You Found My Bubbleship! August 24, 2012 10:32 AM   Subscribe

MeFi is the best! Thank you for restoring a piece of my childhood.

This is my first post to MetaTalk, so I hope it's appropriate!

Almost three years ago I posted a childhood book question to AskMe, about a the identity of a book that had been bothering me for at least a decade. I was positive that AskMe would be my saviour and was crushed when nobody figured it out. Over the years I received various messages from users asking if I ever tracked it down, and always had to respond in the negative.

Today, I got a message from jeather, who had diligently solved the puzzle after three years (turns out this book, by Elwy Yost, had two different titles, "The Mad Queen of Mordra" in Canada and "Billy and the Bubbleship" elsewhere, making it even more difficult).

It's a small thing, but it's absolutely made my week. Thank you, Metafilter, and thank you jeather, who remembered my question after so long!
posted by ilana to MetaFilter-Related at 10:32 AM (39 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

Awwwww - it's awesome when Metafilter answers questions in minutes or less AND when they answer a long-lingering puzzle. Yay jeather for finding your book!
posted by ldthomps at 10:48 AM on August 24, 2012


Is this the longest known ask-to-answer? I had one that was nearly a year.
posted by zamboni at 11:01 AM on August 24, 2012


Other long term resolutions:

1 year, self-resolved.
2.5 years.
5 years, self-resolved.
posted by zamboni at 11:06 AM on August 24, 2012




:)
posted by tilde at 11:38 AM on August 24, 2012


:A-Team theme song:
posted by boo_radley at 11:46 AM on August 24, 2012


It only made your week? Time to reevaluate your priorities, if you ask me. Which you didn't because I'd more than likely give you terrible advice.

Enjoy the book or movie or videogame or sandwich recipe or whatever!
posted by item at 11:47 AM on August 24, 2012


Can mods post the answer in that thread so that any other web searches leading there reveal the answer? You should at least tag it with the book titles and author name.
posted by axiom at 11:57 AM on August 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Elwy Yost? I was just thinking about him yesterday. I had no idea he wrote books.
posted by pracowity at 11:58 AM on August 24, 2012


item: I was going to go for something more dramatic than just a week, but then I thought it might make me look pathetic. Plus, if I said it made my year, my fiance might ask for the ring back (though, as he gave me the MeFi account, it would be purely his fault/his indirect success).

axiom: I've tagged the question with the book titles and author; thanks for the suggestion.

I had no idea it was Elwy Yost; I also didn't know he'd written a children's book. It makes me feel even more kindly disposed towards this novel.
posted by ilana at 12:08 PM on August 24, 2012


Yay! Another win for the AskMe Detective Squad.
posted by misha at 12:12 PM on August 24, 2012


Internet Detective Squad!

Finding facts/Avoiding Work.
posted by The Whelk at 12:18 PM on August 24, 2012 [7 favorites]


What are you - the best?

/Pete Holmes
posted by mintcake! at 12:32 PM on August 24, 2012


Hey, sweet!!

This happened to me as well, last year.
posted by mannequito at 1:10 PM on August 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also now I know about the 'resolved' tag, and added it to my old post!
posted by mannequito at 1:12 PM on August 24, 2012


Happened to me too. This is one of the things Metafilter does well.
posted by Decani at 1:29 PM on August 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


You give me hope!

never declare any portion of your Ask as "easy" - it will be the one thing no one will ever know
posted by batmonkey at 1:53 PM on August 24, 2012


yes, I have new hope that my Google+ question will find and answerer too! Thanks and congrats on the find. KUDOS to jeather!
posted by Wilder at 2:27 PM on August 24, 2012


Awesome! Kinda sorta happened to me too.
posted by Jofus at 2:28 PM on August 24, 2012


Cool! So there's still hope for the as-yet-untitled story title I asked about?
posted by headnsouth at 2:35 PM on August 24, 2012


I'm always too late to help on book identification questions - there's Mefites who pounce on those as soon as they appear like a pack of hungry wolves.
posted by Artw at 3:37 PM on August 24, 2012


While this has never really happened to me in any sense that I can think of, a (sort of) similar phenomenon has happened to others who've seen posts/comments/answers/yaddayaddayadda of mine waaaaaaay after the fact and've e/memailed me to let me know that their problem's been solved by a years-old contribution to Mefi of mine.

This of course makes me a hero in the truest sense of the word.
posted by item at 3:48 PM on August 24, 2012


Artw, I feel the same way. I guess we should start trolling the "three years old and unanswered" questions if we want to help.

Speaking of, how does this even happen? jeather (or anyone else who might have similar answering habits, I guess) -- did you just happen upon this unanswered query or were you looking for it specifically for some reason?
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:05 PM on August 24, 2012


MCMikeNamara, jeather had been the one to answer the original question, corroborating my memories but also unable to find the title. It was more of a "that question has been bugging me as well for years since you asked it" (for which I am very sorry, but it has a happy ending) than a "I found your question" scenario.
posted by ilana at 4:15 PM on August 24, 2012


:A-Team theme song:

I'm gonna start using the :A emoticon.
posted by cmoj at 4:55 PM on August 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I had two childhood book title questions and was amazed at how quickly the answers were provided. They were book titles I'd searched for for years and *boom* AskMe provides!
posted by deborah at 6:34 PM on August 24, 2012


I know jeather from here and another venue and she is truly awesome! It doesn't surprise me that she'd stick with something like this.
posted by cooker girl at 6:42 PM on August 24, 2012


Can mods post the answer in that thread

We can't. That is, there is no current mechanism for doing this and we've talked about it a few times and never found a decent way to do stuff like that. restless_nomad has been really interested in the possibility of finding ways to cross-link posts and Meta posts about them so that people could reference them backwards and forwards but we've never really gone anywhere with that idea.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:53 PM on August 24, 2012


Internet Detective Squad! -- "Collective Detective."
posted by crunchland at 7:55 PM on August 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


All of us are more inquisitive then one of us.
posted by The Whelk at 9:07 PM on August 24, 2012


It's not possible to add in a tag that is somehow also a hyperlink, is it? Anyway, this post is so lovely, and kudos to jeather!
posted by onlyconnect at 9:12 PM on August 24, 2012


As an aside, how do you pronounce Elwy? like El Why? it's an unusual name?
posted by gt2 at 2:58 AM on August 25, 2012


EL-wee Yohst could sell me toast.

National Post: He was born in 1925 in Weston, Ont., then a suburb of Toronto, the only child of a pickle manufacturer, also named Elwy.
posted by pracowity at 4:05 AM on August 25, 2012


It's not possible to add in a tag that is somehow also a hyperlink, is it?

Nope, they're explicitly plain-text entities on the design side that inherent automated hyperlinks as part of how they're displayed on the site. Adding in a custom extra link there would be a bad scene.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:44 AM on August 25, 2012


I asked a question over seven years ago that I just found the answer to within the past month, thanks to a photo of the cover posted on the Shelf Discovery Facebook page. (The book in question was Bettina's Secret by Britt Hallqvist.)
posted by SisterHavana at 9:58 AM on August 25, 2012


Maybe a new tag (or two) would help, something like ResolvedAfterClosing and CheckTheResolvedAfterClosingWikiPageForTheAnswer? Clunky, admittedly.
posted by Lexica at 10:36 AM on August 25, 2012


Yes, I have actually been thinking about this question for (according to the date of the post) three years, because I liked the book too and could not remember the title. And it was so weird, how could it not have any googleable results? It's a charming book. I think. I am likely to buy it now.

I got the answer because at the end of last year I asked one of those book finder websites and didn't get a notification that my question had been answered (about a week later, after I had stopped checking the page and went to waiting for an email), and then when I googled it again I hit on the keywords that I had used the first time (underwater bubble queen chess).
posted by jeather at 12:58 PM on August 25, 2012


Update: I tweeted about this and Star Crossed Press got in touch with me; apparently they're reprinting the book this fall. I think I might just have to buy a copy!
posted by ilana at 10:13 AM on August 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Still no one could help me with my request for identifying a vampire novel from the 80s.
posted by wilful at 6:53 PM on August 27, 2012


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