Bogus to Bubbly: An Insider's Guide to the World of Uglies

Bogus to Bubbly: An Insider's Guide to the World of Uglies

by Scott Westerfeld, Craig Phillips

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THE WORLD OF UGLIES, SET IN OUR NOT-SO-DISTANT FUTURE,is a complex place filled with bubbly technology and lingo, yet bogus rules about status and appearance. That's why a guide to the world of uglies has been requisitioned from the hole in the wall. Inside you'll find:

A rundown on all the cliques, from Crims and Cutters to tech-heads and surge-monkeys

The complete history, starting with the destruction of the oil bug to the launch of Extras in space

How all those awesome gadgets came to be: hoverboards, eyescreens, skintennas, sneak suits...

PLUS an exclusive look at Scott Westerfeld's first draft of Extras -- starring Hiro, not Aya.

And so much more, it's mind-wrecking.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442407381
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: 10/27/2009
Series: Uglies Series
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
File size: 5 MB
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Scott Westerfeld is the author of the Leviathan series, the first book of which was the winner of the 2010 Locus Award for Best Young Adult Fiction. His other novels include the New York Times bestseller Afterworlds, the worldwide bestselling Uglies series, The Last DaysPeepsSo Yesterday, and the Midnighters trilogy. Visit him at or follow him on Twitter at @ScottWesterfeld.

Craig Phillips has been creating cover art and drawings for books, comics, and magazines for nearly two decades. He is most at home working on tales about myth and magic. His latest book—Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts: Ten Tales from the Deep, Dark Woods—is a 200-page graphic novel about just that! It will be in stores in May 2017. When he is not drawing and writing, he likes to swim in the lakes and walk in the forests and mountains of New Zealand. Visit him at

Read an Excerpt


Theoretically, all pretties get along with one another. But in any large group of human beings, there are different types of people who want to spend their time in different ways. So it didn't take long for cliques to form in Tally's city, organized around all the typical new-pretty activities: ballooning, partying, and other kinds of socializing.

Also, it made sense to me that pretties would form cliques. That's the sort of thing that the pretties I knew in high school liked to do.

So here are mini histories of all the cliques mentioned in the Uglies series. (At least, I hope I got them all.)

Tally's City


Being crim can change the world.

— Miki

The Crims are one of the few cliques that started in Uglyville, about a year before Shay and Tally met. That group ran away to the Smoke, except for Zane and Shay, who chickened out. Zane restarted the clique in New Pretty Town, where Tally later joined. As Tally and Zane become famous for their bubbly exploits, the Crims expanded to become one of the largest cliques in New Pretty Town. Many of these new members wound up as Cutters under Shay's guidance (see "Cutters").

The Crims are most famous for their mass balloon escape from New Pretty Town, and although Zane was soon recaptured, he returned to find the Crims still thriving. Tricks and other forms of rebellion had at last become a part of pretty culture. The Crims became a vital conduit between Tally's city and the New Smoke, distributing the cure to tens of thousands of new and middle pretties. Once Dr. Cable was finally ousted from power, many Crims became, ironically, part of the new political leadership of Tally's city. But by that time, Zane, the Crims' founder, was dead, a tragic victim of the Diego War.


The Cutters were my pride and joy, my special Specials.

— Dr. Cable

The Cutters were originally a pretty clique started by Shay. When she saw how Tally and Zane were becoming less pretty-minded, Shay tried to create a cure for herself. But the only thing that reduced her bubblehead haze was the extreme pain of cutting. She spread the practice to a few other Crims, including Ho and Tachs, and to many other pretties who had not been voted into the Crims. Together they became the Cutters.

After the Crims' mass escape, the Cutters were recruited by Dr. Cable to become a new division of Special Circumstances. After undergoing her brain-washing, they were dedicated to hunting down the New Smoke. They lived in the wild, even hunting animals for food. In a way, the Cutters lived a twisted version of the Smokey life that Shay had been torn away from (thanks to Tally). Many of the Crims recaptured after the mass escape, including Tally, were given the surgical procedure that turned them into Cutters.

Just before the Diego War, the Cutters were infiltrated by Fausto — a former member who had been captured and cured by the Smokies — and he cured all of them. In their new form, they became the heroes of the Diego War and have since helped the New Special Circumstances in many missions against cities that expand too far. They no longer cut, but the name remains.


If Shay hadn't introduced her to the Crims, Tally figured she would have been a Hot-air. They were always drifting off into the night and landing at random places, calling a hovercar to pick them up from some distant suburb or even past the city limits.

Hot-airs are obsessed with ballooning and all forms of flight. They hate to be on the ground, and even when they aren't in balloons, they prefer to be on balconies or rooftops, and they always live on high floors. They call everyone who isn't a Hot-air a "groundling." As the cure spread through Tally's city, a few Hot-airs took up hoverboarding, a pastime previously unheard of in pretty culture. After the mind-rain, many Hot-airs joined the Extras' space colonization project. Some still prefer the traditional hot-air balloon, and vast fleets can be seen taking off from the cities, filling the night sky with wild colors and tiny spigots of flame.

The Swarm

Of course the Swarm was everywhere, all jabbering to one another on their interface rings.

The Swarm is a tight-knit clique that uses skintenna surge to create social bonds. Their skintennas are all on one shared channel, so that anything one Swarmer says is heard by all the others. They go places only in huge groups and generally don't talk to anyone outside the Swarm. Because of the lack of privacy, the Swarm has lots of infighting, and several groups have broken off from the main clique. To make things confusing, they all call themselves the Swarm. All claim to be the original group, and nobody knows which one really is. Since the mind-rain, the Swarm has started to experiment with group-think software, hoping one day to hear one another's thoughts. It is unclear how the clique will evolve if they ever get that to work.


A mostly naked clique of Bashers were pretending to be pre-Rusties, building bonfires and drumming, establishing their own little satellite party, which was what Bashers always did.

Bashers are an all-male clique who like to drum and who often camp in pleasure gardens rather than living in mansions. Since the mind-rain, many Bashers have joined the pre-Rusty societies kept in reservations by the scientists of Tally's city, trying to recapture their true primitive maleness.


...Twisters as sick puppies wearing big cone-shaped plastic collars.

Twisters are the most perverse clique in New Pretty Town, doing outrageous things like making them-selves look ugly for parties. They throw impromptu drum-machine bashes where people wear horrible masks: devils, scary clowns, monsters, and aliens. (We first meet them in the opening chapter of Uglies.) Since the mind-rain, most Twisters have become major surge-monkeys.


Tally stumbled into a clique of Naturals plastered with brittle leaves, walking last days of autumn who shed yellows and reds as she shoved through them.

Naturals are pretties who are into gardening and camping. Not as adventurous as Rangers, certainly, but more likely to go into the wild than a normal pretty — though they always bring along lots of champagne.

Asian Cliques

Of course, cliques are different in every city and region. To completely understand the world of Extras, you should probably know a little about the social forces in that part of the world. So here are a few of the cliques that appeared in Asia after the mind-rain.

Youngblood Cults

Great, another cult of me. Just what the world needs.

— Tally

The importance of fame in Aya's city, combined with the fact that Tally is the most famous person in the world, has led to the rise of the so-called Youngblood Cults. Some of these cliques are simply historical clubs, trying to learn what they can about Tally as a revolutionary and as a person. Other cults, however, are more focused on surging to look like Tally did when she was an ugly, a pretty, or a Special. They seem to have forgotten that Tally's true message is one of self-determination, not hero-worship and imitation.

Sly Girls

You Sly Girls don't cry when you watch the big-face parties on the feeds, just because you weren't invited. You don't stay friends with people you hate, just to bump your face rank. And even though nobody knows what you're doing out here, you don't feel invisible at all.

— Aya

The Sly Girls are an all-female secret clique dedicated to doing tricks without becoming famous. The clique was started by Ai (last name unknown), but the Sly Girls' official leader is whoever has the lowest face rank at any given moment. Although the Girls are personally anonymous, their tricks, like bridge jumping and mag-lev surfing, made them famous as a group, and their name became synonymous with mysterious forces at work in the world — like gremlins or faeries.

After Aya Fuse's story that featured them kicked, the Sly Girls became annoyingly famous and had to relocate to another city for a while. But they were soon recognized (for their tricks, not their Plain Jane faces) and became famous there as well. Now they are reconciled to their fame, though they disappear from the public view for long periods of time. And they are rumored to be working on a really big trick.


Maybe Frizz's intense gaze made everyone feel this way. His eyes were so huge, just like the old Rusty drawings that manga-heads based themselves on.

Manga was one of the great popular art forms of the Rusty era, so it isn't surprising that after the mind-rain, many people wanted to look like manga characters. Small noses, big smiles, and huge eyes are the main characteristics of manga-heads, and some sport gravity-challenging hairstyles as well. (Note: Manga-heads are split into many subcliques, depending on the style of the source material.)

Radical Honesty

So let me get this straight, Aya-chan. You want me, a person who can't lie, to lie about the fact that I can't lie?

— Frizz

To solve his own problem with truth-slanting, a manga-head named Frizz Mizuno requested that city surgeons perform a new type of brain surge on him, one that eliminated his capacity to lie. A side effect of the operation was that he had to share everything about his life on his feed, which made him a very popular kicker, and this in turn spread the popularity of his surgery. Frizz ultimately reversed the surge, preferring to rely on his own willpower to tell the truth, but his clique, Radical Honesty, is still growing in popularity. Offshoot cliques include Radical Hilarity, Radical Loyalty, and Radical Niceness.


Every change we've made adapts us better to our future home. We're the first extraterrestrial people.

— Udzir

The Extraterrestrials (generally known as Extras) originated in Southeast Asia. Founded by an environ-mentalist named Udzir, they have been planning for space colonization since the beginning of the Expansion, slowly altering themselves to live in a zero-g environment. They also are dedicated to moving much of the metal in the Rusty Ruins into space, both to use as building materials and to slow down the Expansion of the cities. Their major surgical alterations include: replacing their legs with an extra set of arms, moving their eyes for wider peripheral vision, and removing the pigment from their skin for improved vitamin D production with minimal sunlight. Their headquarters is in the ruin of the ancient Rusty city of Singapore, but most Extras now live in space in a group of orbital habitats that they call the New Expansion.


Randoms reject all forms of surgery and gene therapy no matter how old and broken-down they get. They believe that life-extension treatments are leading to overpopulation and that no one should live for more than a hundred years. But a surprising number of them change their minds in later life....


As the mind-rain unleashes creativity, more people are becoming interested in innovative technologies. The clique system is the best way to share resources and new ideas. The tech-heads are actually a loose confederation of cliques, including Inventors, Physics Otaku, NeoFoodies, and Mag-Lev Spotters. Recently, many tech-heads have joined the Extras in space.

Reputation Bombers

The Reputation Bombers are a tech-head clique devoted to figuring out how the city's fame algorithms work. They experiment every night by bombing — chanting a different member's name in hope of boosting his or her face rank. Most of their members fade back into oblivion after being bombed, but a few have become permanently famous, because they turned out to be really interesting people once everyone got to know them. The city council has set up a permanent committee, the Fame Spam Board, to fight this and other abuses of the face-rank algorithms. Spin-off groups include Slam Bombers and Hovercam Bombers.


A new cult first made famous by Aya Fuse's brother, Hiro, Immortals believe that the technology exists to enable human beings to live forever. Their lawsuit against the global government has in fact turned up evidence that many untried life-extension treatments exist, and that people can live into their mid-two hundreds. Where we're going to put everyone is less clear.

Plain Janes

The Plain Janes are an all-female group who reject all cosmetic surgery, makeup, and hairstyling. Unlike Randoms, they're okay with eyescreens and health modifications, just not with things that would make them pretty. (I stole the name from Cecil Castellucci's excellent graphic novel of that title.)


NeoFoodies are tech-heads who experiment with food, separating flavors from structure and using unexpected processes. (And they're real! See "Miscellany.")

Text copyright © 2008 by Scott Westerfeld

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Bogus to Bubbly: An Insider's Guide to the World of Uglies 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 91 reviews.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Sometimes, when a book series gets really popular, writers will try to cash in by writing unauthorized guides to the story or books about the "science" behind popular fantasy titles. Then, rarely, you get a book like Bogus to Bubbly: An Insider's Guide to the World of Uglies (2008) that was actually written by the ultimate insider: Scott Westerfeld. Uglies is a series of books (one trilogy and a companion book) about a world in the future where in order to prevent war and strife everyone gets plastic surgery to be beautiful and live long. Everyone else, by contrast, is ugly. That is the super, super short explanation of the series which is more complex. I don't recommending reading this guide before the series because it contains spoilers and, truth be told, unless you know you like the books this guide will not be that interesting. Westerfeld explains a lot of things in this book. He discusses where the idea for the story came from, as well as how he thought of skintennas and the Rusties. Parts of the book also explain technology, history, and culture surrounding the worlds created in the Uglies series. What I liked about the book was that it mentioned a lot about the writing process. While Westerfeld himself notes that it's hard to trace the origin of ideas, this book does try. It's interesting to read how a dentist visit inspired several aspects of the book while, thankfully, we are not the entire inspiration behind the Rusties. Explanations of names and slanguage were also very informative and interesting. I was less enthralled by the technology information. It was fun to hear about the science of beauty, but the information about magnetic levitation, hoverboards and inventions got a bit, well, technical. Although I fully admit that could be me since Uglies is one of the few straight sci-fi series I read (I usually go in for fantasy which, having dragons and what not, is guaranteed to be less technical). There is also a bit of repetition with the books revealing much of what Westerfeld puts together in Bogus to Bubbly but that is probably inevitable with an insider's guide like this. Aside from content, I liked the book's organization. It's written like a real guide with cross-referencing between sections and an index. The book also includes illustrations and maps which helped a lot to visualize the city as it was meant to be seen. While the entire book might not be read-worthy for every fan, it's very likely at least one nagging question about the series will be answered in this book. Mine, for instance, being whether belly sensors were indeed belly button rings or not. Readers will also leave the guide with a new insight into how the writing process might work. On top of that, Bogus to Bubbly also includes a preview of Westerfeld's new series Leviathan. My only serious regret is that the Awesome Librarian Clique only warranted passing mention (though since they didn't factor in the books at all, perhaps that is to be expected).
JessicaDay More than 1 year ago
This was an awsome book! I enjoyed reading it and it has a lot of fun info from Uglies!
Mrs.JasperWhitlock-Hale More than 1 year ago
This book was pretty helpful for understanding the world of Uglies better. I learned a lot, and really enjoyed Bogus to Bubbly. Good job, Scott!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't wait to get my hands on this one! Scott Westerfeld is an amazing writer, and I totally recommend all of his titles! I have no idea how I'm gonna wait for October!
emma-bear_ More than 1 year ago
Bogus to Bubbly by Scott Westerfeld, was the complete guide to the world that Tally and Aya live in. I recommend that you read the series, then this. This will answer all of the questions that you have about the gadgets, surgery, and the whole world itself. This is a good book, but you absolutely have to read the entire Uglies series first.
smokesignls More than 1 year ago
Perhaps I read this out of order... I read all four of the books from the series, and THEN bought Bogus to Bubbly. It may be fun for a pre-teen to have when going through the series, but after you've read the series, it doesn't add much. There were a few cool things about the writer's though process, notes on the cover pictures, etc. Would have liked more along those lines, less about how to hoverboard.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For all of you who botherd to open this page i accually really liked this book and you it should be zane. Swewxw
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The only thing that's bad is the size/quality of the pictures. I learned a lot about the Uglies world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was interesting to read. It was nice to dive deeper into the world of pretties, uglies, and extras. What I found most interesting was the science behind being "pretty". You should definately check this out if you loved the Uglies series!
Maplepie98 More than 1 year ago
Everyone whoever read a good book always wannts more like it and this series was so great anyone who read it would be constantly trying to find a book half as good as the series. But Scott Westerfeld had to make it even more impossible to find a book even an eighth as good when adding Bugus to Bubbly to end the most fantastic series. This book was full of all the right information, just great.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first read the preveiw of the book on my nook. I was utterly dissappointed when I realized I wouldn't be able to finish my "Guide to My Series 9 Hoverboard" until I bought the book... so I did! Yup, it's tatally worth it (If you're totally intrigued) Once finished learning how to work a hoverboard I took a history class on ourselves, (the Rusties) and learned of our "big crash". I have to say, if it weren't for this book the Uglies, Pretties, Specials, and Extras would have been wasted on me. I DEFINITEELY reccomend this!!!!
Ravenclaww More than 1 year ago
In this guide by Scott Westerfeld, it explains how the Uglies world came to be and it made sense because if you think about it, it is where we are headed right now. But putting the depressing end of the world aside this small guide taught us a lot about the world in 300 years. It gave a short summary of what happened in the novels to refresh our memories along with some interesting facts that were not in the novels. It came with some extra stuff like Extras but from Hiro's point of view and how a hoverboard works and how some of their inventions are beginning to come to life in our actual time. It is a great read for the day when you want to snuggle up, having read the series before of course, and learn some interesting new things. The way he wrote was very witty and made engeneering and science sound exciting.
The_Shadow412 More than 1 year ago
new look at uglies. shows you all the gadgets and stories behind the characters and covers. like it.
aidyn_loves_miguel More than 1 year ago
In this readers guide to the bestseller series, UGLIES, you can see the inside story of everything from the crash of the rusties to the mechanics of the ever envied hover board. Scott Westerfeld informs us of all the little details we coulodn't read between the lines in the series and keeps you just as enticed from cover to cover in this guide as he does in his ever adored Uglies series.
Avid_Reader101 More than 1 year ago
I think that by making a guide, that is deffinitely a great way to end the series. This book shows you secrets from Tally's city to Japan in Aya's city. It has all the secrets of science and beauty and magnetism. It has all the cliques and a little surprise. (The first draft of Extras. INCLUDING HIRO NOT AYA!!) Read this book it you want more from Uglies and if you have ALOT of questions! They all get answered right in this 213 page Uglies guide.
CoalPaw on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
To be perfectly honest, I wish I hadn't gotten this book. It might be more worth-reading if I was more interested in technology (which was basically what the whole thing was about), but in actuality I thought it was extremely long-winded for such a little book. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone not extremely into sci-fi. Also, I got the impression more than once that Scott Westerfeld was a woman. I don't know why, but it definitely seemed that way.P.S. : Don't let this sway anyone from the Uglies series. Those books were really good.
skstiles612 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my all time favorite series is Scott Westerfeld's "Uglies". I was so thrilled that I bought a set for our morning school book club. I am now down to four books because students have loved them so much they have kept them. In Bogus to Bubbly, Westerfeld answers all of those questions we had as we read the series. How did he come up with the names and the slang words he used in his books? How did he create the science based items in his book and what are the chances that we will see them in the future. All of these questions and more are answered in this book. It is a definite for anyone who loves the "Uglies" series.
bluesalamanders on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm classifying this as non-fiction even though it's about half non-fiction and half fictional non-fiction. In Bogus to Bubbly, Westerfeld talks about how he came up with the idea for his Uglies series and for various things in the books, including the slang, the names, and the technologies. He also includes "instruction manuals" for some technologies, like the hoverboards, and "history" passages, such as how future generations would view what happened in the books. It was an interesting, if quick, read.
terriko on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A companion volume to the Uglies series, this is a fun insight into the creation of the world and the people in it.
KeFu0718 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book helps to understand all the other ugly books. There are puictures that help ease the reading too!
drinalu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a cool insite into the author's mind. I liked reading about how he got some of the ideas, also he pointed out things I didn't quite catch while reading the series, so I'm glad I read this book. But once is enough.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yeah and for the People who like Zane click yes. For thoughs who like David click No. ( I personally thing Zane's the cute one) ~Lil Mermaid~
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