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December 30, 2009


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Nich Hills

G'day Doug,

I'm lucky - haven't had work-related writer's block to date. My creative writing's been on hold the last few years, lacking the critical mix of boredom and anger to make the authorial juices flow. (Not that I'm really complaining.)

Back to you - your family related stuff is cosy and your history and economics stuff makes me think. Am curious about life in Germany stuff, particularly from your perspective as an American and a quasi-outsider.

Summing up, write what you feel like. You have a reader.

James Bodi

Embarrassing, isn't it? Some loser explodes his own crotch and the reaction would be better suited to a Simpson's episode than real life.

Book reviews are always good but as Nich says, write what seems best to you, I'll read it.

On an unrelated note, it seems to me that the Tower of the Ape is crying out to be used in a story for the kids. You could rework 'The Tower of the Elephant'. Using apes. Perhaps winged; everyone likes flying monkeys. Throw in Ulrich von Bek and it tells itself.

On an even less related note, you being in Germany, how come the boys have Lego instead of Playmobil? I've been spoiling my friends kids with Playmobil for years. It's awesome.


I'll third the comments above. You have another reader who enjoys what you post, all of it!


I like the development ones, but, then again, I AM a nerd...

Bernard Guerrero

Doug, James, let me play Devil's Advocate. You guys have some imagination and some smarts. Failing that, you probably have access to something written by John Barnes. I'd suggest that KFM is correct that in a couple of years we will be pining for the guys with flammable juice boxes. This isn't about one clown taking out an airliner. As ugly as that is (and we value our lives a bit more than that generation did, I think), it's limited in scope and scale. What's coming will be less so, and I think that is what has the Powers That Be spooked.

Doug M.

I agree that what's coming may be less so. If I had a cave, a dozen fanatically loyal followers and a few million dollars, I am quite certain I could do better than this.

Hell, the interleukin-4 experiment with mousepox was in 2003. That was unnervingly close to being a proof-of-concept for weaponized smallpox. (If it was, smallpox vaccine wouldn't do a thing. You'd need access to an antiviral cocktail, fast.) That's probably beyond the capability of any current terrorist group, BTW, but the era of kitchen biotech is probably going to arrive well before 2020.

More plausibly, I have no trouble thinking of ways to kill large numbers of people using off-the-shelf components and fairly modest amounts of money. And I would not be at all surprised to see (for instance) a Mumbai-style attack in the coming decade.

But I don't actually think it's what has the government spooked, and I /know/ it's not what has the media, various interest groups and the public spooked.

Doug M.

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