Gweek 069: Ned Vizzini, author of The Other Normals and writer for Last Resort

Click here to play this episode. Gweek is Boing Boing's podcast about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, board games, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff.

My guest this week is Ned Vizzini, an award winning author and television writer with a new young adult novel called The Other Normals. He’s written for the New York Times, Salon, and the L Magazine. In television, he has written for Season 2 of MTV's Teen Wolf and currently writes for ABC's Last Resort. He is the co-author, with Chris Columbus, of the forthcoming fantasy-adventure series House of Secrets. (The drawing above is from Ned's Flickr account. It was drawn by his wife, Sabra Embury, and is in the set "Art from and Inspired by 'The Other Normals.'" Ned says: "This is a fish-monster (or batrachian) in the book drawn by my wife. In the book they actually have legs. My wife says, 'That was my attempt to help you visualize one of the characters.'")


In this episode, we talked about:

The Other Normals, by Ned Vizzini. "It's about a 15-year-old role-playing game geek who goes to summer camp and falls into an actual fantasy world and has to put all his gaming knowledge to the test against monsters."

Be More Chill, by Ned Vizzini. "It's about a kid who gets a pill in his brain that tells him how to be cool all the time."

Stranger Magic: Charmed States & The Arabian Nights, "a new nonfiction overview of the 1,001 Nights. I took a lot from 1,001 Nights in writing The Other Normals. I love the John Payne translation which Sir Richard Burton is alleged to have plagiarized -- one of those cases where the flashier author who was better at self-promoting got the credit."

Last Resort "It's about a nuclear submarine captain who gets questionable orders to fire Pakistan. When the captain asks to have those orders clarified he is fired upon. He has to take his nuclear submarine to a South Pacific island and take refuge there and set himself up as the world's smallest nuclear nation."

"One of the books we have in the 'Last Resort library': The 48 Laws of Power. Really scary must-read for anyone who wants to get ahead -- or understand sociopaths. (Last Resort is a political thriller, so it helps)."

Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms

"I got Johnny Ramone's Commando on Kindle (released this year) and I think it's an interesting example of a book that some claim MUST BE enjoyed as a hardcover which is actually just fine on digital."

Slash, by Slash

And much more!

Past episodes of Gweek: 001, 001, 002, 003, 004, 005, 006, 007, 008, 009, 010, 011, 012, 013, 014, 015, 016, 017, 018, 019, 020, 021, 022, 023, 024, 025, 026, 027, 028, 029, 030, 031, 032, 033, 034, 035, 036, 037, 038, 039, 040, 041, 042, 043, 044, 045, 046, 047, 048, 049, 050, 051, 052, 053, 054, 055, 056, 057, 058, 059, 060, 061, 062, 063, 064, 065, 066, 067, 068, 069


  1. Publishers handle how they choose what books to publish the way most drug dealers address counting their money, by weight. They’ll look at the marketing data and decide which slush pile submission or contract writer can sell the most copies per ton of paper pulp. That’s really all the emotional investment most publishers put into what you see ending up on the shelves. How else does a fucktard like Orson Scott Card garner Hugo Awards for re-imagining the Holocaust, you know, for kids!

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