Friday, April 27, 2012

The Bacon Cat Theorem

As I wrote my first novel, I discovered that knowing the English language and its conjugation isn't enough. Our craft requires us to (at the very least) have a working knowledge of a wide set of topics. History, sociology, psychology, biology, chemistry, foreign languages, art, anatomy and physiology, technology, popular culture......the list goes on. In my opinion, this contributes to our "oddness".

To be less polite, it makes us a bit wacko.

Not the "I'm going to stalk you until I know the sound of your farts" kind of wacko, but the lovable eccentric kind of wacko. The Sheldon Cooper kind of wacko. Being wacko of course, leads us to develop unusual habits and the impulse to do unexplainable things. It makes us fall victim to the Bacon Cat Theorem.

What is the Bacon Cat Theorem?  I'm glad you asked.

The Bacon Cat Theorem of course gets its name from one of John Scalzi's more famous acts. (If you don't know what I'm talking about you can educate yourself here: The theorem is thus:

Every great author has at least one habit, hobby, attribute, or something they did at band/summer camp that makes them stand out from the pack and therefore adds to their fame.

John Scalzi taping bacon to his cat clearly proves this theorem but for the sake of science I'll provide further proof. Mary Robinette Kowal composes (delightful) pornographic puppet construction tweets, Brandon Sanderson has an almost unholy love of macaroni and cheese, and Dan Wells occasionally signs books like a serial killer. (ok, maybe it was just that one time but it totally qualifies.)

Of course, you don't have to be a published author to fall prey to the Bacon Cat. My friend, and fellow writer, Sarah Parish is a hive mind and I conlag road rage. It's a reflex. (I also licked a slug at summer camp but it seems to be superfluous to have more than one Bacon Cat.) The simple fact that publication isn't a requirement of the theorem has led me to the conjecture that such a person has the potential of becoming a great author. However, until such a person achieves said greatness, this conjecture will remain unproven.

If you too are or know someone who is proof of this theorem and/or my conjecture, feel free to post it in the comments. I'd love to know.

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