury Tales was a rotter.

• Allowing his love of real ale to lead him to set up us own brewery, Penrhos, in 1977 (it’s inaugural ale was 'Jones’ First Brew').

• Reminding us that you can’t force an abstract noun to surrender in Terry Jones's War on the War on Terror (2004).

• Becoming a father for the third time in 2009, when he was quite a lot older than people who do this tend to be.

• Writing and directing The Doctor’s Tale (2011), an opera in which he imagines a dog that has trained and now practises as a doctor.

Questions & Answers

Carole Cole Carole Cole asked:

How can this be sold out if it is published on demand? Perhaps I misunderstand this whole Unbound concept. I guess I'll have to look for it on Amazon...damn...

Unbound Unbound replied:

Hi Carole,

Thanks for getting in touch. We crowdfund the production costs of the limited, first editions. We also print a trade edition which is available in bookstores after the special first editions have been sent to supporters. This edition is a one off for supporters and any extra books are available through our site until the stock is sold out.

I hope this explains things a little. If I can help you with anything else please get in touch via

Best wishes,

Caitlin - Community Coordinator

The Rewards

This book is now published. You can still pledge, but you won't get listed as a supporter in the back.

Special Edition
Sold out
  • ebook edition and your name in the back of the book
Hardback - SOLD OUT
Sold out
Signed - SOLD OUT
  • signed & personally
    dedicated 1st edition hardback
  • ebook edition and your name in the back of the book
Sold out
Goodie bag - SOLD OUT
  • Goodie bag - author selected treats, including signed project poster
  • signed & personally dedicated 1st edition hardback
  • ebook edition and your name in the back of the book
Sold out
Launch Party - SOLD OUT
  • 2 invites to launch party (takes place in the UK)
  • 2 signed & personally dedicated 1st editions
  • 2 Goodie bags
  • 2 ebook editions and your name in the back of the book
Sold out
Launch Lunch - SOLD OUT
  • 2 invites to launch party & lunch with the author and founders of Unbound at a restaurant of the author's choosing (both take place in the UK)
  • 2 Goodie bags
  • 2 signed & personally dedicated 1st editions
  • 2 ebook editions and your name in the back of the book
Sold out

Want to fund an entire project?

Sold out
  • Format: Paper Back
  • ISBN: 978-1-78352-010-7
  • Published: 11/2013
  • Format: Hard Back
  • ISBN: 978-1-908717-00-9
  • Published: 11/2011
  • Format: Hard Back
  • ISBN: 978-1-908717-01-6
  • Published: 11/2011