05. 22. 2004
Love and Tech in Fiction
I've been reading reviews of the new books, Be More Chill and Adventures of the Artificial Woman and based on the buzz, both are going to take off, way beyond the sci-fi crowd.
Ned Vezzini, the 23-year old writer of "Be More Chill" is getting some good reviews but I don't know how much I can like a guy whose first book was an autobiography, published at the ripe old age of 17. Come on. Anyway, "Chill" is about a dorky high school guy who becomes cool by swallowing a "squip", a pill-sized "super-computer". The computer tells him how to dress, what to say, you know, how to be more chill. Yeah, I'm a little dubious but Amazon says it's "searingly witty" and "suprisingly poignant". All of Vezzini's Squip Central cluster of websites are obvious PR fabrication (yeah I know, I thought the butt skirts were real...) but I think the news byte about the Weitz Brothers (American Pie, About a Boy) signing on to make the film version is true. Looks like there are already some Vezzini haters and I guess I should actually read the book before I join in.
Thomas Berger's "Adventures of the Artificial Woman" looks much more promising. It's a Pygmalion tale of an animatronics technician who decides to build his dream wife. He's so successful in making her the ultimate woman that she leaves him to become a movie star, then seeks the Presidency. Sounds as dark and surreal as Berger's "The Houseguest", which I mostly enjoyed. I see this becoming a movie starring Apple Martin's mummy.