Thursday, January 11, 2007

Coming on Monday: Rob's op-ed in the Ottawa Citizen

This Monday, January 15, 2007, the Ottawa Citizen -- the largest-circulation newspaper in Canada's capital city -- will carry an op-ed piece by me, Robert J. Sawyer, on Michael Crichton's tendency to blend fact and fiction in his books.

(An op-ed piece is an article that appears OPosite the EDitorial page; it's an opinion piece by someone other than the newspaper's editors.)


At January 11, 2007 11:24 PM , Blogger Nav said...

Let him have it!

At January 12, 2007 11:48 AM , Anonymous Ryan said...

I'll be interested in reading your article. I have an idea from the wording of your post that perhaps you think he's taking a little too much liberty with the facts.

I've come to believe that his works (especially his most recent) have become more opinion than facts.

On Monday, I guess we'll discover your thoughts!

At January 12, 2007 12:51 PM , Blogger Josh said...

Should we be prepared for Crichton's next book to feature a poorly endowed character named "Roger B. Sawyer," who does terrible things to children? I can't wait to read the column.

At January 12, 2007 4:00 PM , Anonymous Jim Shannon said...

Well, love Crichton or hate him, he's selling books and that's what counts I suppose. Erich Bihoph from WWE said it best: "Controversy creates cash." Just look at the "fued" developing between Donald and Rosie. You don't think those two are racking in the dough?

As far as stretching facts, I thought that's what sci fi/speculative fiction was all about, or should I say "artisitc license" To be fair I've never read
Crichton yet but I read the blurb on his "Next" and the book sounds fascinating but I don't think it's out in paperback yet.

Also I think every writer of fiction no matter the genre incerts a dash of opinion in their work now and then. Nothing wrong with that imo.

At January 12, 2007 4:08 PM , Blogger Shannon said...

Can you post this piece for those of us in the US? I'd be interested to hear your opinion on this, as I just scrapped a book project that I was working on precisely because I couldn't get the science right. Popular opinion was "so what if the science isn't right, it's fiction." But, I feel we fiction writers have some responsibility not to mislead the public.

At January 12, 2007 5:03 PM , Blogger Josh said...

As an aspiring fiction writer (or an aspiring-to-get-some-of-it-published fiction writer, rather), I think every writer has a responsibility to be truthful, at least in the sense of the "lie that tells the truth," but that hard SF writers—and Crichton presents himself as hard SF, to my eye—have an even greater responsibility. Opinion is fine, and speculation is necessary for good SF—but when you sometimes have the American president's ear on science matters, I think you ought to be more careful than controversial, no matter how many books it'll sell. You know what Peter Parker's Uncle Ben would say, after all....

At January 15, 2007 9:28 AM , Blogger Fred Kiesche said...

I think I would be more concerned if he were writing books that were labeled as non-fiction and bending the truth. There are plenty of author's of fiction who have bent the truth. Is every word of, for example, Robert J. Sawyer's fiction true? Every scientific principle, every statement about biology, geology, paleontology, etc., true?

Perhaps we would not be so concerned with Crichton's stuff if he were not to the right of center, or popular?

Me, I think he's a hack. About as much as a hack as many other bestseller author's are. I don't believe that there's a big conspiracy involving members of the RC Church, for example. It's fiction.


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