When did it become a crime to write science fiction? Evidently the answer is if you are either a student who writes about shooting your neighbor’s pet dinosaur with a gun or if you are an award winning 8th grade teacher who writes about the 2900 century, and blowing up a school, it is a crime. According to Dorchester (Maryland) School Superintendent Henry Wagner, the cops are going to be at the high school as long as necessary, to protect the students from further additional threats by science fiction authors.
It is also a crime to write bad science fiction, be an award winning teacher, young, up from the boot-straps, and black. That’s the main problem here. Patrick McLaw, aged 23, broke the mold. He overcame what has been termed a less than optimal childhood to become a beloved and creative teacher. His students were crazy about him. Aside from being black, he also wrote under the names of Dr. K. S. Voltaer. His original name “Beale” was legally changed. He also used several other pseudonyms. So Did Sam Clemens. So did Malcolm Little, Earl Stanley Gardner, Dean Koontz, Benjamin Franklin, Anton Chekhov, Juliet Marion Hulme,Howard Allen Frances O’Brien, Barbara Mertz, Charles Dickens, C. S. Lewis, Charlotte Bronte, Washington Irving, Ray Bradberry, Theodor Seuss Geisel, Gore Vidal, Emily Bronte, Harry Turtledove, Harold Rubin, Nora Roberts, Joanne Kathleen Rowling, Eleanor Hibbett, Jeremy Robinson, Michael Crichton, Julia Pottinger, Atatha Christie, John Bpatiste Poquelin, Edna St. Vincent Millay, William Sydney Porter, Isaac Asimov, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Stephen King, and so forth and so on.
The man’s home was raided. The school was swept for bombs. He is now allegedly under mental evaluation. According to one source he may be investigated for harassing someone or some thing. He allegedly sent four page letters to various county officials. For that, allegedly he was hauled off for a mental evaluation. But, because of HIPPA rules, they can’t say more than the fact that he’s been hauled off for mental evaluation. Evidently he complained about something. For this, he is receiving treatment.
Evidently THIS is what truly upset everyone. It is from his Amazon’s author’s page.
“…On 18 March 2902, a massacre transpired on the campus of Ocean Park High School, claiming the lives of nine hundred forty-seven individuals–the largest school massacre in the nation’s history. And the entire country now begins to ask two daunting questions: How? and Why? After the federal government becomes involved, and after examining the bouquet of black roses that lies in front of the school’s sign, it becomes evident that the hysteria is far from over.
Eight hundred twenty-five kilometres north of Ocean Park High School, situated in the suburbs of Phantom Park, Pacifica, is Krossephire Technical Academy. Having a student population that exceeds nineteen thousand, it is the nation’s largest school. Krossephire is known as a very structured, academically superior institution with very minor problems. At least, that was before the threats began.
After Krossephire Tech begins receiving sinister threats foreshadowing the occurrence of a massacre substantially larger than that of Ocean Park, Agent Jessica Leigh Hearn and her federal investigative unit become involved and the severity of the situation only intensifies as they pursue a dangerous and intelligent killer who is as invisible as the government agency they work for.
Amid the hysteria that inescapably follows, Keith, Nick, and Mitchel–three twelfth-year students at Krossephire Tech–intervene after Mitchel overhears a confidential conversation. As the administrative effort to conceal the terrorising occurrences rapidly begins to fail, the three begin to conduct their own amateur investigation that ultimately puts them into serious conflict with the federal government, the Krossephire administration, as well as themselves. Simultaneously, Jessica and her team discover that the events of Ocean Park and Krossephire Tech are interrelated. And as they follow the trail of black roses, they learn an interesting yet appalling story–a parallel of the shooter’s identity. And as Nick, Keith, and Mitchel struggle to survive their slowly deteriorating school, this teenage executioner makes known that he is not like typical school assassins. He is not a copycat killer. He is not a psychologically unstable maniac. He is intelligent and knows how to kill silently and without detection. His victims are not selected at random. He is after someone–and he will stop at nothing until he is face-to-face with the one person to whom he owes much retribution. However, he will not distinguish between those he hunts and those who get in his way….”
Didn’t the Soviets lock writers in mental institutions for ‘mental health issues’? Evidently, according to the state’s attorney, who is now part of the witch hunt, the man has ‘issues‘ and is being treated accordingly. Great, way to go with that one. Go and say he was never arrested, never indicted about anything, but then mention that he was being treated for mental problems. What a great way to absolve yourselves and turn destroy the person who was wronged.
Now it really doesn’t matter. If the man has mental issues, knowing the literary world the way I do, that’s a 7 figure meal ticket, book deal, and very good agent. If he was railroaded for writing bad science fiction, that’s also a 7 figure meal ticket, book deal and a very good agent. No matter which way the story goes, once it’s over, Patrick McLaw is going to be a very wealthy young man. Let’s face it, a little hint of mental instability has never hurt a writer’s career. The object is to cash in on it and hit the keyboard.
Let’s face it, when I was that age, the science fiction I was writing, wasn’t all that bad. I had a contract with a major publisher, but, thanks to the mentoring and advice from the greats, like Ben Bova and Harry Stubbs, I decided not to take the contract. Bova told me I would regret it the rest of my life. At that age, rarely to you listen to someone. I did. Thank heavens! I suspect one of these days, McLaw will turn into a very good writer. I wasn’t at that age. Few of us are. I read somewhere that it takes a million words to learn how to write. I think it is true.