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View Diary: Stevens to try to kill avian flu funds (28 comments)

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  •  sf novelists (none)
    As a former card-carrying member of Science Fiction Writers of America, I'd liek to say callign a ahrd sf writer to testify on global warming isn't a bad idea. Mnay ofhtem have advanced degrees, or at least research heavily.  They work damned hard to get it right because there are a lto of science geeks who read sf, and they have NO compunction about skewering them or writing hostile letters correctign them.

    My personal favorite hard sf writer is Catherine Asaro, who looks like a model, teaches ballet in her spare time, has a couple of kids and a husband, runs her own research lab, has a Ph.D in chemical physics from Harvard and has worekd at the Max Planck Institute.  I've only met her on writing lists, but she's also very nice and very funny.

    I'd love to have HER testify onthe hIll in her area of expertise--chemical physics.

    If your'e thinking of the book The Day AFter TOmorrow was based on, I heven't read it--but themovie, from what I've read, deviated heavily from the novel (it was a really dumb movie).

    "I'm looking for an original sin/I've done all the old ones/they've all been done in" " --Jim Steinman

    by irishwitch on Sun Oct 02, 2005 at 08:37:57 PM PDT

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    •  They called Chrichton. He may be smart, (none)
      but he's rabidly conservative.  Is he the most qualified to educate on global warming?  

      No.  But, he serves their purpose.

      Science:0
      Bullshit: 1

      •  sf writers (none)
        Michael Crichton does NOT write science fiction. He writes bestsellers that occasionally have a tiny bit of science in them.  NO sf writer would consider him part of the club.   Lu,poing him in with real sf writers like Asaro, Heinlein, de Camp, FOrward, Niven and Pournelle, is like calling Tom Clancy a miltary expert becasue he writes technothrillers (with TONS of inaccuracies in them).

        They called Crichton becasue of ONE book and becasue he's a coservative Rpeublican, NOT becasue he's an sf writer.

        "I'm looking for an original sin/I've done all the old ones/they've all been done in" " --Jim Steinman

        by irishwitch on Sun Oct 02, 2005 at 08:54:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're right. I lumped him in. (none)
          Still, my point is: is he a qualified expert on global warming?  I don't think so.
          •  sf and crichton (none)
            No,. he is no more anexpert at global warmign than he is an sf writer.  Yes, you sre right ont hat.

            But I was onjecting, on the behalf of sf wrters and readers, to your calling him an sf writer.  SF writers usually KNOW their subject matter well enough to extrapolate from it. I don't care for them being lumped together with someoneliek Crichton, who was trained as a doctor but hasn't practiced in decades. I'd be more incliend to consider Robin Cook, who actually does use science as the basis for his premises, then asks "What if--?" and proceeds from there identified as an sf writer. At least he uses the science well and believably in his medical thrillers.  

            Ctcihton's  books are kinda like watching JAG or NCIS--he gets so much wrong that anyone who actually knows something about the subject  laughs themselves sick.  And I'd hate to have one of their scriptwriters testify on miltiary preparedness.

            "I'm looking for an original sin/I've done all the old ones/they've all been done in" " --Jim Steinman

            by irishwitch on Sun Oct 02, 2005 at 09:53:10 PM PDT

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            •  Calling him sci-fi was my error. (none)
              I'm sorry.  No insult meant to fine sci-fi authors.
              •  sf (none)
                No problem.

                Genre writers face a lot of flak form the literati. It's regarded as trash, usually buy peopel who have never read it.

                 I was a lit major as an undegrad.  In jr. year, we had to keep an ongoing notebook with original criticism.  I recall my seminar leader turnign mien bacl witht he words" You are too intelligent to fritter away your time on science fiction and fantasy."  I took a  vow at that moment to fritter like hell. Had the start of a nice career as a fantasy writer back in the early 80s, but lost my first husband and hit block.

                I find a lot of modern literature deadly dull and soulless. It's usually about depressed and depressing people I wouldn't waste five minutes on at a party, let alone four or five reading about them.  Sf and fantasy, except for space opera and sowrd and sorcery--think COnan-- tend to be literature of ideas. I enjoy being challenged.

                "I'm looking for an original sin/I've done all the old ones/they've all been done in" " --Jim Steinman

                by irishwitch on Mon Oct 03, 2005 at 07:30:47 AM PDT

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      •  Separate book, separate issue ... (none)
        ... but holy shit did he ever fuck up the description of the geology in that book about the Congo.  Fiction?  Yes.  Science?  No.

        Let's get serious about renewables and efficiency. It's time to Win the Oil Endgame.

        by by foot on Sun Oct 02, 2005 at 09:48:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Which is why being an "expert" witness (none)
          before Congress is insulting and injurious.  

          We have sunk to depths I didn't think possible.

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