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By Scott Westerfeld and Craig Phillips. One of the most common questions writers are asked is, Where do you get your ideas? Ideas can come at any time and from any direction: in the shower, waiting for an elevator, or while bouncing across Wikipedia pages. Many years ago one of my New York friends got a job in Los Angeles. We were all nervous for him. He was nervous for him, because Los Angelinos can be weird. For one thing, they have this crazy theory that LA is the center of the universe.

This, of course, is offensive to us New Yorkers, given that New York City really is the center of the universe. Whereas we have muggers, the subway, and tortured intellectuals. After my friend moved to LA, he would write us long, funny e-mails about his culture shock. My favorite described a visit to a Los Angeles dentist. At first it all seemed pretty normal: He sat in a chair, he rinsed and spat, the dentist poked and prodded.

He followed her back to a wood-paneled office, plaques covering the walls, and they both sat down. She made a tent with her fingers, leaned across the desk, and looked at him carefully, as if considering how to break bad news to him. Finally she said, I need to ask you a serious question. Where do you want your teeth to be in five years? Yes, very amusing, she said. But seriously, I think we need to talk about a five-year plan for your teeth.

My friend continued to stare, completely flummoxed. Was this some sort of LA practical joke? This confusion lasted for a few minutes, until finally the dentist explained using a simple diagram.

And at the other end, in the vanishing distance, were. You know: Tom Cruise has these superwhite, supereven glowing teeth that shine like a spotlight when he smiles. So the dentist was asking: Over the next five years, how much pain did he want to endure and how much money did my friend want to spend on his journey toward Tom Cruise—like teeth?

Then he noticed a woman who might have had a five-year plan; she was about 25 percent of the way to Tom Cruise. And a man whose teeth were even whiter and straighter—like, 50 percent. And finally he saw a woman whose teeth shone like floodlights—even in the middle of the day—she had gone out the other side of Tom Cruise! All of us back in New York thought this e-mail was hilarious. Those crazy Los Angelinos and their teeth! But the story also got me thinking: What would the world be like if everyone had a five-year plan?

Not just for their teeth but for their hair and skin and eyes? What follows are my notes on the process: the decisions about the characters, the settings, and the science and technology behind the world of Uglies. The most common wish I hear from Uglies fans is that someone would get busy inventing a hoverboard. This desire even beats a non-bubblehead version of the operation. Ask yourself this: Would you trade a pretty face for the ability to fly? I certainly would. Almost all my books have some kind of flying, climbing, or falling in them.

In college I used to climb buildings for fun, as a way of exploring the campus and hacking the physical world. Being up in the air is a dramatic way for characters to see their world from a new perspective—literally, I suppose. As Zane says in Pretties , Nothing like heights to keep you bubbly.

Even in our world, where flying is commonplace and amazingly boring, it still is a part of our dreams, and falling is a mainstay of our nightmares. This was the machine that freed tricky uglies from the boundaries of their cities, after all, allowing them to travel through the wild to the Rusty Ruins and the Smoke.

It was only after exploring the world that Tally and Shay realized how many things needed changing. A few magnetic lifters meant the difference between joining the revolution and being stuck in their dorm rooms.

So what would it be like to requisition your own hoverboard? Place it near a public energy point, and it will be ready to go in only two hours! Flying is so easy these days that we sometimes forget what a complex machine a hoverboard is. Simplicity of use is the result of high technology and two centuries of careful testing and design. These days, magnetic levitation has become the primary means of transportation.

Using the remains of the Rusty Ruins around us, your city government has built a grid, a lattice of ferrous metal buried a few meters below the ground. Ferrous metals have iron in them,. Upload Sign In Join. Create a List. Download to App. Length: pages 1 hour. That's why a guide to the world of uglies has been requisitioned from the hole in the wall. Inside you'll find: A rundown on all the cliques, from Crims and Cutters to tech-heads and surge-monkeys The complete history, starting with the destruction of the oil bug to the launch of Extras in space How all those awesome gadgets came to be: hoverboards, eyescreens, skintennas, sneak suits And so much more, it's mind-wrecking.

It just was. Er, okay, said my friend, wondering if he had teeth cancer or something. My friend stared at her. Um, in my mouth? Did she have a ten-year plan? I hope you enjoy them. Please read the following carefully. The life you save may be your own. Start your free 30 days.

Page 1 of 1. When I heard that Scott Westerfield had put together a companion volume to his Uglies series, I was stoked. I love me a good companion volume. I logged onto the library's website and put in a request for it straight away. And I'll tell you, the book is just as fun as it sounds.

It's evidently geared at younger Uglies fans, which does make sense, this being a YA series and all , but there's enough good stuff here that older fans will learn something, too. Westerfield includes a hoverboard manual, maps, maps!!!!

Personally, I got the most out of the science stuff. I'm sure you science types will find it overly simplistic, but my artistic little self thought Westerfield did a great job of putting everyting into layman's terms. He writes about where the technology in Tally's world comes from. Some things, like nanos, are time-honoured sci fi traditions. Others, like the self-heating food packets, are real, while skintennas and the like are Westerfeld's own invention. Perhaps the most interesting chapter, though, deals with the science of beauty.

Westerfeld describes the various theories that went into the Prettytime. It's fascinating stuff. If you enjoyed the Uglies series, I'm sure you'll get a kick out of this book. It's a fast, fun read. This review originally appeared on my blog, Stella Matutina.

So far, I've enjoyed hearing the real-life story that inspired Westerfeld's idea for the novel, but I could have, had I searched it out, found that on the internet. I've never read an "insider's guide" to a book or book series before and had always wondered what the heck they are.

So I'm trying it out. I wonder if I'd have liked this more as a teen. I guess I'm supposed to pretend that I AM a character in Westerfield's utopia, and if I were, here is the handbook for operating the hoverboards. Here's a map of Prettyland. Here is a more in-depth summary of the rules, and the history, etc. Update: I actually liked this! But since his audience isn't college English majors, it should be okay. In this guide, you can learn more about Westerfeld's fictional society as if it were real, find out the "why" behind many of the choices he made character's names, plot elements, last lines of the books, etc.

All was resolved for me at the end of Specials, anyway. Who would I recommend this to? It would only be to students who not only read the entire series, but kids who DEVOURED it and never struggled with comprehension, because the reading is actually more complex in this guide than the novels themselves.

I don't think he pared down his vocabulary at all, and wrote like he was talking to peers, not kids.


Bogus to Bubbly

That's why a guide to the world of uglies has been requisitioned from the hole in the wall. Inside you'll find: A rundown on all the cliques, from Crims and Cutters to tech-heads and surge-monkeys The complete history, starting with the destruction of the oil bug to the launch of Extras in space How all those awesome gadgets came to be: hoverboards, eyescreens, skintennas, sneak suits And so much more, it's mind-wrecking. Visit him at ScottWesterfeld. Craig Phillips has been creating cover art and drawings for books, comics, and magazines for nearly two decades. He is most at home working on tales about myth and magic.


Bogus to Bubbly: A Non-Fiction(ish) Review

We use cookies to give you the best possible experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days When will my order arrive? Scott Westerfeld.

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