Mobile Phone Novel

Underground Mainstream


End of 2007 the novel "Lucy Luder und der Mord im studiVZ" by Oliver Bendel was released as PDF for computers and mobile phones, probably the first cell phone novel in the German-speaking countries and one of the first social network novels in the world. In 2008 the Blackbetty Mobilmedia GmbH in Vienna published the mobile phone novels "Lucy Luder und der Mord im studiVZ" and "Lucy Luder und die Hand des Professors" - previously the cosmoblonde GmbH in Berlin had also launched a trial balloon - and early in 2009 the single novel "lonelyboy18" as well as the first part of the series about Handygirl followed, and end of 2009 the second part of "Handygirl", in spring 2010 the third part. In February 2011, "Lucy Luder und der Schrei des Muezzins" was published, in cooperation with the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich. The mobile phone novels were acquired on several platforms and distributed until the end of 2011 with the help of premium text message services and special shops in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Lucy Luder

Lucy Luder ("Luder" is the German word for hussy) is a law student 20 years of age, she lives in Berlin und opened a detective agency in her flat share in the Charlottenburg district. Her flatmates Nadine and Tina, who are also students, observe her activities with skepticism and irony. Lucy always solves her cases unconventionally and not always completely. She wanders through speeding times, sometimes slower, sometimes faster than time itself. For her, notebook and internet are not technologies but part of her natural environment.

Wikipedia articles - that have previously been corrected on the platform where necessary - are integrated in the Lucy Luder series, websites are quoted, links are created. One can speak of a medial literature in various senses; the literature is appropriate for media such as the mobile phone or the web, it makes use of digital media and involves them. Typical for this series is a concise language, short sentences and reduced dialogues. Nevertheless dialogues play an important role and are used regularly. The language of the youth is not imitated, only few jargon is employed. Lucy does not offer a projection surface; she is not at the mercy of what is happening, she controls it. The stories are told in the present tense, thus achieving a certain kind of immediacy.


Handygirl ("Handy" is the German word for mobile phone) is an avatar living on Liza's mobile phone. She reads out the text messages to her and is jealous when Liza chats on her notebook. Liza is 14 and friends with Kathi. Kathi already gained some experience with boys, Liza, however, is an unknown quantity in this respect. Nobody suspected Handygirl would become a superheroine one day, at least Handygirl herself. But one day this is exactly what happens: Liza faces great danger and gets terribly frightened, and that is when Handygirl exits the mobile phone to save and console her. She becomes a superheroine, but in front of all she becomes a human being; and for moments she really lives.

Embedded in the texts about "Handygirl" are emoticons and ASCII art. The mobile phone is thematized as companion and medium. We also deal with medial literature, and the focus is clearly directed on the mobile device - not at least because of title and plot. Again, a concise language, short sentences and reduced dialogues are typical for Handygirl. The text messages of the two girls are part of the dialogues. The language of the youth is not imitated; strong language is only used in the dialogues, if at all. The toughness of everyday-life is not euphemized, thus creating a twist to the wondrous as well as an appeal to childlike phantasy. The stories are told in the present tense, thus achieving, in combination with the reduced language, an enormous immediacy.


Lukas is 18 years of age. He has no friends and no girlfriend. Every day he is standing in a corner of the schoolyard. Opposite of him in another corner stands fat Herta. He wants his girlfriend to be the exact opposite of her. He starts to blog under the alias lonelyboy18 and screams his late pubertal desires out into the world. One day a girl answers, and she is exactly what he is looking for. Simultaneously he becomes friends with Herta, discusses literature with her and his attractive teacher, contemplates the past and the future with his mother. At the surprising end he comes to decisions that change his life.

"lonelyboy18" is - considered from a superficial point of view - more of a conventional kind of book. However, important and structural elements are the continuous blog entries by lonelyboy18 and catgirl14. "lonelyboy18" is also a medial kind of literature, i.e. literature that integrates and covers the media, and again a concise language and short sentences are characteristical. The dialogues are very important; they are mostly reduced, but sometimes they are quite extensive and turn into monologues. Lukas' sexuality is described in an open as well as a direct way; it is part of the initiation that is, in the end, the central topic. Another topic are the possibilities of telling a story; the narrator, a bird, keeps leaving the main, i.e. the personal perspective. The story is told in the present tense, what is not only important for immediacy, but also for telling something about telling a story.