I just finished Read the Thirty-First of this calendar year: a perfectly sweet and funny first-person account by the imaginary friend of an on-the-spectrum third grader. Titled Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, it's the third by a Connecticut based author named Matthew Dicks; we've both read the first of his works and are angling to reel in the second.
Anyhoo. Among the other things he mentions in the book-club resources in the back (including the fact that it's his British imprint that makes him publish under the less Dick-y name of "Matthew Green"), he includes the following cry for help. After describing a less than supportive parenting job (traits reflected in the 'rents in both of the books of his we've read), he revels in the world of reading that his local library made possible. Included was his pride, but also his present-day frustration, about that first book he ever checked out on his very own. Frustration, mainly, because he can't figure out wtf book it was, Interwebs and all:
I still remember the first book that I checked out of the library, but I cannot remember the title, and for years, I have been trying to find it. It was a dystopian science fiction story in which the tallest buildings in the world begin to liquefy, starting with the Sears Tower in Chicago, the tallest building at the time. The very tip of the building first begins to liquefy, and as the height of Sears Tower comes even with the second tallest building in the world, that building begins to liquefy as well.
Eventually all the buildings of the word begin to liquefy at exactly the same rate, throwing the planet into terror and chaos.
Ultimately, it is discovered that this is the work of an alien race that feels obliged to ensure that mankind does not advance technologically beyond a point that is considered safe. By keeping building no taller than six stories, the aliens believe that the technological advancement of the human race will be curtailed. Ultimately, every building of the world is liquefied to this point.
Thirty years have passed since I read that book. While I’m sure that it is out of print and nearly impossible to find, I would at least like to know what the title of that first library book was.
I'm usually pretty good at doing the Boolean thing on various search engines and solving this kind of mystery. One of my own books of that Time In My Life was this piece of pulp from the 60s:
(Years ago, I ran a trivia question describing it, in similar terms, and at least one of you recognized it by title at the time.)
So far, my own attempts at search-engineering have come up with little beyond the author's own words above (and I've tried synonyms, reducing terms, in case it wasn't Sears Tower, for instance) and a few other tricks, and, nada. The author's own trail appears to have gone cold after his initial inclusion of the query in both the book itself and his blog; a few people suggested things, and an unnamed LJ "lost books" community had cracks at it, but without success.
Since you lot are always among the best-read and trivially minded of the general pop, I offer the challenge, and I fully expect that if you help the author, you'll get a nice note from him. And then, except in the UK, you will know Dick.
ETA. Oops. Nevermind. As platypus cleverly discovered by actually reading the author's post and ALL the comments, including the recent ones after the gallon of spammy pingbacks, it was identified three weeks ago!
And here 'tis:
I'd have eventually seen the author's post from earlier this month, but dude blogs. A LOT. Time to RSS it, while one still can do that.
Which one now can:undefined
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