Archive for June, 2009

Ramblings III

Saturday, June 27th, 2009
  • Whenever I (legally) drive through a yellow light it makes me think of Back to the Future and how difficult it would logistically be to time driving through a lightning strike with such precision.
  • Read a cool short story called “The Variant” by John August.  Well worth the 99 cent price tag.  And without giving too much away, it’s definitely on-topic for this blog.
  • The Quantum Leap Fanfilm “A Leap to Di For” I referenced after the QL convention is now streaming online for free.  Check it out at Racso Films.  (No full screen option on the site.  If you want full screen, try opening this .FLV link in a standalone player such as VLC.)

Another Man’s DG

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

While walking the dog I had a random thought: Why did I use “Local Boy Done Good” instead of “Local Boy Done Gone” in TP?

This question came out of nowhere. There was no internal debate over the name of Local Boy or his album during the writing phase. I honestly don’t remember any distinct inspiration. It had a nice rhythm, the LBDG letters looked and sounded good together, and that was that. But now that this new “Done Gone” thing had entered my head I couldn’t shake it, leading to this chain of revisionist history…

  • One of the songs the narrator taught Local Boy in the past could have been “Another Man’s Done Gone” from the Billy Bragg & Wilco collaboration Mermaid Avenue.
  • The “DG” in the LBDG album found in the record store would link back to that reference.
  • In the Local Boy recap chapter, LB could be wrapped up in the mild controversy between Woody Guthrie’s estate and Bob Dylan over the rights to Woody’s leftover lyrics, leaving the narrator in a bit of hot water for “borrowing” a song that he considered to be “from the future” which had actually been written but unreleased in the past.
  • And best of all, it would set up an awesome title for a career spanning box set: Local Boy Done Gone Called It Quits Live At The Coverville Barnstormer.

(Confused?  Refresh your memory on the adventures of Local Boy in Chapters 15 through 17 of Timely Persuasion either online, in paperback, or on the Amazon Kindle.)

What happened happened, and all things considered I’m fine with the Local Boy Done Good album title.  But what might have been if I fully explored the above thread?  I leave you with this:

So when you think of me, if and when you do
Just say, “Well, another man’s done gone”

Similarities

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

Just got back from a trip to Hawaii where I got quite a bit of reading and writing done.  Oddly enough, the last 3 books I’ve read bore some interesting similarities to Timely Persuasion.

Anathem by Neal Stephenson
Set in an alternate universe of the far future, the novel introduces the concept of the Hylaean Theoric World.  Without giving too much away, the HTW is essentially a group of other parallel worlds.  Within these worlds exist alternate versions of yourself, and certain people are able to subconsciously communicate with their parallel counterparts.  This is somewhat similar to the “message from your future self” time travel theory in TP.

Lowboy by John Wray
Another novel set in a not so distant future, this one’s similarity to TP is a bit more of a stretch.  The title character of Lowboy has an occasional tendency to speak in song lyrics.  Although it doesn’t approach the level of lyrical Tourette’s the narrator of Timely Persuasion has, discovering another literary lyric speaker was neat.

The Ghost In Love by Jonathan Carroll
My wife made me read this.  She had read it 3 times in a row and then read it a fourth over my shoulder.  And it really is that good.  But I’m going to stick with the theme of this post and only talk about similarities to TP…

Like the HTW in Anathem, The Ghost In Love comes a little closer to TP territory with a section where a character meets all of her past selves.  It both is and isn’t time travel, but I already think I’m giving too much away.  Just keep Timely Persuasion in mind when you read it and you’ll know what I mean.

There’s also a hilarious rant on Neil Young that had me laughing so hard I’m going to excerpt it here:

“[A] teenager angry at her parents threw open her bedroom window, turned her stereo speakers toward the street, and blasted Neil Young’s awful song “Heart of Gold” out into the unprepared ears of the world.  Even worse, precisely the part of the song where the harmonica solo comes in. … Any creature’s first orgasm introduces it to a new level of joy.  Neil Young’s harmonica solo that day had exactly the opposite effect.”

How awesome is that?

As I said in the earlier post on original ideas, the point of this post isn’t at all to say that I think these other books copied me.  It’s really just a fun coincidence that other authors explored similar themes or ideas in different ways.  Great minds, etc.