Friday, May 14, 2010

One Book, One Twitter, One Wondering Author, One Wandering Character

Over on Twitter, the 1B1T (One Book, One Twitter) book club has begun doing its world-wide-book-clubby thing. They are reading AMERICAN GODS and talking about it a chapter at a time, using hashtags to make the discussion process easier -- Chapter One is #1b1t_1c, Chapter Two is #1b1t_2c, and you can see the immediate conversation over at (for example) .

I've been dipping in and dipping out since it started - not even trying to follow the discussions, just pleased and impressed with the depth and intelligence that people are bringing to the conversation.

But I just hit a strange ethical dilemma.

I followed a link on, um, something in American Gods, to its Wikipedia entry. And read an entry about something that I'd made up (because it fitted, because it worked, and because I didn't think anyone would mind) that cited a reference book that talked about the thing I made up. The reference book was written some years after American Gods was published, and the person who wrote the reference book has obviously cribbed a little information from American Gods.

The last time, some years ago, I'd checked the Wikipedia entry, it was accurate, and noted that the thing in question had started in American Gods. Now all reference to me and to American Gods has gone. It now has, after all, a reference book link. And something that I made up has become, to all intents and purposes, a fact.

I pondered fixing it. I'd need to do a blog entry clarifying exactly what I made up and what I didn't in this thing, to allow someone to do a fix, so they could link to that. (I can't just fix the Wikipedia entry. It doesn't work like that: someone would just revert the change, dismiss it as "original research" or point out that there IS now a reference book reference. I'd need to cite chapter and verse over here on the blog, or in a book, to give the Wikipedia entry something to link to.)

But really, there's probably a very useful lesson in there somewhere about what facts are. And I quite like the idea that something that I made up has wandered out of a book and into the real world. It seems very appropriate for that particular book, as well.

So my ethical question is...

...should I tell? Would you?


SMALL PS That has nothing to do with anything else in this post: is the Amanda Palmer blog entry with photos from the show so far, the list of US dates (starting on Monday with Vancouver/Seattle/Portland) and such.

Also, if you are lucky, Sxip may play the Sxipenspiel we made him on his birthday.

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