‘The Booger Peril: A History of Things to Come’ is a novel I self published in January 2016. I had had the general idea for years and started writing after finishing an MA in history at Melbourne University in 2011, on the basis of various things I picked up in the process of doing that.
A history book falls through a wormhole from the future. It describes a moral panic that develops over immigrants from outer space coming to Earth to steal our jobs and commit acts of terrorism after we makes contact with intelligent alien lifeforms (or as I like to call them, ‘space terrorists’).
In stock at some bookstores around Melbourne, or you can order print-on-demand copies from Blurb here.
Check out the original campaign page here.
Kickstarter fundraising blurb
In 2013 I began writing a novel that had been bouncing around my head for some years beforehand, a satirical work to which I gave the tentative title ‘The Booger Peril.’
‘Peril’ in this instance refers to a moral panic over foreign immigrants as in the ‘Yellow Peril.’ ‘Booger’ on the other hand is a pejorative slur (for the purposes of satire) on the skin colour of aliens that comes up in a Bill Hicks joke about gun control (Hicks wonders as to at what point we’ll put down our guns and take a moment from our paranoia to marvel at the wonders of the universe – the joke being than even the arrival of aliens wouldn’t be enough, and we’d just be dicks to them too).
The combination of these two motifs speaks to the basic theme of The Booger Peril, which revolves around a moral panic that develops on Earth after we make first contact with an alien species (or as I like to call them, ‘space terrorists’).
Presented as a history book that has been sent through a wormhole form sometime into the next century, apparently more than once, the Booger Peril takes a notably unorthodox approach to these themes and motifs; written in a nonfiction style, complete with references, it outlines and analyses events associated with this panic in the context of broad political and social tendencies evident today.
Thus while apparently describing an altogether different time, The Booger Peril takes aim at all that is all too recognisable about power and people from one century to the next. The more things change, as they say, the more they stay the same.
I kept a tally of my progress as I was writing on my LinkedIn profile. In the end I ended up using less than half of what I actually wrote; if I had stuck with the original plan the thing would have ended up about 300,000 words long. I got accepted into a PhD in July 2014 so that wasn’t going to happen.
Also there was the issue of whether it would sustain 300k words. As of January 2016 it still remains to be seen whether it will sustain 50 haha.
Word count as of 7 March, 2013: 7,000
Word count as of 21 May, 2013: 16,006
Word count as of 14 June, 2013: 21,000
Word count as of 17 August, 2013: 27,000
Word count as of 16 September, 2013: 33,000
Word count as of 11 October, 2013: 45,000
Word count as of 15 November, 2013: 57,000
Word count as of 16 December, 2013: 66,000
Word count as of 17 January, 2014: 76,000
Word count as of 16 February, 2014: 84,000
Word count as of 16 March, 2014: 90,000
Word count as of 18 April, 2014: sabbatical
Word count as of 12 May, 2014: 103,000
Word count as of 18 June, 2014: 109,000
Word count as of 17 July, 2014: 114,000 and some statistics that took ages to fabricate
Word count as of 20 August, 2014: About the same. Mostly editing this month.
Word count as of 17 September, 2014: 119,000