Taiwan Science Fiction Novel Advertising: An Exercise in Exaggeration and Mathematics

Y tuned me into the Taiwanese ad posted below for the Chinese version of Warren Fahy’s Fragment, which you can also find here:

With Y’s help, I translated the ad below (with some commentary):

Y explains to me that in Taiwan book publishers are notorious for making bold claims about authors and new books. In this case, the advertisement begins by proclaiming, “Father of Science Fiction Michael Crichton’s most legitimate heir was born” [meaning the author: Warren Fahy]. I have no complaint with Fahy, but I have never heard anyone refer to Crichton, the author of The Andromeda Strain, Westworld, and Jurassic Park, as the father of science fiction!

The bottom of the ad tries to link Fahy’s work with other, better-known science fictions. However, the copywriter goes above the call of duty and devises a clever algebraic equation to drive home the sheer brilliance of Fahy’s novel: “(Jurassic Park + Lost) x Avatar = So good that it makes you lose control!” I wonder how many U.S. readers would be able to work through the process of this equation? I love the fact that copywriters in Taiwan think highly enough of their readers to grok advertising like this.

I haven’t read anything by Fahy before. Can you recommend Fragment or another of his novels? If so, leave a comment below. Thanks!

I am a professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on 20th/21st-century American culture, science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology.

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Who is Dynamic Subspace?

Dr. Jason W. Ellis shares his interdisciplinary research and pedagogy on DynamicSubspace.net. Its focus includes the exploration of science, technology, and cultural issues through science fiction and neuroscientific approaches. It includes vintage computing, LEGO, and other wonderful things, too.

He is an Assistant Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY (City Tech) where he teaches college writing, technical communication, and science fiction.

He holds a Ph.D. in English from Kent State University, M.A. in Science Fiction Studies from the University of Liverpool, and B.S. in Science, Technology, and Culture from Georgia Tech.

He welcomes questions, comments, and inquiries for collaboration via email at jellis at citytech dot cuny dot edu or Twitter @dynamicsubspace.

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