Like any good nerd, I love me some fan theories. Some of them are fantastic, adding a layer of depth and explaining flaws in the original works. The best known example here is probably the one that James Bond is in fact just a code name given to various agents through the years, explaining both why a spy gives his name out so freely and the shifting appearance and attitude of Bonds through the years. And yes, before anyone goes to the comments, I know about Skyfall, however it doesn’t change the fact that the theory was a good, well-reasoned one.
Anyway, while most fan theories don’t fit quite so seamlessly into the works they’re based on, they are still fun to learn about. Sometimes it makes you look at an old work in a new light, and that’s great for both the creators and the audience. Interestingly enough, as much of a little-known indie as I am, there have still been a few people who’ve emailed me or posted fan theories on the web regarding me and my work. So today, I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorites with you all. Remember, some of these have serious holes, and I’m not vouching for how provable they are, only how interesting I found the concepts.
#1: That There is No Drew Hayes
This was a weird one to read about, because I am Drew Hayes, and I know I exist, so it’s strange to see speculation about whether I’m real or not. The fundamental concept as I’ve seen it is this: Because my books came onto the e-book market with a good push (which we all know is thanks to you awesome readers) and have generally been met with favorable reviews across the board, it’s speculated that I’m not a new author at all. Rather, I’m a pseudonym (chosen as an nod to the Drew Hayes who wrote Poison Elves and passed away) used by several different authors when they want to write books with cursing and fun that they couldn’t get away with under their own brand. Thus why I have several different series in several different genres, all releasing at a relatively speedy rate.
To be fair, I do churn out a lot of material, even by full-time author standards. And the easiest things to point to that would disprove this, namely my presence in podcasts and videos on the site, didn’t really exist when I first ran across it. True or not, it was always one I found kind of fun, and I’ve toyed with the idea of dropping fake hints that point to it being true over the years. In fact, that was what inspired my April Fool’s blog, You Caught Me, I’m Shakespeare. So if you see me at a con and I introduce myself as the actor who portrays Drew Hayes, now you’ll know why.
#2 That Super Powereds is Really About Football
I’m going to level with y’all: even knowing this wasn’t what I had in mind when I wrote the series, I still found this one pretty convincing.
The premise here is that Super Powereds is really about college football, or sports in general. The highly competitive nature, the constant training, the big yearly events that might be comparable to championships or bowl games. And, of course, the success rate. Despite everyone in the HCP being talented, only a very small amount of those who first start move on to being professional Heroes, which isn’t too far off from those who actually make it into the NFL. I even sort of played into this, albeit unintentionally, when Vince had his Rich-coma in Year 2 and re-imagined all the HCP people as being on the same football team.
This is one of my favorites I’ve found, because even being the author I can’t really disprove it. No, that wasn’t what I had in mind when I wrote the series, but there’s no singular element I can point to within the work that actually tosses it all out the window. Yes, some parts are harder to fit than others, but on the whole it comes together pretty well.
#3 That Various Works Happen In the Same Universe
Okay, so I’ll admit this one is at least partially on me. I love Easter Eggs in various works, and once I started creating my own worlds I couldn’t resist putting in some nods to my other stuff as tucked away little nuggets for my more careful readers. An example of which: the role-playing game that’s secretly a book of parahuman law in the second Fred book is called Spells, Swords, and Stealth: Modern Justice, which shares part of its name with the tabletop game played in NPCs. I’ve also covertly connected a few of my book worlds through familial relations. Anyone who read Topher Nightshade and Pears and Perils, aka my diehard fans, might have noticed that April and Auggie (whose real name is August) share the last name Parish. Auggie even makes reference to his sister early on in the book. That’s one where the two books are very much meant to share a world though, as will the eventual Infinity Villas, so it was an intentional connection rather than an Easter Egg.
It would be fairly tedious to list the different proposed connections I’ve seen tossed out, just assume any two books I’ve written have been speculated to be connected at some point or another. And while some are more on base than others, I don’t actually want to confirm or deny anything beyond the obvious connection between Topher and Pears. I think it’s more fun to let people guess, and for those who have the really keen eyes to spot those Easter Eggs through the various books.
But I think it will also be fun to let you all in on a little secret. Well, not a secret, at least not to those who have been to the recent Digital Release parties on Facebook, just something I’ve never really made public on the blog or site. Every series I’ve ever written (not every book, mind you, but every book world) has the same Easter Egg at some point in them. Think of it as my own Big Apple Cigarettes (the brand Tarantino snuck into all of his films for a while), a fun little element that never stands out on its own, but once you start looking for it will be fun to spot. What is the egg across all my series? Well, no one in any of the digital events has figured it out yet.
Maybe you’ll be the one to change that.