Stupid Google Tricks

I am easily amused…

  • Go to Google Maps .
  • Click on Get Directions
  • Make New York your starting point and London your ending point.
  • Read the directions. Hilarity ensues.

Like I said — easily amused.

G’day! (Fanboy Goes Aussie)

Well, it’s official, I guess — I’m now an “internationally published author.”

Just yesterday, my friendly neighborhood mail delivery person dropped off a beaten-all-to-hell box on my doorstep. This box looked like it had been through a war. Either that, or it had traveled from the other side of the planet.

Guess which it was?

Since it wasn’t the special Baghdad version of Fanboy, there’s only one other possibility: It was my comp copies of my Australian edition! Whoo-hoo!

I can only assume that this means that the book will be on store shelves in Australia very soon. I expect an influx of Australian IP addresses to this site any minute now. Don’t disappoint me, Australia.

Other than the fact that it’s in paperback and slightly smaller than the American edition, there’s not much that immediately tips you off that this is a foreign edition. Then you start to notice little things — like the single quotation marks on the cover blurbs. The new publisher name/logo. Even the spine is slightly different. (It has my full name, not just my last name.)

Inside, there are almost no differences, as I’m told the book was reproduced directly from the American files. A typo I found in the American hardcover has been corrected. (Huzzah!) The indicia page has been replaced entirely with a new Australian indicia page. (Which means that the dedication originally on the American edition is now gone, alas.) And there are some ads in the back for some other Pan MacMillan titles, including a little something called The Book Thief.

Yeah, that’s right — Markus Zusak rides on my coattails. You heard it here first, people.

All in all, it’s a nice package, and it’s very cool to see my very first foreign edition! Thanks to Anna and the rest of the crew Down Under for making this happen.

Lost: Sex = Death

Ever since Shannon took a bullet to the belly, it’s been something of a running joke amongst fans of this show that sex equals death. Well, tonight we got concrete proof that it’s not just a joke among fans — it’s freakin’ deliberate.

Juliet confirms that women who conceive on the island die, usually by the middle of their second trimester, never later than the beginning of the third. And Sun, we learn, was impregnated by Jin…on the island. (Yeah, we learned his swimmers don’t swim a while back, but tonight Juliet rather casually informed us that sperm production is up five-fold on the island. Which makes me think that Dharma’s missing a bet with all this cloak and dagger stuff — they should just rent out the island to infertile men! Let them come here for a hefty fee, impregnate their wives, then go home to deliver safely. Lot more money in that than in terrifying helpless castaways.)

Where was I? Oh, yeah — Sun’s gonna die. Bummer, huh?

Actually, though, I like this plot development. It adds a ticking clock to a show that’s been woefully missing one for a while. Now there’s a compelling reason to figure out the island mysteries and get off the island as quickly as possible. (Other than, y’know, just wanting to get the hell of the island in the first place!)

Further in the “answers revealed” category this week, Mikhail reveals that–

Wait a sec.

Mikhail?

Shoved-through-the-sonic-fence-by-Locke, blood-spurting-out-his-ears, foaming-at-the-mouth, “He’s dead, Jim,” Mikhail?

Um, yeah. He’s back. With no explanation. Which is actually fine because it was such a complete shock to me that I prefer it go unexplained for now.

Anyway, he reveals that, yes, the island does have mysterious healing properties. Yeah, we’ve known that for a while, but now someone has told the castaways in no uncertain terms.

Things like this, coupled with Juliet’s comment on sperm production, make me think that maybe the producersare going to start doling out the answers a little bit. Stranger things have happened, I guess.

In the flashbacks… Um, we learn that Jin and Sun love each other a lot. (Which we knew already.) We learn that Sun is a hard-core bad-ass. (Which, uh, we knew already.) We learn that Jin’s mother is/was a prostitute who blackmailed Sun. (Which we didn’t know already, but which was telegraphed really badly.) And we learn that Jin’s dad keeps $100 grand in cold, hard Korean cash in his safe and doesn’t mind punching in the code while his daughter is standing there.

Which we didn’t know. But, uh, does anyone feel enlightened by that knowledge?

So, back on the island, Juliet leaves Ben a love note, saying, “I hate you,” which is nice. And Lady from the Sky gives us a great cliffhanger when she reveals that Oceanic Flight 815 was found…and there were no survivors. Ooh… That’s enough to keep me coming back next week, kids.

But…

When Juliet takes Sun to the Caduceus, I couldn’t help thinking, “Why haven’t the castaways moved in here yet? It’s safe; it’s dry; it’s got electricity.”

Which, of course, brought me back to my same old bugabooWhy in the name of all that is holy and good and righteous haven’t the castaways moved to Otherville yet? Jesus! Someone, anyone on the writing staff, PLEASE throw in a single line explaining this because it’s killing me! Of all the lame-brained things the castaways have done on the island, this is surely the stupidest. And every time an episode goes by without an explanation, a little piece of me dies.

And that’s just sad.

I’m on iTunes

My obsessive admiration for Steven P. Jobs and his crack squad of wunderkinder at Apple is well-known by anyone who has spoken to me for more than five minutes. (Um, I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize for this, too…)

So yeah, I know that this may be a little thing, but still… I can’t help but feel a little thrill when I visit iTunes and type in my name and…

Fanboy on iTunesThere I am. Well, my audiobook, at least.

I don’t know why it hits me so strongly. It’s just One of Those Things, I guess. You never think about it or anticipate it and then it just hits you. In fact, I didn’t think about it until five minutes ago, and my audiobook came out six weeks ago! But I thought about it just now and I checked and there it was.

I think it’s similar to the thrill authors feel the first time they see their books on the shelves of their local bookstores. You just get this moment of reality colliding with the fantasy in your mind as that fantasy becomes true.

In this case, it’s a virtual bookshelf, but it’s one stocked by the guy who oversaw and micromanaged into existence all the cool computer toys I play with.

So, y’know, it’s me and Steve and my hero, Bruce Springsteen, and…

Oh, shut up and let me dream!

Fanboy Goes to College

One of the most interesting (and certainly unexpected) aspects of my Texas Tour back in January was meeting Bill Monroe, a professor at the University of Houston. Bill actually uses The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl in his class on Literature and Alienation! That was pretty wild to learn. Even wilder was that my schedule allowed me time to visit Bill’s class, where I got to sit in on (and participate in!) a discussion of my own book. That was an incredible experience!

Bill answered a few questions about how and why he chose the book for the class, and even supplied a couple of response papers from students. You can see it all over on the Fanboy site.