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8th Dec 2010, 5:42 PM

My Muttonchops Are All That

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My Muttonchops Are All That
Average Rating: 5 (1 votes)
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Author Notes:

C. Glen Williams 8th Dec 2010, 5:42 PM edit delete
I think it's indicative of the direction our scientific ideals went after we lost both Asimov and Sagan that Michael Crichton became the name to conjure with in science fiction. Asimov loved science with a passion. He could make you believe that the future was going to be all right, just as long as we kept the science going. Sagan could conjure up images of standing on distant moons and gazing upon our own galaxy in the distance that would make you believe you would see it in your own lifetime.

Crichton, on the other hand, built his career around telling people that science is evil and that it will kill them.

  • Jurassic Park: After explaining a version of chaos theory that has nothing to do with the reality of the subject, Crichton tells us that evil, irresponsible scientists will stupidly clone carnivorous dinosaurs who will then kill us all.
  • Timeline: Scientists develop time travel, then immediately bollocks the whole thing up.
  • Westworld (based on a short story by Crichton): Evil, irresponsible people will take advances in cybernetics and wind up creating a race of killer androids who cannot be stopped. Also, they will be stupid enough to build control rooms that cannot be opened in a power outage and that have no ventilation system to allow air into the room.
  • Rising Sun: The Japanese sell America a lot of technology, which gives the Japanese a lot of power on American soil, which means Crichton thinks they're not to be trusted.


PO8 26th Dec 2012, 9:48 PM edit delete
Sagan was barely a SF writer at all, and Michael Crichton was more of a general novelist who often used a SF twist, as far as I can tell. One of the hallmarks of the end of the Golden Age of SF is that there was no one, really, to pick up the mantle of Asimov---at least no one capable of combining his quality with his volume.