Weiss, D.B.

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Weiss, D.B.

PERSONAL:

Born in Chicago, IL. Education: Graduated from Wesleyan University; Trinity College, M.Ph.; Iowa Writers' Workshop, M.F.A.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Los Angeles, CA. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Author. Has also worked as a copywriter.

WRITINGS:

Lucky Wander Boy (novel), Plume (New York, NY), 2003.

Also author of a screenplay adaptation of the novel Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card.

SIDELIGHTS:

D.B. Weiss's novel about an obsessive video game player, Lucky Wander Boy, attracted considerable enthusiasm among gaming fans and critics alike. Reviewers enjoyed the book's originality and humor, as well as its intimate glimpses into the world of gaming. Indeed, as Elizabeth Hand observed on the Fantasy and Science Fiction Web site, the book is so skillfully written that it can seduce even a reader who might find its postmodernist mannerisms irritating. Hand admitted that she found the protagonist, Adam Pennyman, "so relentless and annoying" that she stopped reading the book four times, but she always went back to it in the end. And her persistence was rewarded because "through sheer force of will," she wrote, Adam "converts you to seriously considering and ultimately sharing his passion."

Adam gets a graphic design job in Poland but is soon fired and returns to Los Angeles with his Polish girlfriend. There he begins writing The Catalogue of Obsolete Entertainments, a book in which he launches into philosophical digressions inspired by his memories of playing actual classic arcade games such as "PacMan" and "Donkey Kong." He also begins a quest to find "Lucky Wander Boy," a fictional game from his past that has outwitted every player. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly praised Lucky Wander Boy as a "slyly postmodernist and surprisingly erudite" work with a "cleverly sardonic sense of humor." Describing the novel as "a fanciful tale of one man's quest to find the game that haunted his youth," Los Angeles Magazine contributor Robert Ito pointed out that the book is also a love story, with its greatest romance the one that exists "between man and hopelessly elusive machine."

Though reviewers noted that Lucky Wander Boy displays an insider's familiarity with gaming, Weiss has told interviewers that the character of Adam is not autobiographical. In an interview on GameSetWatch. com, Weiss pointed out that, though he enjoyed playing games as a child and occasionally still plays, he was always much less obsessed with the medium than Adam is. Still, Weiss admitted, he is interested in writing about video games because they are an important new artistic medium. "I wanted to write about them," he explained, "because they've permeated my life, along with books, music and movies. As more people for whom this is the case come of age, I think we'll see more video game cross-pollination" with literature.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Book Review, November-December 2003, Jeremy Russell, review of Lucky Wander Boy, p. 21.

Boston Globe, March 9, 2003, Joshua Glenn, review of Lucky Wander Boy, p. D3.

Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2002, review of Lucky Wander Boy, p. 1731.

Los Angeles Magazine, March, 2003, Robert Ito, review of Lucky Wander Boy, p. 137.

Publishers Weekly, December 16, 2002, review of Lucky Wander Boy, p. 43.

ONLINE

BookPage,http://www.bookpage.com/ (April 20, 2007), Becky Ohlsen, review of Lucky Wander Boy.

Bookslut,http://www.bookslut.com/ (April 20, 2007), Matt Williamson, review of Lucky Wander Boy.

Daily Cardinal,http://www.dailycardinal.com/ (May 6, 2003), Anna Wells, review of Lucky Wander Boy.

Daily Mississippian,http://media.www.thedmonline.com/ (April 20, 2007), John Waterman, review of Lucky Wander Boy.

Fantasy and Science Fiction Web site,http://www.sfsite.com/ (April 20, 2007), Elizabeth Hand, review of Lucky Wander Boy.

GameSetWatch.com,http://www.gamesetwatch.com/ (April 20, 2007), interview with D.B. Weiss.

Lucky Wander Boy Web site,http://www.luckywanderboy.com (September 30, 2004).

Massachusetts Daily Collegian Web Site,http://www.dailycollegian.com/ (May 13, 2003), Cameron J. Woods, review of Lucky Wander Boy.

Modern Word,http://www.themodernword.com/ (April 28, 2003), Andrew Duncan, review of Lucky Wander Boy.

Salon.com,http://www.salon.com/ (May 27, 2003), Andrew Leonard, review of Lucky Wander Boy.

Tech Review,http://www-tech.mit.edu/ (May 6, 2003), Andrew C. Thomas, review of Lucky Wander Boy.