Unemployed techs turn to sci-fi

Having covered the world of screenwriting for many years as a contributing editor for the late great Creative Screenwriting magazine, I often came in contact with many people who had ideas for movies and wanted to bring them to the silver screen. 

Who hasn’t, right? Probably everybody has an idea for a movie, and we’ve all heard stories about people who worked on scripts in their free time, and became A-list screenwriters.


We’d probably all love a miracle story like the late Michael Crichton, who wrote novels to put himself through med school, and ultimately became one of the most successful writers in history. 

Perhaps like Crichton, a group of unemployed techies may currently be pursuing their dreams while they have nothing to lose. (In fact, several people in the screenwriting biz have told me now with the economy still in the toilet it would be a good time to try screenwriting while you’re unemployed, or the current term I love, “under-employed.”)


According to ScoopSandiego, computer engineers and computer scientists have been hit especially hard by the recession, and in the meantime, the sci-fi genre has been growing. 

Paul Dorset, who wrote the book New Blood: Melrose Part 1, told Scoop, ‘Who can drive a plausible sci-fi tale better than someone who knows their bytes from the zygotes?”

And indeed, in the case of Crichton his incredible knowledge and intelligence of technology did make the stories somewhat plausible, which is important in sci-fi in that it should be somewhat prophetic, as well as make the reader believe it could actually happen.


Dorset has encouraged laid off techies to write sci-fi, and said, “All of us, if we’ve worked in businesses for years, have elements we can use to make a story more believable. We can use that experience to round off and enhance any rough edges. Everyone is looking to escape for a bit. And who better than a seasoned technology worker to create a virtual world to escape into?”