Tuesday, June 20, 2006


According to Wikipedia:

Fanboy or fanboi is a term used to describe an individual (usually male, though the feminine version fangirl may be used for females) who is utterly devoted to a single subject or hobby, often to the point where it is considered an obsession.

I've don't think I've ever been a Fanboy, but I've come dangerously close a few times:
  • Star Wars: A New Hope - teen-aged boy, X-wings, Princess Leia. Who could blame me?
  • Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark - barely out of my teens, a bullwhip, Karen Allen in a ripped dress. Again, out of my control.
  • Home movies - A digital video camera and some desktop software combine to fulfill my dream of making my kids the most-documented humans in Modern History.

On the whole, I've always kept my eye on that line that separates enjoying the hell outta something versus dressing up in costumes and standing in line for something. But I find I'm being sorely tested as of late, and I hope it's not just some isotope of Mid-Life Crisis. Books seem to be the main culprits these days:

The Baroque Cycle - Neal Stephenson

A three-volume set (3000 pages) that attempts to tie together histories of monetary systems, international trade, modern science, and European history; all against a fictional backdrop that is often hilarious. Stephenson is one of my favourite SF writers these days, but this audacious effort goes beyond my expectations. A tough read, but well worth it. Makes me wish I were half as smart as the Author.

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom - Cory Doctorow

Doctorow is an upcoming Canadian writer (well-known in some corners of the blogosphere) who writes pretty good SF. Set in the not-too-distant future, the book focuses on a group of people who spend their lives obsessively trying to make DisneyWorld a better place. Since DisneyWorld is sorta one of my favourite places to visit (a topic for another post), the book was almost guaranteed to appeal to the likes of Me.

JPod - Douglas Coupland

Okay, I haven't finished reading this yet. As a bonafide professional computer geek, Coupland's Microserfs resonated with me when I read it 10 years(!) ago. Some of Coupland's work since then has been less to my liking, but I picked up JPod mostly on the assumption there'd be a Microserfs vibe there. Honestly, I've only read the 3-page stream-of-consciousness preamble to the first chapter. Coupland is amazing. I hope the rest of the book is as good.


Kid Dork said...

Ah, Stephenson. Cheryl adores him, and all the books are here (Baroque, and all his sci-fi), but I've yet to start reading him. I fear I will feel stupid.

I have JPod on hold at the library, but I may just break down and buy it on the weekend. As a writer who works as a custodian, I loved Microserfs because I wanted that job. I love Coupland. The fucker.

As a fanboy, I tend to spread my fanboy stuff out--Star Wars still holds a dear place with me, despite Lucas' best efforts. But the good Doctor? Fanboy ever since 'Pyramids of Mars' back in the day. If only I got into hockey instead...

Crazylegs said...

My dear ol' Dad introduced me to the good Doctor when I was a lad, and I was smitten for sure. I still have a soft spot for Tom Baker.

Fastforward. Cue the blushing.

I have been a less-than-regular viewer of the latest incarnations of the Doctor. It's not that I don't love the show, 'cause I do. In fact, I remember not wanting to watch Eccleston lest I be disappointed (I wasn't). I just never seem to connect time-wise to see the show. It's crazy - like I have some weird fetish for denial. Maybe I need a Tivo.

Neat to hear that you loved Microserfs. But I loved for a different reason, I think. The book was too damn accurate in how soul-destroying the computer business really is. It didn't help that I read the book right before I made a visit to Microsoft's Seattle campus for a 3-day visit. Coupland got the whole thing right. Too right. Makes me feel all cold inside.

P.S. One last point 'cause I'm feeling chatty. If you REALLY want to feel stupid, read Stephenson's Cryptonomicon. That's all I'll say.

Kid Dork said...

That book is behind me on the shelf, making faces at me, I'm sure.

Cher just started 'Jonathon Strange', and adores it. Have you read that?

Crazylegs said...

'Jonathan Strange' is a fantastic read! I adored it as well. Books of it's length usually leave me with a sense of satisfaction that I managed to plough through. 'Strange' is one of those rare books that (for me)left me wanting the story to keep going. I highly recommend it!

Sheena said...

I'm terrified to read Microserfs. Intrigued, yet repelled.

Crazylegs said...

Sheena.... I think you'd like it, but probably in the sense that it would confirm all your dark thoughts about The Evil That Envelops Seattle. Also, it's an excellent primer for the world of flat food. You'll see.

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