Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Monday's Food for Thought

Yes, it's Tuesday, but here we go with yesterday's post:

Today it was announced that scientists have discovered an "immortal animal". Considering ageing has to do with the degradation of genes, I'm willing to go so far as to believe there will one day be a way to "become ageless" once scientists crack the gene code.

Now some of you may disagree, but as writers/readers, let's suspend our disbelief for a moment and discuss this. (NOTE: I'll use immortality and eternal youth interchangeably, but I'm talking here about stopping the ageing process, not the inability to die.)

WHAT IF scientists found a way to stop the genes from ageing? If, once a certain age, humans were injected with something that made them immortal? Or perhaps with the altered genes it would only have to happen for one generation before it was passed on to children.

In either case, we're looking at some massive problems. What kind of system would governments set up to control something like this? Would they only allow immortality to the people who could afford it? The elite? A mixture of types of people to keep the human race varied and growing? Would everyone eventually have access to this immortality?

And if they did, the new problem is where to put them all. If it's a scientific race between space colonies and immortality, at the moment immortality is winning by a long shot. Countries would be bursting at the seams with people before there was a chance to set up a habitat on another planet.

The day scientists announce a way to stop the ageing process is getting closer. Imagine if you're still alive when this happens. What day to day problems would you face? What kind of work would be available for an ever-growing immortal race? Would euthanasia and suicide be acceptable? Would you get bored after living for hundreds of years?

It's a scary thought, isn't it?

Just a little something for your Monday (or Tuesday) mind to munch on.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Monday's Food for Thought

I was watching a documentary on underwater mysteries, and while it's been done before, there's still so much about the depths of the ocean that humans are oblivious to.

Take a look at the dumbo octopus, that uses ear-like fins to float.

Or the Vampire Squid, so named because the spines on its tentacles look like Dracula's cloak. There's so much to research, and even more to dream up.

WHAT IF... we went exploring? What if there was a way to go down there, to live among the sea creatures? Use your imagination, and don't be afraid to get it wrong. The best adventures/explorations (in my opinion) come from times when much of science and the world was still unknown. Jules Verne and H. G. Wells - yes, they got it wrong, but that doesn't mean their stories aren't amazing. There was so much more to write about and imagine before science got in the way!

Go out, dream big, and come to me when you're done, because I'd love to read it!

Just a little something for your Monday mind to munch on.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Monday's Food for Thought

There was something on the news last week about a power station playing with people's digital clocks, such as microwave times fast forwarding an hour. Suffice to say there were a lot of confused people that day.

After a quick google search I discovered a link to the MAIL ONLINE website that described a similar incident in Sicily last year. Mount Etna's short eruption was said to be the reason behind people's clocks running fifteen minutes fast. Pretty weird, huh? Not something scientists think to predict.

One day the world will run on digital clocks. One day our timekeeping will be reliant on satellites and flashing numbers. So what if the clocks stopped working, like if a solar flare wiped out radio waves or something happened that scientists didn't consider until it was too late? What would life be without exact time?

WHAT IF we had to use another way to tell time? We still need to go to meetings and see movies and arrange flights. What kind of technology could take over from our usual time-telling? Special sun dials? Planet alignments watches? Moon trackers? Or instruments that measure the Earth's rotation?

Again, it's not something to base a whole story on, but those little details can make your "other" world that extra bit special.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

First Draft Status: Complete

Huzzah! It's very short and barely brushes the surface of what I have planned for the final draft of this story, but OH I'm excited for this one. It's controversial, it spans continents, and it pushes the limits of what I as an author can do.

More importantly, I'm not afraid to query big-shot agents with this one. I know the querying stage is just a speck in the future, but I've always been timid when querying big-shot agents with my other projects. Sometimes I just queried the assistant instead, or someone else at the agency.

I already know I won't be timid with this manuscript. Guess that says something, doesn't it?