George Cockcroft
USinfo | 2013-08-12 14:52

George Cockcroft (born November 15, 1932) is an American author who writes under the pen name Luke Rhinehart.
George Cockcroft was born in the United States, son of an engineer and a civil servant. He received a BA from Cornell University and an MA from Columbia University. Subsequently he received a PhD in psychology, also from Columbia. He married his wife, Ann, on June 30, 1956. He has three children.
After obtaining his PhD, he went into teaching. During his years as a university teacher he taught, amongst other things, courses in Zen and Western literature. He first floated the idea of living by the dice in a lecture: the reaction was equal parts intrigue and disgust, and it was at this point he realized it could become a novel. 
Cockcroft started experimenting with dice a long time before writing The Dice Man, but this made progress on the novel rather slow.
In 1971, a london based publisher, Talmy Franklin, published his first novel The Dice Man.
In 1970, he became a full-time writer and "leader of the dice cult". In 1971, he was engaged in the creation of a dice center in New York City. In 1975 he was involved in a round-the-world voyage in a large trimaranketch.
Later on, he spent some time in a sailboat in the Mediterranean, where he taught English, and from there moved to a former Sufi retreat on the edge of a lake. His last known mailing address was Luke Hill in Canaan, New York.
Much of Cockcroft's writing follows the styles of his first book, The Dice Man. He switches rapidly between a first and third person view, and intersperses that narrative flow with (fictional) excerpts from journals, minutes of meetings, and other sources. This gives the impression of a larger story, of which just a glimpse is being seen. In one case, he even quotes from a future book that he did not actually write until more than two decades later. The moods of the book change rapidly too; a single book might have sections of erotica, thriller, comedy, psychology, romance, philosophy, and detective in it — not mixed together, but standing side by side with only a chapter number, if that, between them. Sections of carefully timed comic relief include a sex scene in the middle of a river, various dice parties, and a hallucinogenic tomato plant.
On the other hand, Long Voyage Back, and Matari show that he is entirely comfortable writing somewhat more traditional fiction, and The Book of est shows that he is capable of writing wholly factual accounts too. In all his books, Cockcroft focuses attention on only a few characters — typically fewer than five. Other characters are introduced, but solely as caricatures or plot devices.
The Book of the Die is a collection of thoughts and ideas about dicing - its purpose, the meaning of life, and so forth - much in the style that might be expected from George Cockcroft's previous work. Interspersed with this are frequent parables, poems, stories. Some are from his earlier books, some from the new ones, some stolen and rewritten from various well-known sayings and writings, some from his followers (both real and imaginary), and some which purport to be from his own life. Roughly at the end of each chapter are six dice options, with the standard instructions: "Read the options, throw out one or two (or all six) and replace them, then roll a dice and do as suggested." The dice options, and the book in general, aim to be intriguing and thought-provoking. It contains lots of amusing or absurd sections, as if to counter-point the occasional more serious sections.
There are also continuing plans to release the story of either Luke, Larry or Wim as a movie. Cockcroft has written a number of screenplays himself, including one on The Dice Man, and WHIM, in an effort to accelerate the process, and both projects are being pushed forward on several fronts.
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