I decided to keep the more extensive notes (i.e. author ramblings) here. Note: this post has affiliated links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will receive a tiny commission at no additional cost to you. It helps fund this website’s upkeep and my writing activity, but don’t feel any obligation.

Chapter 3:

1. The blue book: Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant. Lucy has the original edition published in 2004. She doesn’t have the expanded edition I read because it was published in January 2015.

2. book with an orange spine: Freakonomics. Again, Lucy has the 2009 first edition. She hasn’t got around to buying the expanded edition.

3. Am I the only one who eye-twitched over Bruce-Natasha when I considered their probable ages? I mean, Bruce was born in 1969, and Natasha approximately 1984. That’s a 15 year difference. Not insurmountable, but still. Ew.

4. All books references in this chapter.

Chapter 4:

  1. Steve’s army back pay: 3.1 million according to this fan calc.
  2. The 530K figure is based on the assumption Steve bought $300 worth a S&P500 fund equivalent in 1937 (as a teen), and let the it grow with dividends automatically reinvested until 2013 (calculator used here). Of course, an S&P500 fund didn’t exist back then, so we can only speculate what Steve bought.
  3. Buying Berkshire Hathaway A shares (BRK.A) in the early 1970s would’ve been the equivalent of buying Facebook or Amazon after IPO, let’s just say.
  4. The question Natasha teaches Steve is taken from “Never Split the Difference“.
  5. I deleted Lucy’s financial advice scene, but here’s the gist:
    • Lucy: Are you going to keep your Berkshire shares? Not a bad idea.
    • Steve: Not sure. What would you do with it?
    • Lucy: Depends. If I didn’t have to pay any taxes, I’d do what Warren Buffett planned for his wife: sell BKR, buy 90% VTI, 10% BND. Live off the proceeds.
    • Steve: …Who is Warren Buffett, and why are you taking his advice?
  6. The magic in Lucy’s house is reference to my original work: Liars for Magic. TLDR: Lucy really does have an enchanted house…
  7. Reference books for this chapter:

The first 30 seconds of this video should give you an idea of Steve’s net worth. (Hint: think deca-millionaire.)

Chapter 5:

  1. Erik Shin is the main character of in my original fic The Last Wizard. TLDR; he is a wizard who can only do two things: create potions and manipulate memory in all its forms.
  2. kǒu shuǐ jī (口水鸡) “mouthwatering chicken”. A cold Szechuan chicken dish; its odd name is an indication of how delicious it is. You can find the recipe the inspired the scene here.
  3. Cancer conversation: somatic mutation theory of cancer is the one expounded in “Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer“, which covered the latest in cancer research as of 2011 (and the one that would be mainstream when Steve was defrosted). When the cancer atlas failed to reveal mutation pathways, scientists started to explore the environment-induced-Atavism theory as explained in “The Cancer Code” (called paradigm 3.0).
  4. Books referenced and used:

Chapter 6:

1. Machine Learning! One my great interests and a subject I would like get better at. My thought is HYDRA used a recommendation algorithm to build their Project Insight target list. Some customized thing that scans a person’s data and decides “People like you, will rebel against HYDRA” like Amazon goes “People like you, will like this”.

2. Steve’s reluctance to decide a major was entirely inspired by “Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World“. I listened to the audio book version on my drive to and from Richmond. It provides an interesting (and compelling) counterargument to the “early specialization” school of thought a la Tiger Woods and the Polgár Sisters.

I learned about the Northwestern’s Integrated Science Program from “Range“.

3. The Viktor Frankl’s book Bruce reference is, of course, Man’s Search for Meaning.

4. Behold, the mugs Bruce got for Christmas:

The Darth Vader one is from Tony, obviously. He also broke the budget limit.

This is the gag Christmas gift Magneto would have sent to Steve:

I learned about the above book through this video:

Rules for Rulers

5. Surprise Robert and Jacqueline appearance! Or not. Erik had to explain his radio silence, after all. The real explanation is that the Erik Shin appearing Clause for Women, Children, and Infirm, chapter 12 is someone I imagined before The Last Wizard was twinkle in my eye. But let’s call the time anomaly a hint to a possible sequel 😉

6. Robert Ransom, doh-sah (도사): Technically, this is someone who follows the path of Tao, but more colloquially this is a person, usually male, who has the power to manipulate qi, whether it is their own or that of others. Think Kamehameha in Dragon Ball and the air blast moves you see in martial arts anime.

Speaking of A Study in Magic, the original: You can get 3 months of Kindle Unlimited for $0.99. This means you could read all of my original works for less than a dollar 😉 Not sure if applies to all territories or just the US, but worth checking out.

kindle unlimited link

7. Lisbeth Salander. Main Female character Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The version I had in mind is from the 2011 movie.

All books referenced:

Chapter 8:

The chapter with the most diverse range of sources. Here is roughly where I got ideas from in order of appearance:

1. “Cover and Move”. I learned about it in Extreme Ownership, chapter 5. The way Steve and Matt did it is NOT how the Navy SEALs do it, as Steve is right to admit.

2. Real Violence. A way of fighting with human instincts, and not at all like modern martial arts, according to the highly absorbing book Natural Born Heroes (chapter 12). The ways live on in Wing Chun (the martial art Robert Downey Jr. trains in) and Pankration (supposedly practiced by Greek heroes such as Heracles).

3. NYPD hostage rescue unit: apparently they pioneered a lot of the modern hostage rescue techniques the FBI used and later perfected, according to “Never Split the Difference.” If you want to read more on the history of FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, and how the agents developed ways to rescue hostages without bloodshed (a real problem), check out “Mindhunter” by John E. Douglas, and “Whoever Fights Monsters” by Robert K. Ressler.

Interesting side note: Ressler and Douglas’s account of how they started interviewing serial killers differ. Both claim to have to come up with the idea first. They can be synthesized somewhat, but I haven’t found a source that serves as a tie breaker yet.

4. Hearing Loss among soldiers: I read about it in Mary Roach’s fascinating (and funny) book “Grunt: the curious science of humans at war”. (See chapter 3, fighting by ear)

5. “English Major. How about you?” You can find a reproduction of the cartoon here. Search for “Here’s my favorite cartoon:”

All books referenced:

Another interesting side note: you can read Extreme Ownership and Mindhunter for free through Kindle Unlimited. You can sign up for a free month trial (and help BOC write more at no additional cost to you). That said, I strongly recommend you find all books at your local library.

Chapter 10:

1. human gut microbiome: I learned about it from all sort of books, podcasts and articles. Here is a good premiere on the subject

Andrew Huberman: “Gut & Brain Health”

2. Robert and Steve’s dialogue: I used Atul Gawande’s “Being Mortal” extensively to craft it. “Being Moral” was the best book I read in 2019.

3. Lactobacilli: the genus of bacteria responsible for fermentation.

All books referenced:

Chapter 11:

1. It’s not possible for me to list all the sources I’ve perused on the subject of longevity. Suffice to say you can’t kick a longevity research thing without learning something about mTOR, Autophagy, and Rapamycin and AMPK signaling pathways, etc. Here is the video that got me started, and the book that lead me to others:

How to slow Aging (and even reverse it), by Veritasium

Some scholarly articles:

2. The blind doctor Betty mentioned is Dr. Tim Cordes.

Categories: fanfic


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