She inspired my first AOL screen name! I have to find her again!
January 28, 2014 1:17 PM   Subscribe

In the early 90s, as a teenager, I read a hardcover novel that I found on the new books shelf of our local library. All I remember about it was that it was set in the future, and involved an elaborate online world, a lot like Second Life. The main character, a woman, had never entered this world before, but she created an avatar in order to investigate a crime. Her avatar was named ELFIE and when she lurked invisibly in the world, she was represented as a pair of blinking eyes on the screen, but when she could actually affect things happening in the online world, she was a small, pretty elf. This book inspired my first email address:, which I kept for years, so I want to find it again. I am 100% positive about these facts, but I remember absolutely nothing else. Can you help?
posted by pretentious illiterate to Writing & Language (3 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Might it be Terminal Games? I haven't read it, but I found it using this search.
posted by Brent Parker at 1:37 PM on January 28, 2014

Response by poster: I think that's it! It's hard to tell for sure, since I can't see the whole book and neither the cover nor the flap copy sound familiar, but I do think I remember this sentence:

"Marianne liked to think of Elfie as having a kind of astral body. Elfie was an elf, after all - ethereal, androgynous, elusive, mysterious - always peeking around trees and rocks, hovering around the fringes of the mortal world."

"Ethereal, androgynous, elusive, mysterious..." Yeah, that sounds pretty much exactly like what thirteen year old me would have wanted to (falsely) convey about herself in an AOL chatroom.

posted by pretentious illiterate at 2:29 PM on January 28, 2014

Not my question, but I completely remember that book and have long considered trying to find out its title, and that is absolutely the book I remember -- it had this weird obsession with clowns, Auguste and Pierrot or just Auguste -- so thank you.
posted by jeather at 2:30 PM on January 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

« Older Best lens for Pentax camera to take pictures of...   |   How to get a 5 year old disney princess excited... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.