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Ok bookworms, anybody know the titles of these two books?
November 26, 2012 3:26 PM   Subscribe

Ok bookworms, anybody know the titles of these two books? One is a young adult science fiction novel about a kid who writes a computer program universe that starts creating life within the program. The second is a picture book with very cool illustrations of animals (or monsters) in the forest, possibly hiding, somewhat in the art style of Where the Wild Things Are, possibly having to do with a magical machine of some sort, or a magician or salesman.
posted by mediamelt to Writing & Language (15 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Could the first one be High Wizardry by Diane Duane?
posted by Aliera at 3:35 PM on November 26, 2012


It's definitely not High Wizardry, but thanks for trying. I'm fairly sure these were released in the same time-period however (late 80s to early 90s).

I guess another question would be: does anybody know a good forum, newslist, email chain etc where knowledgeable hard-core readers identify books with only vague plot details to go off of?
posted by mediamelt at 3:40 PM on November 26, 2012


Do you have an idea of where you might have read it? For example, was it in Asimov's or Analog? Was it in a short story anthology bound into a book? Was it on the internet?
posted by brenton at 3:42 PM on November 26, 2012


The Hacker and the Ants by Rudy Rucker?
posted by kbuxton at 3:44 PM on November 26, 2012


It is definitely a book, not a short story.

It's definitely not The Hacker and the Ants, but thanks for trying. I'm remembering it was a very vanilla story. The main character isn't on any planet or anything, it all took place in normal life on earth.

On the second book I should add that it was a larger book, not unlike the size of the book The 11th Hour.
posted by mediamelt at 4:00 PM on November 26, 2012


Only You Can Save Mankind... for the first one, maybe?
posted by BungaDunga at 4:46 PM on November 26, 2012


Is the second one Puzzle Island (which I recently rediscovered thanks to an ask metafilter question)? The main character was a scientist, if I recall correctly.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:46 PM on November 26, 2012


Is the first book Boltzmon! by William Sleator?
posted by Oliva Porphyria at 5:47 PM on November 26, 2012


I guess another question would be: does anybody know a good forum, newslist, email chain etc where knowledgeable hard-core readers identify books with only vague plot details to go off of?
Back when I was doing the librarian thing we often turned to the Fiction_L listserve with obscure title questions like yours. If it is a fantasy or science fiction title, you can try the Science Fiction and Fantasy Stack Xchange too.
posted by Revie1 at 5:55 PM on November 26, 2012


Is the first "The Gadget Factor"?
posted by dadici at 9:38 PM on November 26, 2012


I guess another question would be: does anybody know a good forum, newslist, email chain etc where knowledgeable hard-core readers identify books with only vague plot details to go off of?

For children's books: Stump the Bookseller, at Loganberry Books. The stumper service is on hiatus till January, but you could have a look through the archives in the meantime and see if anything looks like a match.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 12:44 AM on November 27, 2012


I thought of Animalia by Graeme Base for the second book, but couldn't remember the story. Now I see it might not be it since it's about learning the alphabet, but thought I'd mention it just in case.
posted by E3 at 1:21 AM on November 27, 2012


The first one almost certainly isn't Permutation City, but it's such a good book about a similar theme I thought I'd mention it.
posted by curious_yellow at 4:35 AM on November 27, 2012


First one: Vivian Vande Velde's User Unfriendly (memorable scenes: NPCs start looping when they run into bugs in the program; also patches of total nothingness start appearing due to bugs) and/or Heir Apparent?
posted by nonane at 6:17 AM on November 27, 2012


You might also try posting your question in one of reddit's sci fi subreddits (r/scifi or r/printSF), r/youngadultbooks, or on their more general r/tip of my tongue subreddit.

Side note: nonane, thanks for reminding me of Vivian Vande Velde! I loved Heir Apparent when I was younger!
posted by Oliva Porphyria at 9:29 PM on November 27, 2012


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