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"Lost" Builds Community through Book Club and Web Games

Producers of ABC’s “Lost” often sneak books into the fabric of episodes so die-hard fans can hunt for clues (or red herrings) in external literary sources. Seeing an opportunity, ABC is launching the official “Lost Book Club” through ABC.com and iTunes. From UPI:

Also available on ABC.com will be a message board to discuss the titles, a synopsis of each book, along with when and how it was referenced in the show, and an introduction by co-creator/executive producer Damon Lindelof and executive producer Carlton Cuse, ABC said.

Two years ago, Hyperion published Bad Twin, a book “written” by one of the passengers on “Lost’s” ill-fated flight Oceanic 815 (if you’re a fan of the show, you’ll recognize the author as the guy who got sucked into the engine moments after 815 crashed).

Response to Bad Twin was tepid, but the universe beyond “Lost” episodes has been successfully mined through a number intricate alternate reality games that reveal clues about the show’s secondary mysteries. Speaking as a full-fledged “Lost” junkie myself, I know of a number of folks who spent dozens of hours playing these games.

Book publishers with mythology-laden source material may want to take a note from “Lost,” “Harry Potter,” “Star Wars” and other series. These franchises create organic affinity communities that thrive on interactivity and story expansion, and they can be fostered through forums, social networks, and real-world meetups at related events. Outside observers and casual viewers may not understand the impulse to dress like Boba Fett or write “Lost” fan fiction, but the ardent enthusiasm of a dedicated community presents opportunities that should not be tossed off.

(Via Publishers Weekly)

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