The Perils of Internet Information

The Internet is the coolest thing ever. I’m not sure how I ever got along without it. On the other hand, it’s amazingly effective at disseminating bad information. It’s kind of like the old game of telephone where you sit in a circle and whisper a message in your neighbor’s ear. Then you see how badly the message is garbled by the time it gets back to you.

I’m constantly finding bizarre (and wrong) facts about the Percy Jackson series online. To clarify some big mistakes that I’ve seen recently:

1) “The Sword of Hades” is NOT the title of Percy Jackson book five.

As mentioned earlier on the blog, “Percy Jackson and the Sword of Hades” is a short story about fifty pages long that I wrote for World Book Day in the UK. It will be published in the spring. It takes place between book four and book five, but it has nothing to do with book five. It is certainly not the title for book five. I guess somebody read that blog entry not very carefully, got overexcited, and suddenly several websites have posted “Sword of Hades” as Percy Jackson 5. Wrong. The title of book five has not been announced yet. It won’t be announced until October at the earliest.

2) Steven Spielberg is NOT directing “The Lightning Thief.”

This is an example of people mashing several unrelated facts together. Fox 2000 is making “The Lightning Thief” movie with Chris Columbus directing. The film rights for 39 Clues, a completely separate series, have been sold to DreamWorks, and Steven Spielberg is considering directing that movie. Two totally different films based on different books, with different directors. Spielberg is not involved in “The Lightning Thief” project.

3) Spoilers and inside tips about Percy Jackson book five.

There aren’t any. I’ve seen lots of these posted on the Internet, and they all profess to be true, but believe me, nobody has read the book except me, my immediate family, my agent, and my editor. No one else has any idea what will happen in the book. The details will be a tightly guarded secret until it is published in May. Anything else you read on the Internet about what happens in book five is a complete guess with absolutely no basis in fact.

I hope that helps! As I used to warn my students when they were doing research reports: Remember, anyone can post anything on the Internet. That doesn’t make it true!

Rick Riordan