mabfan (Michael A. Burstein) (mabfan) wrote,
mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)
mabfan

I'm a Character in an Iron Man Novel

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, Tuckerization is the term given to the act of naming a character in a work of fiction for a real person. It was named for writer Wilson Tucker, who did it often. I've Tuckerized people in some of my own stories; in fact, I offered two Tuckerizations in a raffle for when I Remember the Future was being pre-ordered, and both of the winners had their names (or names of their choosing) appear in the book.

Ten years ago, I answered some questions for Robert J. Sawyer as he was writing the novel Flashforward, which has now become a TV series on ABC. Rob mentioned me in the acknowledgments and gave me a minor Tuckerization on page 150, under the assumed name of Michael Burr, a name that James Patrick Kelly had used when he Tuckerized me in "Think Like a Dinosaur."

And yesterday, I picked up the novel Iron Man: Femme Fatales by Robert Greenberger, and found out on page 58 what I'd be doing with my life if I lived in the Marvel Universe; apparently, I'd be working for Stark Industries:


"Michael, it's good to see you," Stark said enthusiastically as he rose. Rounding the desk, he accepted the new mug in his left hand while shaking Burstein's hand with his right.

"Good to see you, too, sir," Burstein said in a soft voice. He was in his mid-thirties, slightly overweight, and prematurely balding, and he wore a colorful yarmukle pinned to his thinning hair. His clothes never seemed to fit right, nor did he ever wear a tie – an affectation Stark allowed. After all, comfortable people were productive people.


I was delighted to be surprised by this Tuckerization for a few reasons, beyond the enjoyable egoboo. For one thing, I could see myself in that position. For another, years ago there was a scientist in the Marvel universe named Noah Burstein, so maybe we're related. For a third thing, Bob has done a good job of interweaving diversity in his character cast throughout the novel, and the offhand mention of the yarmulke just adds one more tiny note in showing that humanity isn't monolithic.

(And for those of you who would point out that technically this isn't a Tuckerization, since the character does appear to be me, albeit an alternate version of me, well, you're right too.)

Bob, thank you. I can't wait to find out what happens to my alter ego. Hopefully, I won't get killed by Hydra.
Tags: books, comics, personal, science-fiction
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