Now, let me ask you...

How pathetic is that?

And this from the brilliant minds of writers who gave us inspired and beguiling series such as these:

And clever creative novels such as these:

Sadly, it's true. There's no helping it: David Brin is an Obamabot, and John C. Wright is a Teatard.

Not that it is a big secret—all one needs is take a look at their blogs, the bombastic reductionist Contrary Brin and the vainglorious sophomoric John C. Wright's Journal.

I thought once how it could have been of interest if both authors were to be thrown together in one room, or invited to a picnic, perhaps to some luncheon on the grass, and see what would come of it. But then again, considering the content of their blogs, it probably would be awfully boring. Besides, this kind of dynamic is exactly how any genuine debate about anything of meaning has been confiscated in this country—like with the major non-debate over healthcare reform.

Sometimes one might find it hard to think of the writer and the blogger as the same person.

Though, to be fair, some of David Brin's most recent novels, Earth (1990) and the newly released Existence are both pretty vapid and dated by today's standards. The concept of man-made black hole is by no means original (it certainly is not now, and it was not in 1990 either), and insofar as the author's take on the information age is concerned, well, let us just say that it is no Neuromancer (William Gibson) or Archangel Protocol (Lydia Morehouse's fourth installment in the series, Apocalypse Array, made the short list for the Philip K. Dick award) or even, on a slightly different, yet related register, Edmundo Paz Soldán's excellent Turing's Delirium (tip of the hat to Lisa Carter for her exquisite translation).

I would blame it on old age, but David is 61, and John is only 51, furthermore David Brin's excellent Kiln People postdates his lackluster Earth by twelve years.

All in all, it could be that it comes down to a matter of right brain versus left brain thinking.

David Brin is better when he is able to let go and actually write Speculative Fiction—as opposed to just uninspiring prognostications about the near future.

Or, as Frank Herbert keenly put it in Dune Genesis (Omni Magazine, July 1980):

(And more poetically in Children of Dune:)

Overall, both authors do better when they use their right brain. (John C. Wright's The Last Guardian of Everness is truly remarkable in that regard.)

Still, it saddens me what a shill for the Man David Brin has become: When he is not writing or blogging, David consults and speaks for a wide variety of groups interested in the future, ranging from Defense Department agencies and the CIA to Protect & Gamble, SAP and other major corporations.


  1. Ah, I do remember the good Doctor. I did run into him in cyberspace some three or four years ago. He called me a romantic. I think he meant it like it's a bad thing (^_^)

    Anyway, it just occurred to me what a striking example of opposite extremes the two writers embody on the Apollonian-Dionysian axis. I mean, the correlation is stunning.

  2. “To want to meet an author because you like his books is as ridiculous as wanting to meet the goose because you like pate de foie gras.”—Arthur Koestler

  3. That’s the problem with encountering the famous, or even the moderately well known (whether it be in person or online, like here and here, or here)—they often fall short of one's expectations. This is largely unavoidable. What is more of a downer, however, is the minor disappointment of mediocrity. When the persons, whose creative imagination and humane observations of life one so admired, are revealed to be just as biased or intellectually limited and politically prejudiced as the next person.