Maybe it is because I no longer watch much television, or maybe it is because I have simply tuned out of the whole thing, but to me it seems that UFOs are no longer in vogue, and if they are, they are only followed by a small group of UFO fanatics. Apparently the ending where you get to the paradise planet is impossible because there are no choices that actually take you there. Some have pondered this, and it has even been suggested that this was done on purpose, but personally, why would you create an ending that nobody can even get to. It seems to defeat the purpose of this book. After having read some of the reviews I must admit that I do remember reading this particular book, and I guess the funny alien on the cover also triggers memories. Then there is Easter Island.

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It is. Here Ed returns to a straight-up science fiction context, with decidedly mixed results. A moment later you rematerialize inside the UFO. Just paging through the book here are the companions you meet: An alien, named Incu, made out of shadows who has something to do with Easter Island. A human girl, Kim Lee, who was kidnapped in ancient China.

Similarly, an Earth boy, Ingmar, kidnapped in Sweden years ago. A Viking who was kidnapped years ago. A shaggy creature like a ball of fur that can float in the air, and is drawn to look like the love child of Chewbacca and Sonic the Hedgehog.

This thing is called Bru. The problem is that all these characters go by so fast, and there are so many of them, that Ed never develops them as real characters. The only thing really resembling a plot is when you find out that the U-Ty Masters are searching for a planet called Ultima, supposedly a paradise. You can run around and around in the various choices relating to the search for Ultima, but you never get there.

That means that no choice in the book leads there. You have to turn to the page deliberately. The Ultima plot plays perfectly on that expectation. Presumably Ed would assume that readers would get frustrated by going through all the Ultima plots and not reaching it, and would finally, in exasperation, scan the book to see if it is even possible to reach Ultima—and thus find the Easter Egg pages.

I really like this gag. Maybe the publishers thought it was verboten to acknowledge that kids cheat at these books. Ed was sort of phoning it in when he wrote this one. Why is this the title? As I mentioned, latitude 54, longitude 40 is where you supposedly see the UFO which is depicted as resembling nothing so much as a vibrator. Expansionists who wanted to claim more U.

In fact, after the Democrats won the election and their guy James K. It is in fact in the North Atlantic, miles south of Greenland. So far as I know, no UFOs have been reported there.


Retro Book Review: Inside UFO 54-40 (Choose Your Own Adventure).

Kind of heavy stuff for a s Choose Your Own Adventure book. But it was real — and you could only win by cheating! Advertisement Authors and publishers managed to push the innovative, non-linear story format of Choose Your Adventure in a lot of interesting directions before the fad fizzled. Some books featured math challenges, the resolution of which would direct you to the correct page. But one book always stood out to me, an unsettling little tale with countless unhappy endings and one really excellent ending that you could never reach.


Inside UFO 54-40




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