Tuesday, April 12, 2011
#Quakebook: Co-authored by Mr. Salaryman, William Gibson and a bunch of other people
I don't really feel like going through the whole history of this book, those of you interested should check out the official blog of the #quakebook here. The short version is that it was thought up by My Man in Abiko at one point when he was naked, it had something to do with people sending twitter messages all over the place and then a book got done pretty quickly and then it built quite a buzz.
All proceeds of the book will go directly to the Japanese Red Cross to support the survivors of the earthquake with Amazon waivering their normal commission, so buying the book at $9.99 means that the full amount will go to the JRC. The book in digital format is available here at Amazon.com, if you are even the least bit interested in how people perceived the quake, why not buy it and even if the book doesn't interest you that much, you can still sleep a little better knowing that you donated a little money to the relief efforts here in Japan. If you are completely uninterested in the book, you can still go to the page and donate some money directly to the JRC and still sleep better at night without having to download the book.As you probably have figured out, a piece by me is in the book (based on this post) and I feel a little bad about it since if I had known it would snowball as it has done, I would have put a little more time in it and written something different under my own name. In the beginning, I didn't really care that much if I ended up in the book or not since I wasn't really sure on whether the tone of my piece would be suitable or not.
However, this all changed the day I saw that they had gotten legendary sci-fi writer William Gibson to participate with an original piece for #Quakebook... I mean, when Neuromancer, Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive came out, I was heavily into the "Electronic Body Music" subculture (for you americans, think something like goth with less gloom and more electronics) where those books quickly became the bibles of the subculture and had a tremendous impact. Not to mention that his books made it a bit cool to have Japanese heritage.
(in fact, just thinking of it made me want to watch the classic Frontline Assembly Mindphaser video again... and makes me remember how I, during my first visit in Tokyo, desperately scavenged obscure video stores to get a copy of the Gunhead movie that the video took most of the visuals from - yeah, the movie sucked)
So for me, being able to say, that I "co-authored a book with William Gibson" is something huge. "Yoko Ono is in there too" - Couldn't care less, she might brag about being co-author of a book with me though, but that's her right. This is almost up there with becoming a temporary member of the Ramones and be able to start calling myself Mr. Salaryman Ramone (sadly, with the passing of Dee Dee, Joey and Johnny it's not very likely to happen...).
Ok, I can't help being a little annoyed with some of the edits done to my piece... In particular the part from the original going:
"The situation in the Fukushima plant is still worrisome, but the worst doomsday advocates seem to have calmed down a little bit; perhaps because the reality is bad enough and some foreign media was playing up the "the situation is beyond critical" angle so hard yesterday that instead of trying to trump it, they went with Libya instead and other news that had more drama in them."
...somehow got edited down to a much blander:
"The situation in the Fukushima plant is still worrisome, but the worst doomsday advocates seem to have calmed down a little bit. Perhaps this is because the reality is bad enough and the foreign media has switched its reporting to the situation in Lybia and other, more dramatic news stories"
But hey, it's all good, my blog is still here and I understand that the whole book was finished under heavy time pressure and I can cross out "co-author with William Gibson" with my big list of "things I want to achieve before I die" so I have no complaints! Now buy the book, donate some extra and feel like you did something useful!