Monday, February 21, 2005

For temporary lack of anything better to do, I just took a cursory look at Michael Crichton's official website. I was thrilled to come across a Q&A prepared (pretty obviously by the C-Man himself) expressly for "younger readers."

The following gem immediately caught my eye:

"Where do you get your ideas for your books? I wish I knew. They just seem to come from nowhere."

Oh, for Christ's sake! If you don't know how you get ideas for your books, I'll tell you: You take a cliched B-movie SF concept -- typically the one about a futuristic amusement park run amok -- and throw in some nominally related concept you've just encountered in "Discover" magazine. Thus the "Jurassic Park" books (with the first volume's inexplicable preoccupation with chaos theory), "Westworld," and other "cutting-edge" novels and screenplays.

You're a hack, Michael. You always have been. Of your own admission, you cranked out shitty books to pay your way through medical school. (All right, so maybe you didn't volunteer the word "shitty," but I'm taking the liberty.)

And if you thought that was so much self-congratulatory BS, get a load of this one:

"How did you become such a good writer? Plenty of writing! I began writing really diligently when I was in high school, and I kept at it."

Forget for the moment that Michael utterly fails to answer the question in a way that his presumed flock of "younger readers" might actually take to heart; it's the way he phrases the question that's a real hoot. "Good" writer? I simply can't shake the image of Crichton, alone in front of his flatscreen, committing these words to disk with a dreadfully serious expression stamped on his face.

OK. Enough ragging on Michael Crichton for the moment. In fact, no more ragging on Crichton, period. I'll even concede that it's tempting to brag about yourself when conducting online self-interviews. I'm probably guilty of it. The publishing industry effectively forces you to revel in your (assumed) literary/intellectual prowess, as I relearned the other day while drafting a formal proposal for a new book.

But don't let me stop you -- by all means peruse Crichton's website. It's vastly more entertaining than all his novels/movies combined.


Corwin said...

He did it just to piss you off, Mac.
All of it.

Mac said...

..and was paid very well for it!