Michael Collins is an American writer who was born in Ireland. His books are interesting and whacky. He came to America on a sports scholarship, and eventually got a job as a programmer with Microsoft. He says his next novel is rooted in the time he spent in Redmond. And he has some interesting things to say about the experience.
“I was fascinated by the new world order, the way people could make money on paper – it wasn’t at all tied to how hard you worked. I was recruited as a programmer, even though I was a creative writer with no qualifications. And the place was full of linguists and psychologists trying to figure out how to beam subliminal messages into cyberspace. They were always on about colours – they were creating th new landscape that people would be looking at. I was there when they came up with the blue which was gonna be the sky. Even the word ‘Windows’ – it all had to mean something. Which is ironic, considering that – I mean, I’ve no real axe to grind with Microsoft, but the building we were working in had no windows. We were down in the basement. We were working with Windows and we had the blue sky, but we were isolated from the light – the outside world was gone.” Collins said, in Saturday’s Irish Times.
Collins’ new book will be “set in a near future in which the dotcom elite set out to leave what they see as a corrupted planet”, according to the article.
Check out this interview with Michael Collins. Also, this longer article which describes Collins’ hectic lifestyle.