My tiny little mind just done got blown.
And Choose Your Own Adventure just got handed their papers.
And when I get this thing home I'm not going to see my eight-year-old for a month, or until he explores each of the 3,856 possible outcomes of this book.
And that number? 3,856? Not an exaggeration. So I think maybe Jason Shiga is a little bit mental.
That's Jason Shiga right there, with a five-foot-by-five-foot poster of the giant flow chart that is this book. He claims, in the front matter, that it took various computers and multiple algorithms and excessive jargon to get it into book form, with decision paths running from page to page back and forth in the book and at least one page that is JUST paths with no panels or dialogue, but I don't buy it. I think he gave up the floor of his living room to obsessively arranging and rearranging panels until it all fit, and the reason I think that is because he uses the word "heuristic" in his explanation, and my experience is that anyone who uses that word is, either in a minor baffle-em-with-bs way or in a large-scale baldfaced Vegas PowerPoint black-turtleneck kind of way - lying.
But I don't hang out much in Silicon Valley, which is I think where Jason Shiga lives. Maybe they know what "heuristic" means in Berkeley. Ok I just looked at his resume and Jason Shiga knows what "heuristic" means. He's my new hero.
This is what a page layout looks like. (Most are easier to follow) The color palette is one I especially enjoy - sophisticated midtones and earth tones. Lots of color but not screaming-in-your-face color. The panels and dialogue can get pretty small for those of us wearing bifocals but let's face it - this book is not aimed at those of us wearing bifocals. The pages are a heavily coated rip-resistant material, which is good. All that flipping back and forth could cause a lot of wear and tear.
The plot involves a time machine, a doomsday machine, slapstick, probability, and ice cream. I have to go melt into a puddle of joy right now. Get the book.