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The American Caliban

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Or he could just go creationist on us. [Dec. 11th, 2004|03:02 pm]
The American Caliban
Once upon a time, Michael Crichton wrote good hack novels. The Andromeda Strain, for example: snappy tech thriller. His stuff was mostly literary chewing gum, but like Stephen King he could drag out a good hack plot and slap it around and make something you’d read on a flight.

He has slowly been going mad over the last 20 years. Unfortunately in his case it means mean mad; he’s joined the Orson Scott Card Literary Assholes Circle. The first hint of this was Rising Sun, which was a piece of racist shit pandering to the Yellow Peril mood of the 1990s. Remember? When Japan was going to take us over? It was made into an even worse movie. Thanks for topping us up, Mike, we didn’t have nearly enough race hate.

And then we had Airframe, which as far as I could tell was a screed against the whole idea of consumer safety or product liability lawsuits.

Finally he’s really gone and done it, with an antiscientific novel that attacks climate science, complete with a recondite appendix full of graphs and charts showing how all those pesky scienticians are wrong. He comes perilously close to ringing the Godwin Gong by comparing the “safety culture” to totalitarianism. More details here.

Maybe for his next opus he’ll novelize The Bell Curve or collaborate with Dave Sim in an attack on the Other Half!
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: fengi
2004-12-11 03:23 pm (UTC)

Sim/Chricton

I sort think he started down that road with Disclosure, but Prey made me think perhaps he'd gone back to don't mess with nature territory for good. But with this new loop de loop can it be long before we see:

TENDENCIES

A DNA scientist but natural slob is pressured by his girlfriend to seek advice from a shadowy set of fashion consultants known as Wilde Boys. Soon he finds himself embroiled in a fight with a cabal of homosexualists and women known only as The Void who seek to alter the very concept of what is natural...
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[User Picture]From: flipzagging
2004-12-11 03:34 pm (UTC)
I knew someone who read lots of stuff like that. He'd come back to lay all his new insights on me, whereupon cluebat was applied. Even with all his arguments squashed flat, he would insist: "Well, maybe some of the main points are wrong. But it's so well-researched!"

What am I supposed to say to that?

By questioning common consensus (plus footnotes), Crichton makes the average lunkhead feel like an intellectual maverick.
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[User Picture]From: torgo_x
2004-12-12 12:47 am (UTC)

lunkkopf

By questioning common consensus (plus footnotes), Crichton makes the average lunkhead feel like an intellectual maverick.

I worry that that's the most common effect of Orwell's 1984, too -- which is really depressing, considering how brilliant other aspects of the book are.

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[User Picture]From: xtreme_pr0k
2004-12-12 08:55 am (UTC)

et tu michael?

Perhaps he's going to go the way of Phillip Dick and becomem a bona fide religeous nut/zealot/feverist and end his career by writing nothing but sappy tripe "oh when will our lord return in the gleaming pure light of non technology and save us"...
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