I had to serve jury duty today, which meant sitting in a jury assembly room all day waiting to be called to a court room. (Luckily. they decided that they wouldn't need any jurors and sent us all home early.) I had come prepared for a long siege as I had bought a new paperback novel to read. The author was one whose previous books I had enjoyed. He is James P. Hogan, and he had written some fairly decent hard SF (One of my favorites is The Code of the Lifemaker). A hadn't read any of his work for while, and I was kind of interested to see what he'd come up with. Boy, what a shock! Its just brimming with crackpottery! Velikovskyism, Plasma universe/electric sun, "spinning ring" model of sub-atomic particles,... Now I understand that a Science Fiction writer has to bend the rules from time to time to tell his story and sometimes has to incorporate some controversial concepts, but he is out and out preaching for these ideas. He even incorporates the time-worn complaint of crackpots everywhere that scientists are too interested to protecting the "status quo" to accept new ideas. What could make a writer go off the deep end like this? And have you ever had it happen to you? Has a writer you liked ever start producing junk?