Wednesday, June 06, 2007

SF Authors & Homeland Security

I had begun a draft post of this some days ago, but, hey, I forgot to finish writing it. So, I'll just quote from the current ANSIBLE, which does it more succintly than I had planned:

Greg Bear and other sf authors -- Arlan Andrews, Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle and Sage Walker -- were asked to a US Homeland Security conference to provide anti-terrorism advice as `deviant thinkers'. According to Andrews, they `need people to think of crazy ideas.' (USA Today, May) Once again sf proves eerily prophetic: wasn't there just such an ego-boosting think tank in the Niven/Pournelle Footfall?

A longer bit of coverage is here, including a group photo. From the article:

This is not the first time science fiction authors have been consulted by the government. In 1980, group of science-fiction writers including Pournelle, Bear, Poul Anderson and Robert Heinlein, astronauts including Buzz Aldrin, Pete Conrad and Philip K. Chapman, space scientists and engineers, aerospace industry executives, computer scientists, military officers and others, met at Larry Niven's house in California. They formed an ad hoc group called Citizen's Advisory Council on National Space Policy. They provided most of the background for the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), presented by Reagan in 1983. In later meetings, Heinlein's friend Arthur C. Clarke had a falling out with Heinlein over his support of SDI; Clarke was adamantly opposed to the system, which he regarded as doomed to failure and potentially destabilizing.


Josh said...

I wish I could be a part of that. I know the anti-terror groups would love to know my theories on an all-out war begun by laser-wielding, rabid raccoons (genetically engineered, of course).

Mirtika said...

We just need to mass-produce Holy Hand Grenades...just not in Antioch, since the Terrorists live there right now.