I thought I had reached a point where I was almost done with the book and would have more time to focus on the site again. Sadly, I was mistaken. It turned out that there was still a LOT left to do (clearing permissions for images, finishing a few chapters, editing, etc.). So that's why I haven't been posting much stuff lately. And I might as well admit that until July, I may not be able to post anything more because I really need to focus totally on the book. But come July, I have to be done, because my wife and I are going on vacation then (a long-planned vacation), and she's told me that I WILL NOT still be working on the book then, so that's pretty much an absolute deadline. So I should be able to resume posting then.
My wife and I will be doing a driving tour of hoaxes and wineries in the Northeastern U.S. After spending July 4 with my parents, we'll be driving up to Grovers Mill
in New Jersey (where the Martians landed in 1938), then on up to Cooperstown, NY where the Cardiff Giant
is. We'll next spend some time in the Niagara Falls area (visit some wineries in that region), then head over to Detroit where the fake Cardiff giant
is. Next we drive to the Forevertron antigravity machine
in Wisconsin, and finish up in Minneapolis where we're visiting family. Hopefully we'll also find lots of other interesting stuff along the way. I'm bringing along my laptop, so I should be able to post pictures of the trip as I go along (if I can find wireless internet connection along the way).
On another topic, after much debate my publisher and I have finally settled on a title for the book. My original title was the FAKE REALITY FIELD GUIDE, but that got canned because it was deemed not fun/quirky enough. So instead we've settled on HIPPO EATS DWARF: A FIELD GUIDE TO HOAXES AND OTHER FORMS OF B.S.
Hippo Eats Dwarf refers to the media hoax
of the same name. We chose it basically because it's such a strange phrase, so it provides some indication that the book is full of strange things. I was a little worried that the dwarf (or 'little people') community would take offense, but I hope not. 'A field guide to hoaxes'
is obvious. 'And other forms of b.s.'
was settled on after a lot of discussion. The book is full of things that are kind of hoaxy, but not quite hoaxes: botox masks, Michael Jackson's nose, imaginary girlfriends, bizarre reality tv concepts, staged political events, etc. I was referring to all of this as 'fake reality', but my publisher convinced me that most people browsing books in a bookstore wouldn't know what that meant. So we settled on 'b.s.' instead because there seems to be a surge of interest in studies about b.s. (such as Harry Frankfurt's On Bullshit
, and Laura Penny's Your Call is Important To Us: The Truth About Bullshit
). The marketing people at my publisher figured that 'b.s.' would better convey what I was talking about. Plus, it's funnier.
I'm still kind of fond of 'The Fake Reality Field Guide', but my publisher is probably right that not enough people would understand what I was referring to.