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!

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Jason W. Ellis

I am an Associate Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology. Also, I direct the B.S. in Professional and Technical Writing Program and coordinate the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, which holds more than 600 linear feet of magazines, anthologies, novels, and research publications.