Every day, a studio picks up the rights to a supposedly popular book series that I've never heard of. Am I that blind? Am I that stupid? Am I that un-hip? Maybe I'm too hip. Who knows.

The book series announcement of February 23, 2010 is that Fox has the rights to the Fourth Realm trilogy and they've hired Alex Tse, one of the two credited writers on last year's Watchmen, to handle scriptwriting duties. The Hollywood Reporter breaks down the plot of the first book, The Traveler:

"...set in a U.S. society run by a secret organization seeking to control the population via constant observation. Seeking to rebel against these constraints are an almost extinct group of people called Travelers, who can project their spirit into other dimensions, and their protectors, called Harlequins. The inaugural tome centers on a reluctant Harlequin named Maya who must protect two naive Traveler brothers."

Okay, so it falls into the paranoid-dimension-hoppers sub-genre of science fiction. One of my twenty favorite sub-genres. My interest remains piqued as the article compares the books to Star Wars and The Matrix, but takes a dip when they're compared to The DaVinci Code. So, take what you will from that.

Infinitely more interesting than the book itself are the tidbits about the author himself, John Twelve Hawks. That's not his real name. He lives off the grid. His agent, editor and publisher have never met him. He communicates only through a voice scrambler on an untraceable satellite phone. He uses stand-ins for book tours. For once, someone who writes paranoid sci-fi who is actually paranoid!