Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Great Genetic Divide

Genetic engineering is one of the staples of science fiction, along with hyper drives, smarty-pants aliens and heroic space captains. Oh, and don't forget the evil villain who wants to rule the civilized galaxy. (Though, personally, I've never understood why. Way too much responsibility to me.)

Now, in the far future people can genetically engineer their children in vitro to their exact wishes (as the parents did in my Duty and Devotion SFR). In many other SF stories it can be done after birth, such as James Patterson's Maximum Ride series.

In reality, genetic engineering is far from either of these realities. Don't get me wrong, there are some pretty cool things going on. I mean scientists are engineering bacteria to grow in stripes.  They can even genetically alter fruit flies to smell light. Yes, light! (I know...totally cool.)

But, when it comes down to it, bacteria is, well, just bacteria. And fruit flies are just fruit flies altered in their larvae stage. Sometimes it's so easy to get impatient and want to see what humanity will do with an advancement on that scale...

And then I think back to this short story I read in an Isaac Asimov magazine edition years ago, where humans went to the absurd. This young man's mother had altered herself into a house, which he lived in. His friends had altered their heads or arms or torsos into animals.

I imagine that television series "Taboo" would get some very interesting guest appearances.

With the way plastic surgery, piercing and tattoo art has evolved in society, how well do you think genetic expressionism will take in our future culture?

In my latest release, The Case of the Senshi Pearl, Quantum Agent Raina Tanuki goes to a planet where one human group had been genetically blended with various fish species to become a sort of mermaid society. The land and ocean races segregated and grew to hate each other.

Over the course of the story the two cultures ,use learn to work together and overcome their prejudice and racism to save their planet.

"Well, hello again, little one." Emperor Quay nodded from the water tank, where he stood with several guards and an additional person. It was a man this time. The emperor gestured to him. "This is my son Yuvaraja, Prince of Sirenian and successor to the throne."

Prince Yuvaraja could've been a younger version of his father. He had blue skin which accentuated the muscles on his bare torso and blended well into his fin, which started at his lower hip with a darker blue. It darkened to a purple with streaks of bold green and red along the sides from his hip to his fin tip. Bright copper-colored eyes danced as he smiled, first at his guard detail and then at her. Movement caused his dark rusty mane to stir in the open air.

The prince extended a hand out of the water, the arm immediately drying out. "Hello, Agent Tanuki. I am honored to be your guide among the Sirenian lands."

"Thank you, Prince Yuvaraja."

"Please call me Yuvaraja or even Yuva, as my friends do."

"Alright, then Yuvaraja." Raina wasn't entirely comfortable dealing with the heir to the Sirenian throne so informally, but neither did she want to offend them.

Kane must be miffed at their willingness to accept my help in an investigation so critical to the planetary affairs. Then Raina turned and addressed the emperor. "As I said yesterday, Your Majesty, I am able to go into the Sirenian waters, and was selected as your case agent for this particular talent. I will need a sample of Sirenian DNA to accomplish this."

"What? Why?" The emperor's senior guard asked as his men pulled rank to block the Royals. The water sloshed over the rim onto the marble floor as they moved.

Raina stayed patient. This was on par with previous discussions during other cases where she stood in as assistant resource to the main agent. "My body needs to register the species DNA it will be transforming into. I can't just change based on sight, sound, or touch. It must be introduced into my blood or fluid stream."

The main guard shook his head and looked at the emperor, ignoring the smirks from his men. "Emperor Quay, I am not comfortable with this... this demon, taking your bodily fluids."

Raina fought to keep from flinching at the guards insult, and was barely able to. Demon. She hated the term. It was an unwelcome reminder to of past and all the bitter hatred she'd felt at the hands of her own people.

"I don't need his specifically." Her voice had an even tone to it. "It doesn't matter whose. I can use yours if it makes you more comfortable." She wanted to leave it at that, but couldn't. "I do not like being referred to as a demon, which I'm not."

All Romance, Amazon, B&N, Books on Board

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