Posts Tagged ‘Lost’

Apophenia

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

Some things I’d like to think took inspiration from Timely Persuasion, but probably didn’t:

LOST – “Across The Sea”
The recent “Across the Sea” episode of LOST features two nameless main characters.  The only named character in TP is Nelson, the alleged bad guy. But is he really bad?  The only named character in this LOST episode is Jacob, the alleged good guy.  But is he really good?

Carter USM – The Drum Machine Years
On this live concert album by my favorite band, Jim Bob introduces the song “Spoilsports Personality of the Year” by saying “This song goes out to … a younger me.” Messages from a future self are a recurring theme in TP. Is Jim trying to reach his 30-something self?

Mike Doughty – Sad Man Happy Man
In the song “Pleasure on Credit” Doughty sings “I’ve got fun fun persuasion, smart girl not the crazy one.” I have this image in my head of him sitting on his couch while riffing on possible lyrics and noticing his copy of TP lying unread on the coffee table, giving inspiration to these words. Probably not true, but fun to imagine as a dramatization.

Delusions of reference aside, I do realize that these are all more than likely coincidences. However, I also know that Damon Lindelof, Jim Bob, and Mike Doughty are all aware of TP — I just don’t know if they’ve actually read it. So maybe… 🙂

Award

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

If anything goes wrong...

Fun little award courtesy of my friend LibbyHyaline at the TimeLoopTheory forum, in honor of my repeated ramblings on everyone’s favorite episode of LOST.

Ramblings IV

Sunday, January 17th, 2010
  • Been re-watching LOST in anticipation of the final season.  Finished off Season 1, then decided to jump straight to Season 5 presuming these two will be the most relevant to Season 6.  I’m still impressed with how well the time travel was handled in a “Whatever Happened, Happened” sort of way last year.  Biggest hindsight observation from the first season is the all-knowingness that surrounded Locke for the first 18 episodes or so.  The writer in me wonders if the revelation that ended last season was considered early on, abandoned when they mapped out the full arc of the character, and is now being revisited as part of the endgame…
  • Also LOST related:  The Trickshot posted a 4-part series of “Lost Vignettes” during the recent hiatus between chapters, chronicling a time traveler’s attempts to view the final season early.  Check them out here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.
  • Dinosaurs Were Made Up By The CIA to Discourage Time Travel” is an awesome song title, but the music doesn’t really do it for me.
  • The upcoming movie Hot Tub Time Machine has a pretty cool URL for their website: kicksomepast.com

Halloween

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

Guess who?

Faraday Halloween

(Yes, I know the beard is lacking.)

Email of the Day

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Faraday on Twitter

ARG(hhh!) Again, Naturally

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

Here we go again.

Back in November I wrote a post that detailed my small brush with infamy related to DarmaWantsYou.com.  This week saw the stars align for another 15 minutes of fame that felt worthy of revisiting.  The rough timeline:

February 29, 2008
Timely Persuasion is released.  The book includes 2 hidden easter eggs into a mini-ARG.  These go undiscovered for quite some time.

July 30, 2008
Kick-off of the official DharmaWantsYou ARG in between seasons 4 and 5 of Lost.  I accidentally typo the site when trying to visit it and get a page not found, which inspires me to register it myself as a good samaritan.  The intent was always this: “Hey, wrong site.  Here’s the real one, plus a shameless plug on something that might be of mutual interest.” This sets the series of events detailed in this post into motion.

May 1, 2009
Email from GoDaddy reminding me that DarmaWantsYou.com would be expiring in July.  I hadn’t touched the site since linking to my in-game Dharma questionnaire, which no longer existed since ABC took down the site of the original game.  With the content now somewhat pointless I decide I’ll most likely let the registration lapse in July.

May 16, 2009
With some time on my hands for the first time in ages, I check out my website stats and notice that DarmaWantsYou was still getting 30-50 hits per day even without a “real” site to point people back to.    With a little bit of traffic and a couple of months before expiration I thought it made sense to do a minor revision:

  • I changed the sub-header from “Has There Been An Incursion On This Site By The Hostiles?” to “What Lies In The Shadow Of The Statue?”
  • I killed the dead link to my time travel Dharma quiz from the defunct “real” game and replaced it with this:

Although Dharma is no more, there are other Initiatives…

study.LB-DG.com

The link points to the Timely Persuasion easter egg/mini-ARG that’s been up since the book’s launch in February of 2008.  My logic was that if people were looking for an ARG I might as well point them to something similar rather than leaving them with nothing.

Traffic to study.lb-dg.com went through the roof!

Traffic to study.lb-dg.com went through the roof!

May 18, 2009
Unbeknownst to me, a new Lost ARG called “Who Is Simeon Hobbes?” was on the verge of starting.  (Note:  This new ARG has since been revealed to be fan made and not canon.  Still pretty cool though.)  Someone discovers the LBDG study page with the password protected PDF and thinks it’s in-game despite the “I registered this page because of a typo” intro.  It hit Twitter, and things started to skyrocket from there.

So to be clear:

  • I’m not part of an official Lost ARG.
  • I’m not part of this fan-made WISH? ARG; nor did I intentionally try to hijack it.
  • There is a mini-ARG type thing embedded in Timely Persuasion, and the password protected PDF, the questions, and the word “Nelsonification” all tie back into the plot of the book.
  • The book is pretty good if I do say so myself 🙂

Props to user Jesus_Stick at the Lostpedia forums for figuring out the nod to John Titor in the LBDG logo, and to South for catching the Carter USM references in the questionnaire. Nice work!

PS: One last note, in regards to this at the LostARG blog:

PLEASE be especially aware of the lb-dg one, it asks you to send off a questionnaire with money.

The $1 I ask for at the bottom of the PDF isn’t a scam and isn’t intended as a money making scheme.  It’s actually there to discourage people from mailing the questionnaire back to the PO box, as I don’t really have a use for it.  But if someone does happen to send me a buck, they will get something of equal or greater value in return.

“There is no time travel” on LOST

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

With Season 5 firmly entrenched as “the time travel season” of LOST, I keep seeing reference to an old interview where the show’s producers said “there is no time travel” on the show.  People end up calling them liars and claim we can’t trust any hints they give regarding what may or may not be happening, and feel this is proof that they make it up as they go along.

I disagree.

Let’s look at the full quote in proper context:

“We’re still trying to be … firmly ensconced in the world of science fact. I don’t think we’ve shown anything on the show yet … that has no rational explanation in the real world that we all function within. We certainly hint at psychic phenomena, happenstance and … things being in a place where they probably shouldn’t be. But nothing is flat-out impossible. There are no spaceships. There isn’t any time travel.” — Damon Lindelof

This oft-cited quote is from an interview given during the first season.  A few things to pay attention to regarding the wording used:

“We’re still trying to be…”

The words “trying to be” seem important.  By definition, to try is to attempt to do something.  Lindelof is saying they are “still trying” to be grounded in science fact.  But since the answers aren’t all grounded in that world, they have to make a conscious effort — to try — to keep things reasonable in the early going.

This “trying to be” may have been ordered by ABC.  Ex-writer David Fury said in an interview that the first draft of Rousseau’s debut in the episode “Solitary” contained a line where she said her research team was studying “time” but the network asked to have it removed.  That episode predates this “no time travel” interview by 2 months.

“I don’t think we’ve shown anything on the show yet … that has no rational explanation…”

In this sentence he makes it a point to say “yet,” meaning “at the present time.”  To paraphrase: We haven’t shown anything yet (during season 1) with no rational explanation, but in future seasons we might…

Even more curious are the specific examples he gives to support his statement of what they have not yet shown:

“There are no spaceships. There isn’t any time travel.”

This was not in response to a direct question.  Nobody asked “Is the show about aliens?” or “Is the show about time travel?”  Had that been the case I wouldn’t be surprised if he skirted the issue or told a white lie to protect the secrets.  But here he’s outright volunteering it in what may be a clever hint dropping fashion. Keep in mind that this comes from a guy who called the secret code name for the ending of Season 4 “the frozen donkey wheel” and claimed the code word was needed so nobody would figure it out.  He hid the real answer in plain sight, as nobody suspected an actual frozen donkey wheel!

To paraphrase the original quote again: “We’re trying to stay in the world of science fact this season.  There are no spaceships and there isn’t any time travel…yet.”

If Damon was planting seeds for something that would happen years later, it’s brilliant.  But it does leave one question.

When will the spaceship show up?

“Constant” Craving

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Shortly after LOST aired Desmond’s time traveling adventures in “The Constant” I couldn’t wait for the Season 4 DVD to be released so I could hear the producer’s commentary on the episode.  My wait ended yesterday courtesy of Netflix, and it didn’t disappoint.

Below are some interesting excerpts, along with my own “commentary on the commentary” to go with it.

(Have I mentioned how much I love this episode?)

Carlton Cuse: This was one of the hardest story breaks on the show.  It took us about 5 weeks, normally it takes 2 weeks to break an episode.  It just was a really hard episode to figure out what was sort of above the water line.  When we think about stories we use a metaphor of an iceberg.  You have to construct the entire iceberg, but only 20% of the iceberg is ever actually seen. The same is true with a story.  You have to make a lot more of the story up and you have to make it all make sense but then you just show the part on screen that you want to show.  A lot of the challenge here was how much explanation goes on.  We didn’t want to bog things down in a lot of esoteric conversation about time travel but we wanted to find an emotional through line.  And that emotional through line became the essence of the show in “What is Desmond’s constant?”  Yes he’s time traveling, yes he’s experiencing an existence in two different consciousnesses, but the emotional constant that was taking him through it was Penny.

I really like the iceberg analogy as well as the debate over how much information is too much.  I had a similar challenge writing Timely Persuasion in that I wanted to explain enough of the time travel logic so it would make sense for people who cared, but as a whole the book is much more about the emotional journey of the narrator (who happens to travel in time) rather than being “a book about time travel.”

Damon Lindelof: When he just said “I was on a ferris wheel” I cannot wait to do a scene at some point in the next two seasons where in the background we just see Minkowski riding a ferris wheel and we realize “Oh, that’s where he leapt to.”

I love the subtle use of the word “leapt,” which feels like a tiny Quantum Leap reference.

Damon Lindelof: Here is a touchstone of the great traditional time travel story which is where you have the expert, played by Faraday the physicist – he’s our Doc Brown here who basically tells the protagonist to go find him in the past.  Which, you know, it works every time.

He’s completely correct on the “expert” being necessary in every time travel tale.  The old man serves this purpose in TP, though he never asks the narrator to seek him out in the past (for obvious reasons if you’ve read the book).  And of course Doc Brown is the most cited example since BTTF is such a classic, perfect story.

Carlton Cuse: The one thing we insidiously avoid when it comes to time travel on Lost is what is known as paradox.  This whole notion that you show up and see your same self in another period of time.

Damon Lindelof: We’re going to come to paradox in a moment, but essentially this is our flux capacitor scene.  Desmond has just come to Faraday and here’s a key line here:

FARADAY: You can’t change the future.

Damon Lindelof: There it is.  You can’t change the future.  Those are the rules on Lost which are very had to adhere to.  Because if you tell the audience that something that Desmond does in 96 can alter the present, you go back to the episode we did last year where Ms. Hawking comes to Desmond and says no matter what you do the course of time will find a way to course correct.  So you can save somebody’s life who’s supposed to die but eventually the universe will find a way to kill them anyways.

Mark Goldman: So you can change the immediate future?

Damon Lindelof: Yeah, you can change the immediate future.

This is a clarification that answers one of my most burning questions:  Can you change the future or not?  The concept of “course correction” is a little fuzzy, but I like how they are doing something different.  Most time travel “rules” say either you can’t change anything or you need to be very careful as everything can easily change even if you didn’t intend for it to.  But on Lost the rule says you can change certain immediate things, but long term they’ll still work their way back to the “right” way.  Thus they dodge both paradox and the butterfly effect in their take on the genre.

Carlton Cuse: What we’re trying to illustrate here is that this process was also not a constant process.  People experience it differently.  What’s happening to Minkowski is not the same as what’s happening to Desmond and what’s happening to Desmond is not the same as what’s happening to Eloise.  The fundamental process is the same but the results vary.  Sort of like how different people can take steroids and have different results.  Different people can be exposed…

Damon Lindelof: As Carlton was basically mentioning Eloise’s consciousness was just sent an hour into the future where she already knows how to run the maze.  Desmond’s past consciousness is traveling into the future as well whereas Minkowski’s present consciousness is traveling to the past because as we will soon learn he has no future to travel to since he’s about to die on the boat.

Different effects on different people is also a refreshing change from most stories.  It’s just more realistic as the steroids analogy illustrates.  It also helps to keep things new and surprising.  The audience isn’t like “oh, another time travel episode.”  Instead it’s “how does time travel work this time?”  This parallels the three different levels of time travel I tried to infuse into TP for similar reasons.

Carlton Cuse: Now you know why it took us 5 weeks to break this story.  And the thing was we had to work out all of these permutations and we’re trying not to violate the concept of paradox.  That’s the part where we find that time travel is not engaging for the audience.  You want to see the people move back and forth between the two different time zones but the kind of encounters with themselves and alterations of the future was something we really are opposed to.  We want people to be invested in the future.  We don’t want the audience to think they’ve seen Kate and Jack have this intense conversation in a flash forward at the end of Season 3 and then discover somehow that it means nothing; that basically a new parallel future could be constructed in which that is rendered as having not ever existed.  No.  That was real.  It means something.  That can be the only inevitable course of events.

The concept that “flash forwards” on the show are inevitable feels like more of a creative decision rather than something related to their “rules” of time travel, especially when paired with the concept of course correction explained previously.  They’ve made the decision not to change future events the audience is aware of so as not to have a get out of jail free card.  On a show like Heroes we see one future and understand that the goal of the time traveler is to alter that future, on Lost we know that future will remain — and possibly even be caused — by some time traveling actions yet to come. This is important since Lost isn’t a show about time travel as much as it is a show that includes time travel in the underlying gears.

Damon Lindelof: Minkowski was absolutely essential to this story because this is another tenet of successful time travel stories and the function that essentially Q played in “All Good Things” which is there is someone who is undergoing and understands the same series of events as our protagonist.  Faraday can speculate as to what’s happening to Desmond but Minkowski actually knows what is happening to Desmond emotionally.

The part that Faraday can only speculate what’s happening whereas Minkowski actually knows from experience is a great in that it hints at the fact that Faraday might be wrong.  After all, his knowledge is only theoretical.  As I’ve metioned before, I dislike it when a character in a book or movie or tv show has a theory and that theory always turns out to be 100% correct.  Trial and error (especially error) helps to propel a story forward while grounding a sci-fi theme with an extra layer of reality.

TP takes a slightly different approach and combines the Faraday and Minkowski perspectives to a degree.  The old man can sympathize with the experiences of the narrator having shared them, but he’s also just as confused on a lot of the hows and whys since he doesn’t really know.  He can theorize, but his theories are just as likely (if not more likely) to be proven wrong as they are to be proven right.

Carlton Cuse: We wanted Desmond at some point in this story to see himself and see what he looks like.  His consciousness you realize — this story is told from the point of view of the 1996 Desmond  — so that’s is the first time he really gets to see himself looking like Eddie Vedder.

I hoped they would call out an intentional nod to Quantum Leap with the “Desmond sees himself in the mirror” scene, but unfortunately they didn’t.  But that Eddie Vedder comparison is awesome.

Twins?

Twins?

I never thought about this until Carlton said it, but I think Henry Ian Cusick is a lock for the lead in any future Pearl Jam biopic.

Carlton Cuse: The hardest thing to crack on a story level is here you have a very complex time travel episode and we wanted it like everything else on the show not to be just hard core genre.  So we had to figure out a way to really have the episode have some emotional resonance.  We like to refer to both of our mothers.  This is one of those episodes where they might not really understand everything that’s going on but they were clearly set up for the big emotional payoff that’s coming up.  I think the show succeeds at its best when it does both things.  It provides fodder for the mythology fans and we can take on some cool genre things and put our own spin on them but always first and foremost look at those emotional connections which we believe is why the larger part of the audience is watching.

Carlton reiterates something he said previously about how the show works best when it has something for everyone.  If it was all mythology and mystery and time travel it might be a cult favorite, but it probably wouldn’t be as popular as it is and it probably would have been canceled early in season 3.  But by keeping it about characters and relationships despite any bigger picture mythology that surrounds it, you end up with what is quite possibly the greatest television show of all time.  Personally I love it on both levels equally, with time travel just being the surprise icing on the cake.

Damon Lindelof: And now we have Minkowski buy the farm which is the other thing a dramatic story requires which is a clock.  And now the clock is going to be if Desmond can’t make this call in time he is going to go the way of Minkowski.

Even though they go out of their way to say they avoid paradox on the show at all costs, the fact that not finding your constant results in death feels like it flirts with paradox.  I interpret it to be the doomsday scenario:  If you put yourself in a paradoxical situation you will die.  Lindelof seems to confirm this interpretation later when he says:

Damon Lindelof: What does he have to achieve in the past that’s going to help him in the present?  The idea that we came up with is he has to get Penny’s number. This very stupid idea that when a guy first meets a girl he’s just trying to get her number now suddenly the entire future of this relationship — and in fact the season finale of season 4 hinges upon Desmond’s ability to convince a 1996 Penny to give him her phone number and not change it.

Sounds like the potential for paradox to me, with the producer’s pledge to not allow that situation to happen being what saves the day via the deus ex machina known as “course correction.”

Damon Lindelof: And this is a fairly intriguing little coda that we stuck on to the end of the episode that was always in the script: “If anything goes wrong Desmond Hume will be my constant.”  Obviously this is all setup for Faraday’s own story.  One would certainly ask why he didn’t remember having ever met Desmond if in fact this had occurred.

Carlton Cuse: And that is a good question.

Damon Lindelof: And that is an excellent question to be asking, and that is your first clue.

In typical Lost fashion, one of the biggest unanswered questions about the episode is mentioned but still unanswered.  How and when did that note get into Faraday’s notebook?  And what is our first clue?  Such a tease…

Buy Lost Season 4 on DVD to hear the commentary, or catch up on the show with free streaming episodes at ABC.com.

Ramblings I

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

In the spirit of the early years of the Pearl Jam Xmas Single, here are some tangentially on-topic thoughts not big enough for their own posts:

  • I’ve been having recurring dreams (and/or daydreams) where M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel (aka She & Him) cover “Start Choppin’” by Dinosaur Jr., trading verses in an acoustic duet.  Sounds fabulous too, with M. nailing the high pitched “goodbye” parts and the whole thing feeling very much like “Sometimes Always” or “Do You Love Me Now Jr.?
  • Time Magazine called “The Constant” from Season 4 of LOST the single best television episode of 2008.  And with its brilliant use of time travel I think the episode will eventually turn my trinity (Replay, Quantum Leap, Back To The Future) into a quartet.
  • The original Back To The Future is being re-released as a double disc DVD in February.  Footage from “Back To The Future: The Ride” that was recently closed down will be included as a bonus feature.  This was on the wishlist when the original DVDs of the trilogy came out a few years ago.  Now only the Eric Stoltz as Marty footage eludes us…
  • I’m in the middle of reading Slaughterhouse-Five for the first time and was pleasantly surprised to come across the line: “Billy blinked in 1965, traveled in time to 1958.”  Perhaps that’s where my future self got the phrasing.  So it goes…

ARG(hhh!)

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

I’m a big fan of the TV show LOST.  I’m also a bit of an Internet geek.  So when they pulled these two concepts together in their nearly annual Alternate Reality Game (ARG) between seasons I was quite excited — especially when they hinted at more time travel in the video that kicked it off.

Now that the game has seemingly met an early demise (though you never can tell for sure with these things), I figured it was an appropriate time for a minor confession/explanation in regards to DarmaWantsYou.com, aka my adventure in mild cybersquatting.

It started off innocently enough.  It was late in the evening and I read on a blog that the ARG was starting at www.DharmaWantsYou.com.  Rather than clicking on a link I typed the address manually into a browser and got a page not found error.  I quickly realized that I had missed the “H” in Dharma and the typo prevented me from reaching the proper site.

After correcting my error and registering, I found it odd that the creators of the game hadn’t also registered the seemingly common typo.  I was in the early throes of book promotion and decided this could be a cheap awareness exercise, so I grabbed the domain myself.

My intent wasn’t to con people.  I felt (and still feel) that fans of LOST are likely to enjoy Timely Persuasion due to the time travel theme, the sci-fi though not heavy sci-fi plot, and a few coincidental elements regarding important numbers, a secret hospital, a rock star, and some time travel theory that’s scarily similar to an episode of LOST titled “The Constant.”  (Again — all purely coincidental since the book was primarily written in 2003.)  I also thought the fact that the book contained a mini-ARG would appeal to gamers joining this Dharma ARG as a bonus surprise.

Now in the wee hours of that same night, I quickly whipped up a landing page.  I made sure to play the honesty card first: (I made the same typo so I registered this site as a good samaritan – here is the site you are really looking for).  Then I  gave my shameless plug by linking to the free online version of the book (linking to the paid version felt dirty), peppered the whole thing with some Dharma related phrases from the show to play up the fact that I’m a true fan (Hostiles, Good Guys, Namaste), and signed it.

In a closing flash of inspiration I put the famous numbers from the show after my signature, followed by the numbers from the book as an intriguing teaser, and dropped into narrator mode with an appropriate lyrical quote.

During the final proofread I deleted a smart-ass comment after my intro that inferred that I was part of the game, but then instead decided to fade out the transparency of the text on both that line and the numbers.  This is probably the only place I can be accused of being intentionally coy and deceitful, but like I said it was late and it seemed like fun.

Right out of the gate the page was getting around 100 unique hits per day.  Based on early message board chatter, most people correctly interpreted it for what it was: A clever way to market a book, with a few posts of thanks for taking the high road and pointing people in the right direction.

Then the stars aligned in some unplanned ways.

The game was moving at an extremely slow pace.  After launching a day late a full week went by without any updates, leaving players restless for clues.

I was one of these restless players, and ended up discovering a clue before anyone else.  Each time the game sent out an email they linked to an HTML version of the same message that contained the date at the end of the URL as the filename (/0808.php, for example).  Bored, I started modifying the URL with upcoming dates and found a new email a couple of days early.  (At the time I thought the email was intended to be found, but shortly after I discovered this the game creators started password protecting these email pages until their official day of release.)

I submitted what I found to Lost blogger DarkUFO under the book related alias LBDG, which led to some discussion boards believing me to be an in-game source intentionally leaking info.  My favorite example is in this thread from the Lostpedia Forums:

“It might be a coincidence, but if it turns out that the same guy who wrote a book about traveling through time to save dead people was really the one who found the hidden email, kudos to him.”

More coincidences started to play into my favor unexpectedly as well, including:

  1. My real name is Jacob, same as a key character in the LOST mythology.
  2. The first LOST ARG used a novel called Bad Twin that tied into both the game and the show, giving plausibility to the idea that another book could be used in this ARG.
  3. The same day I found the clue, I had published a blog post comparing the book to Buddhism that used the term Dharma.  (I’d actually written the analysis years before and was holding back on blogging it until I finished my series of chapter commentaries.)
  4. The day after I found the clue I posted a quote from the song “Ocean” by Sebadoh on the narrator’s LB-DG.com tumblog, which was interpreted as a reference to Lost’s Island by a few people.
  5. The Extras section of the website includes a short story I wrote several years ago called “Paradox Lost” that was later folded into Timely Persuasion.

A few more message board quotes:

“I am thinking he is just making a good way to promote his story, and it is pretty nice of him to link the real dharma site, much more than i can say for a lot of dharma fake sites.”

“I’m a little freaked out. I can’t tell if this guy is an uberfan like us, part of the ARG, or a brilliant strategist who is certain to dupe countless Lost addicts into reading his book.  Either way, I’m about to start.”

“I’ve read through the first couple of chapters, and there’s already mention of playing certain lottery numbers, time travel, the purchase of airplane tickets, and the fact that the author’s name is (supposedly) Jacob. I’m not ruling it out just yet. And as I believe someone mentioned somewhere before, even it it turns out to be a dead end, it does serve to entertain us while we wait for the definite clues to turn up.”

I maintained my pageviews for the duration of the game, spiking upwards near the low thousands on days the game sent out official emails.  Quite a few visitors seemed to at least start reading the book based on my stats.  Here are some more of their comments (with answers from me where appropriate in red):

“LMAO  “The answer was obvious. You need to have balls to travel in time.”  Now i’m not really sure about this…”

To be honest I wasn’t sure about that line when I wrote it, but everyone finds it to be quite memorable…

“You are better off renting the Butterfly Effect as the concept is ripped from it.”

Butterfly Effect similarities are unintentional; the book was actually written before that movie came out.

“Yes, with a dash of Back To The Future.  From the mind of a man who could pwn at Rock ‘n’ Roll trivial pursuit.”

Guilty as charged on BTTF references, and flattered by the pwnage comment.

“I’m actually reading this book Timely Persuasion and it actually explains some things for me about what Faraday might be experiencing.”

I agree that it seems similar, though according to Faraday you can’t change the future, and by my rules you can.

“I started reading it, but I’m not too interested until it’s confirmed that it is part of the game…it doesn’t seem to be written too well.”

Ouch.  First person I’ve ever encountered to say it isn’t written well.  Even Gavin Williams called it “good writing” in his negative partial review, only having issue with the narrative voice and the storyline.

“Let me know when he updates with lyrics from Genesis’ “Home By The Sea.”

I think I owe this person a little bit of credit

If you were one of the people who checked out the novel after finding out about it in this way: Thanks!  I greatly appreciate you giving it a chance and hope it helped entertain you during the lulls in the mediocre DWY experience.  And if you want to give my mini-ARG a try, Chapter 18 is probably your best entry point.

(One final note to my Brazilian Orkut friends – a special thanks for creating the group and being the trailblazers for the ARG.  I’ll save the story of how we met and some of our interactions for a future post.   I also know I still owe you guys more clues for phase two.  It’s in the works and should be ready early next year.  Batteries Ice Pint…)