Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Michael Crichton is Pissed. Be Scared, Y'all.

People have different ways of taking to criticism. Some get defensive, some ignore it, some refute it. Some people, however, choose to take the term "responding to criticism" to new heights.

Remember Michael Crichton? I loved some of his earlier works like Jurassic Park, but gave up on him after "State of Fear", his rant about the "massive hoax" that is global warming. (Read the book for his point of view... and go here or, of course, here for some of the better, detailed rebuttals I've seen!) Plus, of course, his writing's been become rather cliched by now, generally sticking to the same old "Marvelous new scientific discovery goes horribly wrong" pattern.

Which brings me to his new book...or rather, just two pages or so of his new book. You see, there's this political columnist in Washington called Michael Crowley who, after State of Fear came out, wrote a stinker of an article saying that Crichton was basically pushing anti-Science propaganda which was playing right into the hands of the Republican government - which has been talking about the perils of too much technology (think stem cells) for quite some time.

Well, Crichton's out with a new book, "Next", that talks about (surprise surprise!) biotechnology research gone horribly wrong. And in this book is a character who makes an entry for all of approximately two pages, is apparently quite irrelevant to the larger story of the novel and is a political columnist in Washington called (I wonder what made Michael Crowley so suspicious!) Mick Crowley. And guess what - Mick Crowley's character just happens to be a child-rapist, on trial for raping his two-year-old nephew. To top it all, "Crowley's penis was small". As Crowley (the real Michael, not the fictional Mick) himself writes, "In lieu of a letter to the editor, Crichton had fictionalized me as a child rapist. And, perhaps worse, falsely branded me a pharmaceutical-industry profiteer."

For an author whose novels have been prone a whole lot of mud-slinging...he seems surprisingly scared of criticism himself.

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