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D.B. WeissEdit

D.B. Weiss is an American author and screenwriter. Weiss attended Wesleyan University, earned a M.Phil. in Irish Literature at Trinity College in Dublin, and an MFA in creative writing from Iowa Writers Workshop. Lucky Wander Boy is his debut novel; he has been connected to other video game and sci-fi/fantasy scripts, including Halo and HBO's Game of Thrones adaptation.

Lucky Wander Boy [2003]Edit

Lucky Wander Boy has high hopes and elite influences, but is bogged down by generic prose and unsympathetic characters. It's entire claim to "fame" is as a mainstream fiction about video game nostalgia. Here, the book shines as an example of the isolated obssessionalism that video game history seems to engender among its fans.

In its themes and inspiration, it gestures to the rich intertextual play of Calvino, the amusing coincidences of DeLillo and the cyber-secret intrigue of Gibson, but lacks the refinement of such authors. The book is littered with off-hand references to Benjamin, McLuhan, Hegel, Heidegger and Mill, but these moments are surface and belabored. It also creates a schism between the writing and the character, as it is evident that the protagonist doesn't have the request intellectual or class capital to be refering to such academic themes.

Nonetheless, the book is Adam Pennyman's search for aura; first through MAME, then vintage cartridges, but he constantly wants more, more answers, more meaning, more ways to make the game of his childhood the mythology of his life. His efforts are geneological, in that he searches back to the game's originator, only to find that she herself rejected her failure of a game. However, the book has one solid archaeological moment, in its "write-up" of China Syndrome, where the protagonist's writing strings together the atomic bomb tests, Ham the space monkey, Rosewell space crashes and the Atari melt-down of 1983. Here, Weiss may have been influenced by J.C. Herz's similar chapter on game illustrators and the Cold War in her book Joystick Nation.

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