Creative Dream Team Update
Okay, the nominations have been pouring in, so time for an update. My methodology is simple: I’m listing every suggestion I received, along with my own comments (where I have any) about the nominees.
original list, as you’ll recall, was:
John Barnes (see Mother of Storms).
Kim Stanley Robinson
Iain M. Banks
New nominees are:
Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
By far the most commonly submitted nominees, and foolish of me to have ommitted them in the first place.
Al Franken, P.J. O’Rourke, and George Carlin
Laurence Simon over at File13 sent these in, and advises: “Toss in a few wise-asses because they always see the faults in the system”. The man has wisdom.
The “Killer B’s”: Greg Bear, Gregory Benford, and David Brin
Also extremely popular nominees (and also fine choices).
Instapundit adds the following suggestions:
Greg Egan: (“The best up-and-coming hard science fiction writer, and our
world is looking more like his all the time.” – Instapundit)
S.M. Stirling (“mostly doing alt-history these days, but a supple mind
and he’s done harder stuff.” – Instapundit)
Stephen Baxter (no commentary from Glenn here, but I’ll second the nomination — particularly since Baxter often seems to have great difficulty ever finishing a novel without destroying the Earth first.)
One reader suggests Stanislaw Lem, “particularly for his outstandingly prophetic Imaginary Magnitudes, which completely anticipated the ‘Net via Vestrand’s Extelopedia.”
And another proposes Dean Ing, indicating “He’s been in US think tanks re future weapons. Also he’s written several good novels and novelettes on terrorism and gotterdammerung in general.”, and Harry Stine (whose work I’m afraid I’m not familiar with, but who the reader indicates also writes under the name Lee Correy, and wrote “Shuttle Down which involved a Space Shuttle aborting to Easter Island. The book was good enough to be used as a NASA manual…”)
Thomas Harris, of Hannibal Lecter fame, is nominated by a reader for his earlier work, Black Sunday, “about a psycho blimp pilot who loads his craft with flechettes (anti-personnel darts) and flies it over the stadium in which the Super Bowl is being played.”
(By the way, if you check the Amazon entry for Black Sunday, you’ll see the following comment from a reader/reviewer, circa September 2000: “Finally, this book is sort of outdated. You can’t fault Harris for this, but it’s worth noting. Though it doesn’t really show up in the book (thankfully), the general plot (Middle Eastern terrorists trying to blow something up) sort of prays on the fears of the zenophobic middle American. It’s a simple formula which I’ve seen many times, and has been done many times.” And I’m afraid you’ll see it again, friend.)
Another nomination: Vince Flynn, whose Transfer of Power “tells how a campaign contributor turns a White House visit into the kidnapping of a president.”. Sounds like the kind of twisted thinking we’re looking for.
And more: British author Peter O’Donnell, Robert L. Forward, and Vernor Vinge make another reader’s list. (Yet again an omission on my part: no idea why I didn’t put Vinge on my original list… except maybe a subconcious wish that he’d publish a little more frequently!) And another reader seconds many of the previous nominations, and adds Charles Sheffield to the mix.
Last but not least, my favorite nomination was from a reader who suggested L. Ron Hubbard, who actually did write science fiction before founding his own religion, let’s remember. But I did feel obligated to reply to the reader that while we might well nominate him, it’s unlikely that he’ll show up for work, given that he’s dead.
That’s it for now. Kee
p them coming — I don’t think we’ve drained this particular swamp yet. And by the way: if you see your nominations here without your name, it is because I did not publish anyone’s name where I was uncertain if they wished to be publicly attributed. If you would like to claim your public credit, as it were, drop me a line and say so and I’m glad to cite you appropriately.