The Online Buzz That Blurs Reality


By Neal Comment

metal-assassin.jpgI’ll admit it: If you tell me there’s a website that carries the fictional world of a novel over into the real-life Internet, I’m probably going to take a look. Like the MySpace page for the band Metal Assassin, featuring “title tracks” from the imaginary albums Moist & Delicious and Drop in the Bucket. If you didn’t know that Mark Haskell Smith‘s new novel, Salty, is about the band’s bass player, you might just be able to convince yourself you were listening to a real band. Well, I suppose in a way you would be, but you know what I mean. (And, no, they’re not exactly Spinal Tap, but then who is?)

Then there’s the home page for the New York Daily Herald, the newspaper that employs the lead character in Nicholas Kulish‘s Last One In, a gossip columnist who gets sent to the front lines of Iraq. The headlines from March 2003 pokes fun at early optimism among conservatives about the war’s outcome, celebrating “Donald Rumsfeld, The Man With the Plan” as “the noose tightens” in the hunt for Osama bin Laden. There’s even a blind item joke trying to identify the unnamed rock star from A Million Little Pieces, the one James Frey wanted to beat up for his wild, unrealistic stories about drug addiction. Well, with everything we’ve learned since then, I suppose there’s no reason it couldn’t have been the lead singer of Metal Assassin…