1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)
(For overview and other biographical sketches, please see the Database
entries on Sheldon's other works, "A Stranger in the Mirror" by Michael Beachy,
"Master of the Game" by Stacy McCown, "Memories of Midnight" by Lauren Venturatos, "Nothing Lasts Forever" by Carol Zurawski, and "Rage of Angels" by Kate Caples.)
This novel shares some similarities with Sheldon's previous and subsequent works: it was an immediate and long-standing international bestseller, was translated into many different languages, and was the subject of mixed critical reviews in spite of its popular success. However, "The Doomsday Conspiracy" is different from all of Sheldon's other respects in one notable way?this novel is Sheldon's only endeavor which deals with the supernatural and extra-terrestrial. This venture into science fiction was unexpected, and the novel stirred much interest with readers. One possible reason for the slight shift in genre may have been "critics' suggestions that Sheldon's fiction was?beginning to grow stale." (Gale). This slump was not seen in sales figures, but rather these observations seemed to be based on the fact that this was Sheldon's eleventh novel, and to date his fiction tended to be somewhat formulaic. Regardless of reason, this stint into science fiction (though declared as somewhat commercialized science fiction by the "Sidelights" article in Gale) was only one book long?in 1992, Sheldon returned to mainstream fiction with his next novel, "The Stars Shine Down". According to an article in People magazine, Sheldon himself puts some stock in the notion of the extra-terrestrial. This personal belief could also help explain this brief turn to science fiction writing. This belief also correlates with Sheldon's philosophy to only write about things with which he is familiar, acquainted, or believes in.
Another interesting difference worth noting between this novel and the author's other novels is that most of Sheldon's protagonists are female, however, in this book there is a male lead. In "The Doomsday Conspiracy" the protagonist is Navy Commander Robert Bellamy. This is a departure from the traditional edgy, uber-woman main characters of his other novels, such as Dana Evans (from "The Best Laid Plans" and then "The Sky is Falling") and Jennifer Parker in "Rage of Angels" (me).
Other interesting random facts about Sidney Sheldon: in 1995 Sheldon licensed his own line of women's sleepwear called Sheldon's Knightwear. According to the line's producer, the reason behind the venture was simple. "Sheldon's characters in his novels are women who are courageous and glamorous," said Judi Wise. "He visualizes women wearing his sleepwear and reading his books in bed. It's something Sheldon said he's always wanted to do." (WWD). Also, in August of 2001, Sheldon sold the movie rights to his play Roman Candle to Rob Minkoff, who's previous projects include the film Stuart Little 2. (SFW).
Gale: Gale Literary Database, Contemporary Authors. Available at http://galenet.galegroup.com.
Me: From my personal knowledge (i.e. I've read the books before).
WWD: Women's Wear Daily, June 5, 1995
People: People Weekly, Sept. 16 1991