I’m in New York City with the inestimable Benjamin D. Herson, on the eve of our book’s release to an unsuspecting public. Well, maybe they suspect something. It feels strangely like the night before Christmas, and I am thinking to go to bed soon to speed the time along until The Great Typo Hunt is an official Book for all people who choose (or have chosen) to purchase it. Sure, there are already a couple of reviews that have run in periodicals about our book, for good or for ill, but the most important time– the time at which all grubby hands may grub at this book– is only now about to arrive.
And so here we are, I in Queens and Benjamin in Brooklyn, whiling hours in unfamiliar rooms tonight. I am staying with my friend Josh, another original Typo Eradication Advancement League member and the very same hero of which Chapter 12 speaks. We went out for a little food and a beer not long ago, and as I viewed the unfamiliar options on tap on the bar’s high-mounted chalkboard, it struck me how similar this city is to a randomly generated dungeon in Diablo II or some roguelike. Rather than an infinite variety of weapons or relics, the treasure yielded by a place like New York is an ever-renewing array of sights and tastes and smells and sounds and tiny places. It could be built anew each night like Dark City and no one would ever be able to get a handle on each novel piece of environment or experience that was introduced in that iteration. It is a thrilling and troubling notion all at once, especially to someone like me, an obsessive cataloguer. I am always making vain attempts to understand things, to capture them in their totality, and I will never be able to understand this place.
See you tomorrow. If you hear hooves atop your roof tonight, that may be some grey and corpulent sage preparing to distribute pre-order packages to well-behaved children.