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Hank Green, brother of YA author John Green, releases novel about a girl grappling with instant fame

Hank Green, brother of YA author John Green, releases novel about a girl grappling with instant fame

Science educator and Youtuber Hank Green recently released his debut novel, A Truly Remarkable Thing, the first in a two-book deal.

Hank is the creator of SciShow, an educational YouTube channel, and Crash Course, another web series that covers history, science, and literature that he hosts with his brother, John Green.

John is perhaps one of the world’s best-loved (and best-selling) YA authors. His books include Looking for Alaska, The Fault in Our Stars, and most recently, Turtles All the Way Down.

An Absolutely Wonderful Thing is Hank’s first book. It follows a 23-year-old girl wandering through New York City at 3am. She stumbles across a huge sculpture of a robot, ‘a ten-foot tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armour’.

April and her friends make a video about the sculpture and release it online. By morning, the video has blown up on the internet. Other mysterious sculptures have shown up in cities around the world. April, as the first to document the phenomenon, is instantly famous.  

Hank said at a Q&A event in New York that he wanted to examine the phenomenon of internet fame, where one viral video or post can send make a young person skyrocketing to worldwide popularity.

He said YouTube and social media platforms are “a communications revolution that we have not seen for maybe 500 years.”

According to Green, the rules and ethics of these online spaces haven’t been properly hashed out. Social media has a dark underbelly of bullying and manipulation. One only has to think of the Cambridge Analytica scandal that rocked Facebook only a few months ago to get a grips on how far-ranging the misuse of social media can be.

‘Ultimately, the internet is made of people,’ said Hank. ‘We need to do a good job at being citizens of that space.’