Zero Calvin Fun Facts

Here are some little tidbits about Zero Calvin that you might find interesting. I will add more as I think of them.

General Silliness

  • Although Calvin regained consciousness on April 3rd, he was actually revived on April 1st (April fools day). Chapter 8 (page 17) has the two needed clues to put that together.
  • Ever really looked at the cover to Zero Calvin? Look at the lenses. There is an image reflecting on them. Calvin’s hands!

Names

Kevin Bacon: A popular new game was popping up during the start of Zero Calvin called Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, which according to Wikipedia is “a trivia game based on the concept of the small world phenomenon and rests on the assumption that any individual can be linked through his or her film roles to actor Kevin Bacon within six steps.” For some reason, “six clones of Kevin Bacon” sounded funny to me. This exact phrase can be found in chapter 17 (page 53). Yes, Kevin Bacon was picked solely for a play on words that no one was likely to get.

Ariel: This was the name of Ren McCormack’s (played by Kevin Bacon) girlfriend in Footloose. Ariel’s father was a reverend and reverends are known to name their children with biblical names. According to Wikipedia, Ariel is “an archangel found primarily in Jewish and Christian mysticism and Apocrypha. Generally presented as an authority over the Earth and its elements, Ariel has also been called an angel of healing, wrath & creation.” I mainly did it to go with the Kevin Bacon theme, and because I think it is a pretty name. The mystical reference is just a bonus.

Tarpa: If I remember correctly, I literally dreamed of the name. I woke up with it in my head. I think I was dreaming of a brute of a girl I once knew named Tara, and this somehow got merged with DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Tarpa’s character is a derivative of “Molly” from William Gibson’s Neuromancy. (Sorry for the lift Mr. Gibson.)

Evionia: I think I started with the word “evolution” and made it more “planety” sounding.

Bobford3: I think the name Bob is a funny blue-collar name. I white-collared it up by tacking on the “ford”. The 3, of course, is the Bacon number, which denotes that he is the third clone of the original Bobford.

Drakke: Basically just added another “k” to harden it up. No significance in the name.

Evianna: Just sounded like a pretty but snobbish name. No relation to the planet.

Calvin: For the “zero kelvin / zero calvin” play on words, of course.

Robert Adams: During the time that I was writing Zero Calvin, bill collectors kept calling my number and leaving messages for a Mr. Robert Adams. Annoyed, I killed him in my book.

Doctor Adam Douglas: An hommage to my favorite author, Douglas Adams (R.I.P)

Dilearus: Compressed from “DIsplay LEnses ARe US”.

Botare: Compressed from BOoTs ARE us”.

Renault Vandusoleil: Renault is a French company. Van du soleil means “Van of the sun” or solar van.

Rogerian Psychotherapist / Elisa program: In Zero Calvin, I mention that Ariel’s natural language subroutines have been around since the Eliza program. Eliza was one of the very first chatterbots, and she simulated a Rogerian Psychotherapist. Later in the book, Calvin has a frustrating talk with Ariel while she is in this “mode”. I used a current version of the Eliza program to generate Ariel’s resposes (with minimal tweaking).

As I stated above, I will continue to add to this list as I remember other anecdotes.