Sci-fi writers join war on terror – USATODAY.com Here we go with the US government describing science fiction writers as crazed crackpots. Sheesh.

Looking to prevent the next terrorist attack, the Homeland Security Department is tapping into the wild imaginations of a group of self-described “deviant” thinkers: science-fiction writers.

“We spend our entire careers living in the future,” says author Arlan Andrews, one of a handful of writers the government brought to Washington this month to attend a Homeland Security conference on science and tech.
Those responsible for keeping the nation safe from devastating attacks realize that in addition to border agents, police and airport screeners, they “need people to think of crazy ideas,” Andrews says.

The writers make up a group called Sigma, which Andrews put together 15 years ago to advise government officials.

As George Morrow once pointed out to me: the science fictions writers tell good stories but their ability to predict the future is poor. They predicted flying cars and robots and never saw the computer and the way it emerged it began to appear in businesses in the 1960’s. Meanwhile, these people are hardly whack jobs who think in the sixth dimension. They’re writers who work for a living.

found by Roger Strukhof

  1. Lauren the Ghoti says:

    #28 – BR

    Russell’s books are not easy to come by, as he is, like Vance and Dick, somewhat of an acquired taste, and has a small but devoted following. Be forewarned, if you’re not already aware, that he most emphatically was NOT a hard-SF practicioner; he was a keen observer of humanity and often a very droll satirist. Obviously some background can be found in the usual place, and I think that everyone should read The Great Explosion. If you enjoy it, you’ll enjoy any and all of his other work…

    #27 – Angel

    “The new crop of sci-fi writers are really lousy storytellers, not to mention many fantasy writers and their trilogies..”

    I agree. I’ve tried, but the current generation of SF just leaves me cold – I find it just like rock music since the 80s; anytime it seems any good, it turns out it’s because it rips off some past great. These people figure (rightly) that most of their audience has never read – or heard, as the case may be – the originals, so their thefts go unnoticed.

    I have yet to read a fantasist worth a shit since Zelazny and LeGuin and I’ve given up trying. I doubt that Amber and Earthsea will be surpassed anytime soon.

  2. BubbaRay says:

    #31, Lauren,

    Amber, wow, you just made my hair grow 8 inches in ten seconds.

  3. Pfkad says:

    Lauren, Angel: Try William Gibson.

  4. KVolk says:

    I like Glen Cook for a good story as well as Peter Hamilton if you enjoy space opera and for fantasy nothing beats Raymond Feist.

  5. Lauren the Ghoti says:

    #33 – Pfkad

    I’ve tried, more than once, but I get 20 or 30 pages in and I wonder what I’m doing there… but mainly, the people I know who like Gibson are the same ones who like Bukowski and Palahniuk, and I just don’t go there.


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