I was going through my bookshelves yesterday and came across a gem I had somehow forgotten about. ‘The Hacker’, by Chet Day. It’s an exciting horror novel about an insular BBS community that has a bizarre brush with terror.
The book isn’t very good, I’m afraid, but I have it and keep it because I’m in it.
I grew up hanging out on BBSes in New Orleans. In them days, the alias BBSes didn’t do any of that goofy voice-validation or anything. You signed on with an alias and went to town. Despite horror stories you may hear about such things, we never had any major problems with this system. Anyway, Chet Day was also on those BBSes. And he used them, in a sense, as research for this book of his.
In the book, the major BBS the characters hang out on is called The Operating Room, and the sysop is The Surgeon. Chet (in his BBS alter-ego) told me that The Surgeon was based on me, or at leats, on what he imagined I’d be like, since he didn’t know me off of the boards. (To be fair, he said there were elements of other people from the BBSes mixed into that character.)
So that’s my tiny claim to fame. Don’t go looking for it in Barnes and Noble - it went out of print long ago. But if you see it in the used bookstore, give it a friendly pat for me.
Anyone else have a similar claim to fame?
Well, my husband used to be mentioned in 3D Studio books for his kick-ass shareware. But they included the code on subsequent releases so it wasn’t a plugin anyone needed to go get anymore.
That’s not that cool, though, is it?
My friend Kim is mentioned in “Shut Up and Deal,” a book about professional poker players, but that’s about as close as I get. Which ain’t close.
A website I designed and maintained was reviewed in The Rough Guide to English Football, but other than one mention of my name that was about it.
Legomancer, is that the same Chet Day who sends me vegetarian/vegan recipes three times a week? (Just curious.)
I’m listed as a playtester in a couple of modules, got a Special Thanks mention in the 3rd edition of the Hero System, and a writer I know put my name on a character with a walk-in part in one of his comic books.
Yup. I was tuckerized* in a YA novel by Sandra Scoppettone called Trying Hard to Hear You. It’s actually something of a YA classic, since it was one of the first to discuss teenagers dealing with homosexuality.
It’s about a group of teenagers involved in a production of “Anything Goes” in my home town in the early 70s. We actually did perform the play (Sandra was the director) and nearly all of the characters in the book are based closely on the actual people involved – so much so that if you read the program for the play, you can get everyone’s real name. There were two guys who were gay and who had a relationship, though the book differs in that we knew about it at the time and it didn’t bother us. Plus, no one died (at least, not that summer**). As a matter of fact, the book was criticized in my home town because it outed the two guys.
I was turned into “Walt Feinberg.” The description of Walt matches a description of me at the time. His family owned “Feinberg’s Department Store” (substitute my last name, and that’s true) and his grandfather knew Albert Einstein (see my web page). He also dated the narrator of the story, which is also true.
The book seems out of print now, but there was an edition as recently as 1996, and it can be found in the YA section of a lot of libraries.
*“Tuckerizing” is an old SFnal term for this practice, named after Wilson “Bob” Tucker, who did it often. It refers to both naming a character after a real person (a friend of mine was tuckerized in one of Ann McCaffrey’s Dragonriders novel) and basing a fictional character on a real person.
**Sadly, one of those involved died of AIDS in the 80s.
Several chums and a guy named Richard Foss (my old boss, who’s a friend) are charactors in Fallen Angelsa book by Larry Niven. I believe the story was that as he was writing it he auctioned off appearences in the book as a fund-raiser for the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society. This was before I joined said club so my info is 2nd hand.
To my complete and utter embarrassment, there is a gushing mention of me in this book .
Been trying to make up for that phase for some time now.
Also, my father’s collection is a major part of an out-of-print book that I think defines the concept of narrow-market publishing:
“Military Holsters of World War Two”
Does my high school yearbook count?
If you read a Star Trek novels, I’m sort of in two by Carmen Carter. The first is Children of Hamlin, which is dedicated to “the DSPSGs of Section Two.” That refers to the Star Trek section of the old science fiction forum on CompuServe, and “DSPSG” was an acronym for female Patrick Stewart fans I coined. In her novel The Devil’s Heart, there is an Admiral named Wilkerson, which is my last name. Many other surnames in the book are borrowed from the DSPSGs of section 2.
I’m also sort of mentioned on MST3K! In Mike’s first or second episode, he’s rooting around under the floor of the bridge set, and comes across some old junk of Crow’s, including back issues of The Picardian, the fanzine I edited and published. Crow tells Mike not to throw them away, because they’re going to be valuable some day, a prediction which sadly has not come true. (If anybody wants a sample, I still have some back issues.)
Why yes, I am, although I’m horribly fuzzy on the details. I’ve both been thanked in a book or three and been in books themselves.
I know I was thanked in Ann Lewis’s “Star Wars Essential Guide to Alien Species” as well as in Keith DeCandido’s Farscape novel “House of Cards”. The game he invented for the book (haunan) is named after both my husband and myself (we helped develop how you actually play the game. Yes, its got real rules and you can play it if you like - it’s based on poker).
I also am Tuckerized in a relatively recent Peter David Trek novel as the assistant to an alien (who is my husband, and his character is a relatively big one whereas I don’t think mine is). What book this is, and what my characters name is, escapes me. I do know I’m somehow injured in the book… and I think I live.
My husband is also the doctor in another of Peter’s books… there’s a Dr. Hauman described as being very tall with light brown hair - that’s him alright. I think that’s in Imzadi. Peter David fans can probably name the books & character names for me… I’m feeling quite ashamed right now that I can’t pinpoint them off the top of my head. If any people who read this thread are readers of Peter’s stuff and can help out with the details I’d appreciate it.
Peter is not only a talented writer, but a fine human being and a close friend. He’s the one who I mentioned in another thread as the mutual friend I share with Harlan Ellison.
I know there are others… a short story a friend wrote where I’m a cop (I die spectacularly!)… I’m sorry, I can’t recall the name of the stories. I have a lot of writer friends who either like putting real people in stories or who have a hard time coming up with character names, I can’t decide which.
Wow, my details were all wrong. While Googling on ‘“chet day” hacker’ I discovered my details are wrong. The BBS is called “The Surgery” and the sysop is “The Chief Cutter”.
I believe, looking at the Health Food Chet Day’s site, that he’s the same guy, but I never met him in real life, so I’m not certain. His degrees are from Tulane and UNO, so it’s highly probable it’s the same person.
I should also mention that many years ago I wrote a visual basic “Magic 8 Ball” program. It was mentioned in and included with a book called “The Digital Crystal Ball”. It was also mentioned in an email I got from someone claiming to be a lawyer for Tyco Toys demanding I “cease and desist” from infringing on their product.
I’m in loads of books. Among many of the other writers I worked with, James Ellroy is famous for Tuckerizing.
Ellroy (at a multiauthor book signing): “Hey, Malone! I put you in my next book.”
Michael Malone: “James! I…I don’t know what to say. I’m really touched.”
Ellroy: “You’re a black heroin addict. You get shot in the face.”
In any case, I appear in Suicide Hill, The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, and* L.A. Confidential*, as, variously, a top member of the Los Angeles police brass and the name of a second-rate jazz joint on Central Avenue.
Oh, yeah…and as a book editor, I’m in lots of dedications and acknowledgments, too.
I’ve got letters published in two issues of The Maxx comic book… don’t know if that counts, though…
I have no claim to fame, but my father is in “The Cannibal Queen” by Stephen Coontz. His name is James Rand.
Keith William Nolan quoted me in his book, “Death Valley: The Summer offensive I Corps, August 1969.”
He quotes me four or five time, using my name By George!
I’ve been in the local papers a couple of times, but just as soon not go into that.
In my non-fiction identity I get mentioned in a lot of books, since I’m kinda the leading expert in my field.
But I’m also sorta the basis for a character, who does not have my name, in John Kessel’s Good News from Outer Space. Don’t bother searching for me, though, since I didn’t even realize it until he told me.
Since we’re including non-fiction, even though that’s a lot easier to get into than fiction…
I have a lot of research stuff that people have put in books. In particular, one thing I did appears in the standard texts in one area, and it’s not even my field! But they mention my name prominently.
I am mentioned (though not by name) in my great-aunt’s biography.
My dad dedicated a book to me (and my mother, my wife, my brother-in-law, my two sisters and my brother).
I cannot remember the name of the book but there’s a famous murder case from the late 60s in the Carolinas. Some military guy killed his family and claimed a bunch of Manson type 60’s radicals did it. He wrote things like “Pigs must die” in blood on the walls. He was convicted for it and still maintains he’s innocent. I think a TV movie was made.
Anyway, my father in law was an MP at the time and took the original distress call. He was in the book that was written about it.