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J.J. Abrams' Secret New Project Is ... A Book?

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Director J.J. Abrams attends the 'Star Trek: Into Darkness' Galaxy Carpet event at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, on August 14, 2013 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Keith Tsuji/Getty Images)
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In between directing duties on the Star Trek and Star Wars films, J.J. Abrams somehow has found time for a top-secret new project. He's been teasing it with two enigmatic videos (one released yesterday) but turns out it's not a movie or a mysterious new TV series. It's a book.

Abrams chatted with EW about the "novel within a novel," which Abrams says is "difficult to describe."

The book is called simply S., and will be published by Little, Brown on October 29. Abrams cowrote it with Doug Dorst, whose works include Alive in Necropolis and The Surf Guru.

EW's Jess Cagle was allowed a "brief look" at the book and agrees it's "a bear to describe."

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S. is basically about the relationship between a grad student named Eric and a college senior named Jennifer. They trade notes in the margins of a (fictional) 1949 novel by a mysterious author named V.M. Straka. S. contains the novel within the novel; copious handwritten notes between Jennifer and Eric (“a conversation that plunges them into the unknown,” according to the book jacket); and dozens of pieces of ephemera between the pages like newspaper clippings and a napkin with a map drawn on it. (S. will come shrink-wrapped so none of this extra material falls out.) It looks like a dense but often funny mystery — and exactly the kind of novel you’d hope for from Abrams.

"I could not be more excited for people to get their hands on this book," Abrams tells EW. It is difficult to describe because while it is a compelling mystery and love story, it is also much more than that. The work that everyone has done on S. is unlike anything I've ever seen. Frankly, I'm amazed it was even possible to do this project at all."

Some folks are pointing out that the novel's "extras" sound a lot like those faddish '90s Griffin and Sabine books.

Abrams isn't the first author to try to drum up interest with a video; James Patterson does it all the time.

The new teaser:

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The first teaser was released last month:

Of course, the Twitterati quickly made with the lens flare jokes.

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