Saturday, May 23, 2009


Our pal Hipspinster sent this over. I don’t know whether to be disturbed or envious.

“The line between what's real and what's not is thin and shifting, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has decided to explore both sides. Boldly going where few government bureaucracies have gone before, the agency is enlisting the expertise of science fiction writers. Crazy? This week down at the Reagan Building, the 2009 Homeland Security Science & Technology Stakeholders Conference has been going on. Instead of just another wonkish series of meetings and a trade show, with contractors hustling business around every corner, this felt at times more like a convention of futuristic yarn-spinners.” (Click here for more.)

In the email that brought the link, Hipspinster asked “why didn’t they call you?” My first response was “why indeed.” I sure as hell could think up a totally fiendish, fear driven, and wholly ruthless state security machine. It would be almost as much fun as a sci-fi writer inventing his or her own religion and taking over the minds of movie stars (such as they are.) But then it occurred to me that’s exactly why I wouldn’t be invited. Too gleefully overt about stuff they still like hide with euphemism. And, of course, I’d never get a security clearance. It’s a damned shame Phillip K. Dick isn’t alive to see this.

The secret word is Oprichnina


Lefty said...

Oprichnina rules!

dh said...

It's for your own good you know.

roldo said...

I'm with dh - working for the Them nevers ends well. The next gig they offer will be writing "Hana Montana" episodes at a fee that would seriously tempt your resolve.

dh said...

Think about it Mick. The money's good. Hannah could get a microchip implant and operate drones from her bedroom.

Mick said...

I've been waiting for them to temp my resolve for years.

Anonymous said...

Haven' t they tried this before? I 'm sure I ve seen something similar in a documentary about the Star Wars program. I think the Regan adm. invited Arthur C. Clarke, Heinlein and possibly Jack Vance to participate in a think tank or something. It didn't work. Heinlein ended up calling Clarke a pinko, while Clarke accused him of being a fascist. Things went downhill from there. It must have been hilarious though.