Thursday, February 25, 2010

Spoons, Chihuahuas, and Autonomous Robots

What better way to celebrate absurd books on Thursday than with The Bookseller's 2009 Diagram Prize for Oddest Title of the Year?

Here are some of the finalists:

Afterthoughts of a Worm Hunter (David Crompton)

Collectible Spoons of the Third Reich (James A Yannes)

Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes (A K Peters), and

The Changing World of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Ellen Scherl, Maria Dubinsky)

The first one raises all sorts of ideas for first lines ("Look! It's growing back! Now we can have seconds!"). But my favorite has to be...

Governing Lethal Behavior in Autonomous Robots (Ronald C Arkin)

Because, um, WHY? What the heck happened over at the Arkin lab that made Ronald an expert in governing lethal behavior in robots? Is he a robot expert, or can we expect a Governing Lethal Behavior in... series?

If you need inspiration or giggles, check out Wikipedia's list of past winners.

And, if lethal robots aren't your cup of tea, maybe you could write me the story behind Gary Leon's 2005 winning title:

People Who Don't Know They're Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What To Do About It.

Because I have always wondered.


cath c said...

how you find these gems is a constant joy and surprise.

Jacqui said...

cath c, I don't know, but it's absolutely not because I spend way too much time on the internet, er, um. Sigh.