May 29th, 2001

Frog Wizard

New book.

Last night, I started reading Michael Crichton's Timeline. It's kind of odd, with the amount of SF/Fantasy I read, that I haven't read any of Crichton's work before.

Especially because I really admire him as a businessman, let alone as an author. You see, he did one of the smartest things a Science Fiction author can do. . . he convinced the world he wasn't a Science Fiction author.

You see, there are a lot of people out there who view Science Fiction with a negative connotation. They think it's all aliens and thousands of years in the future, and all centered entirely around advanced technology. Of course, this is utter crap.

A good science fiction story will often contain some of those elements, but almost every good story ever written is fundamentally about people. After all, people are interesting. But, for people who don't read much Sci-Fi, people who think SF is always a certain way, they're not interested. They find out a book is SF, and they're ready to move on to something more realistic.

But, back to my point, there are people who will choose not to read something based entirely on it's categorization of Science Fiction. So, Michael Crichton comes along, he writes Science Fiction books, but, he doesn't call them Science Fiction. And, he doesn't market them as Science Fiction.

So, instead of selling to the Science Fiction crowd, he sells his books to everyone who enjoys fiction, many of whom are unwittingly reading Science Fiction, and liking it.

Oh, yeah, he also manages to be among the list of the best selling authors of today.

The moral of this story, is that if you ever write a good Science Fiction book, and you want to sell lots of copies, call it a speculative fiction book, or even just fiction, and try to sell it that way. ;-)
  • Current Music
    Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under The Bridge
Danger Mouse


I just spent 20 minutes trying to renew the books I have checked out from the IBM library. It's all web accessible, and there's a "Renew All" button. So, I tried that, and the CGI hung for 5 minutes, then kicked me out of the system.

So I tried it again. Same result. Again. Same.

This is odd, it worked just the other day, and I don't think any changes have been made. So, just for kicks, I tried selecting a handful of books and renewing them individually.

Interestingly, it went through. It seems, however, that the renew script chokes when you try to renew 19 books at one time.

Oh, yeah, now my team leader is making fun of me for it, and calling me the "South Wing Library". I want to tell him to bite me, but he's mostly right.
  • Current Music
    George Thoroughgood - One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer (radio)