On September 19th, VidCon Creator and YouTube Vlogger Hank Green announced the publication of his debut novel "An Absolutely Remarkable Thing," to be released in Fall of 2018.
The novel follows college art student April May, who finds herself in the middle of a media frenzy after a photo she takes of a robot sculpture and posts online goes viral. Soon, she finds out that similar sculptures are appearing across the country though no one knows why.
In an interview with The New York Times, Green explained that the novel explores internet fame and the challenges that it can bring. This is a struggle that Hank and his brother, New York Times best-selling author John Green, know all too well.
In 2007, after years of communicating through email and text message, due to John living in New York City at the time and Hank living in Montana, the brothers decided to communicate through daily vlogs for a project that they called Brotherhood 2.0.
Although originally, it was a way for the brothers to communicate face-to-face, once they started gaining views, they realized the project had the potential to grow into something more.
Hank’s brother John told TeenVogue last year:
“[…] In those early days, I really looked up to the community that had built up around the Ze Frank show. That was daily blog back in 2006 and 2007. Their community did all kinds of funny stuff. Like, they dressed up their vacuum cleaners as people. They held one piece of bread on one side of the planet and another piece of bread on the exact opposite side of the planet to turn the earth into a sandwich. It was fun and exciting to see an online community doing stuff together. So our initial inspiration in thinking about our community was, ‘How can we have a conversation that other people will become a part of?’
Brotherhood 2.0 had a combination of serious and humorous entries, from John discussing the political situation in Nepal—while eating five sheets of toilet paper—to a video of Hank singing a song about the final Harry Potter novel; a video which shot the brothers to the front page of YouTube and YouTube stardom.
Over the past ten years, the brothers have cultivated a devoted online community dubbed Nerdfighteria made up of fans the brothers call "Nerdfighters"—individuals that promote intellectualism and decreasing world suck levels mainly through charity fundraising.
Together, Hank, John and Nerdfighteria raised over 2 million dollars last year combined for charitable organizations such as Save the Children and Partners in Health during the 2016 "Project For Awesome," an annual 72-hour YouTube telethon.
Yet Hank by himself has an impressive resume.
He is the creator of VidCon, an annual online videoconference that began in 2010. Prior to that in 2008, he co-founded DFTBA Records, an e-commerce website that sells YouTube creators’ merchandising.
He is also the creator of several online web-series such as The Lizzie Bennett Diaries, a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s "Pride and Prejudice," and "Crash Course," a series of educational online videos that cover over 10 different subjects.
So, it’s safe to say that Hank has been no stranger to the spotlight over the past ten years. Yet he tells The New York Times about his life online, “There’s the very weird feeling of being bigger in people’s heads than you feel you are.”
Though the book is inspired by this idea and by Green’s life, it is first and foremost a mystery novel that combines elements of science fiction and mystery. Dutton, a Penguin Random House imprint, has acquired the novel as part of a two book deal.
Unlike his brother, a YA novelist best known for his 2012 New York Times bestseller "The Fault in Our Stars," "An Absolutely Remarkable Thing" is for an adult audience.