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Getting Lost: Survival, Baggage and Starting Over in J.J. Abrams' Lost
edited by Orson Scott Card
BenBella Books, 220 pages

Getting Lost: Survival, Baggage and Starting Over in J.J. Abrams' Lost
Orson Scott Card
Born in Richland, Washington, Orson Scott Card grew up in California, Arizona, and Utah. He lived in Brazil for two years as an unpaid Mormon Church missionary, and received degrees from Brigham Young University and the University of Utah. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Kristine, and five children.

In an unprecedented fashion, Card won the Hugo and Nebula awards for best novel two years in a row for Ender's Game and its sequel, Speaker for the Dead, in 1986 and 1987.

Orson Scott Card Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Shadow of the Giant
SF Site Review: The Crystal City
SF Site Review: Wyrms
SF Site Review: Songmaster
SF Site Review: Ender's Shadow
SF Site Review: Ender's Shadow
SF Site Review: Enchantment
SF Site Review: Heartfire
SF Site Review: Homebody

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Nathan Brazil


'The secret to Lost is surrender. Negative capability is the secret to all mystery: the ability to surrender our demand for answers and revel in the beauty of the experience, to even playfully enjoy when things stop making sense.'
As the title of this work suggests, Getting Lost is an attempt to explain the enigma and allure of the hit TV show, Lost. To this end, fifteen writers give their views on where the series came from, what it is trying to tell us, and where it's ultimately headed. Some are more successful than others, inadvertently creating an ironic parallel to what happens on the show. Those contributors to Getting Lost who go with the flow, in a stream of consciousness approach, not only make more sense, but give the impression of being on the verge of enlightenment. Not unlike fan favourite John Locke. In contrast, the writers who allow themselves to get bogged down with over analysis and clever dickery, do less well.

Among the contributors are Joyce Millman, who in "Game Theory" postulates that Lost is some kind of elaborate video game, the ultimate version of Myst, but with interactive, almost human characters. "Staying Lost" by Charlie W. Starr explores the theory that we're not meant to know the answers to the island's mysteries, at least not yet. In "The Lost Book Club" Bill Spangler seeks to link Lost with literature from Watership Down to the saga of Gilgamesh. Nick Mamatas gives us "Hail Hurley" an exploration of Hurley as an everyman hero, with no special skills or abilities. In "Cosmic Vertigo on the Isle of Lost" Barry Vacker suggests that Francis Bacon's New Atlantis is the origin of Lost. "Oops" from Clayton Davis brings us down to earth with an expert opinion on the survivability of passengers in the plane crash on Lost's island. Amy Berner uses the British philosopher John Locke to examine Lost's formerly paraplegic puzzle of the same name. In "Who's Who & What's What for Everybody Who is… Lost" Wayne Allen Sallee presents a useful, if selective, A to Z of all things Lost. Most intriguing for me, in a dreadful kind of way, was "The Same Damn Island" by Adam-Troy Castro, who has a lot of fun trying to convince us that the Lost island is a place we already know… as Gilligan's Island.

While it's true that many more theories are explored in meticulous detail on the Net, Getting Lost is, at least, informed speculation, and the book is of a size that fits nicely into a coat pocket. Most of the work in here is entertaining, if occasionally self-indulgent or distracted. Some of what's on offer is marred by poor research, such as the A to Z's explanation of the word bollocks as British slang for shit, when the meaning actually depends upon context and its place within a sentence. To a Brit, like Lost's Charlie, describing something as a load of bollocks would be the equivalent of Sawyer calling the same thing shit. But, bollocks can also mean courage, the best there is, or anatomy unique to men. Why is stuff like this worth mentioning? Because in the world of Lost, even the smallest detail can have great significance. So any book purporting to help us get Lost better get its facts absolutely straight. The same author also feels the need to explain to readers that a coffin is a box which holds a dead body! However, by far the biggest obstacle to Getting Lost is that it was written after just three episodes of season two had been aired. Therefore, all the avid watchers of the show are already in advance of some of what's presented here. Some, but not all, as there's still a good dollop of considered thought, which has not been rendered null and void by real time plot developments. If you can't get enough of Lost, and haven't got time to trawl Net forums, this might just be what you're looking for as a top up while watching season three.

Copyright © 2006 Nathan Brazil

Nathan Brazil
If Nathan Brazil were dyslexic, he'd be the dog of the Well world. In reality, he's an English bloke who lives on an island, reading, writing and throwing chips to the seagulls. Drop by his web site at

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