Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone’s 2019 sci-fi novel This Is How You Lose the Time War unexpectedly became the sixth most popular book on the Amazon last weekend, and it’s all thanks to “Bigolas Dickolas Wolfwood.”
No, that isn’t the name of a lesser-known cousin of Lord of the Rings’ Sindar Elven archer of the Woodland Realm. It’s the handle of a Twitter user who on Sunday, May 7, tweeted a short endorsement of the book. Presumably buoyed by the sheer absurdity of a name like “Bigolas Dickolas Wolfwood,” combined with such an earnest endorsement of the novel, the the tweet quickly went viral, which gave the book’s sales a boost.
read this. DO NOT look up anything about it. just read it. it's only like 200 pages u can download it on audible it's only like four hours. do it right now i'm very extremely serious. pic.twitter.com/Pzb2FWvFlg— bigolas dickolas woIfwood (@maskofbun) May 7, 2023
For those unfamiliar, This Is How You Lose the Time War is an epistolary novel following two rival time-traveling saboteur agents, code-named Red and Blue, who work against each other to alter the timeline for their respective factions. Leaving each other taunting messages across time and space, the two agents begin to fall in love the way you fall asleep; slowly at first, then all at once, forcing them to consider what the future holds for them after the so-called “Time War” is won and lost.
In a blog post published on Tuesday, titled “I tried to title this post for twenty minutes and failed,” El-Mohtar explained her take on the situation and expressed her gratitude for Bigolas Dickolas’ ringing recommendation. “As far as I can tell, someone going by the name Bigolas Dickolas Wolfwood runs a fan account for a 90s anime called Trigun which was recently rebooted, and tweeted about loving Time War with imperative enthusiasm,” El Mohtar wrote. “And somehow over the course of 24 hours that tweet went viral with people chiming in to say how much, how passionately, how violently they love the book, and it blew up.”
For those who don’t get the joke: “Bigolas Dickolas Wolfwood” is a play on the name of Nicholas D. Wolfwood, a popular character from Yasuhiro Nightow’s sci-fi Western manga Trigun (as well as the 1998 and 2023 anime) known for carrying a huge Gatling gun shaped like a cross on his back. The sudden virality of the tweet has been so widespread that Yoshihiro Watanabe, one of the producers of Trigun Stampede, has gotten in on the fun, tweeting on Thursday, “Have I bought the book? Yes.”
As a fan of both El-Mohtar and Gladstone’s novel and the Trigun franchise, the sudden unexpected convergence of two stories I never thought I’d see mentioned in the same sentence warms my heart. Sometimes, the Internet is actually pretty cool.