Dean Koontz and Global Warming

koontz.gifWhy are writers of best-selling science-fiction thrillers more prone to be Denyers? Maybe its the focus on science-fiction rather than science fact.

Everybody knows about Michael Crichton, who announced his views in a ponderous, mistake-filled bestseller. He was one of my favorite fiction writers until that book, and Jurassic Park (the book) remains I think the best techno-thriller ever written.

I also generally like Dean Koontz, many of whose books are kind of a cross between Crichton and Stephen King, although he’s gotten a bit too religious of late. I just finished his book The Husband, a pretty good, pretty straightforward thriller.

His book The Taking is more macabre–and very religious at the end (which you will either love or hate). Annoyingly, it contains a brief, gratuitous scene with a “Dr. Randolph Templeton, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service”:

“The vast majority of meteorologists don’t believe there is any global warming,” Templeton replied with a note of impatience, “at least not any that isn’t natural and cyclical.”

Sad. For those who like science fiction thrillers, I would strongly recommend Koontz’s earlier works, especially Lightning–one of the best books of its kind (but I can’t tell you what kind without spoiling it), which opens: “A storm struck on the night Laura Shane was born, and there was a strangeness about the weather that people would remember for years…”

4 Responses to Dean Koontz and Global Warming

  1. LauraJMixon says:

    Not true! Award-winning, bestselling authors such as Kim Stanley Robinson and Octavia Butler, and Bruce Sterling have all written books that take global warming very seriously.

  2. LauraJMixon says:

    (there are plenty of others — it’s just late at night and I’m about to go to bed, so those are just the few I could come up with off the top of my head. E.g., I’d check what Greg Benford is doing these days…)

  3. llewelly says:

    The catch, Laura, is that Butler, Robinson, Sterling, and so on, are all primarily popular among those who read SF primarily. Chrichton and Koontz are both very popular among people who read very little or no other SF. In Koontz’s case, I suggest this is because Koontz writes a good many horror and thriller novels; not all of his stuff is SF. In Chrichton’s case, I suggest it is because his novels mock and demean science in much the same way most news reporters and television shows do, with the lesson that science is bad, bad, bad. (And by the way, for you Jurassic Park lovers, the novel was a sterling example of Chrichton’s anti-science views.)

  4. James Aach says:

    You might find my book “Rad Decision” interesting as a techno-thriller involving a global warming issue. I don’t particularly take a stand on climate change itself, as I don’t know enough to add to the debate. But I do know about a subject that frequently comes up when solutions are discussed – nuclear power. (I’ve worked in the nuclear industry over twenty years.) I’m not convinced nuclear is the answer to our energy needs, but what I am sure of is we’ll make better decisions about our energy future if we first understand our energy present. And perspectives on how electricity is actually generated are few and far between. See There’s no cost to online readers – who seem to like the book judging from their homepage comments – and Rad Decision is also in paperback. It’s also been endorsed by Stewart Brand, the noted environmentalist and founder of The Whole Earth Catalog.