Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Weird Science

Posted by: Eleri Stone
I loved the television show Fringe, a series about…how to sum it up? It’s about a scientist who invents crazy stuff, realizes the error of his ways, removes part of his brain and then after discovering that he’s broken both his universe and a parallel universe, attempts to put everything back together again. 

It’s great because it explores that point where science and the supernatural meet which has always been a particular fascination of mine. It's the same sort of thing that attracted me to the X Files. Whenever a link to a weird science story crosses my path, I have to click on it. A few years ago, I clicked on a link to a freaky science story about behavior altering parasites, and the idea that there are parasites out there that can take over their host's nervous system captured my imagination.

Behavior altering parasites trigger a bio-chemical reaction inside their host that changes the host’s behavior in some way that’s beneficial to the reproduction of the parasite. You can read more about that here or here. There are wasps who force their host spiders to create special webs for them to hang their cocoons. Barnacles that force crabs to play nursemaid to their eggs. A hairworm that forces its grasshopper host to commit suicide. It's cool and kind of gross and very, very interesting.

And, of course, I thought...what if something similar could happen to humans? That idea helped to inspire my new book, REAPER'S TOUCH, specifically the idea of the Reapers themselves. The parasites in REAPER'S TOUCH turn perfectly normal human beings into violently aggressive, cannibalistic and practically immortal creatures whose main desire in life is to infect other humans by biting them. Set those monsters loose in 19th century America and you have Wild West meets Bio-Plague Apocalypse.

Have you ever been fascinated by a weird science story that’s stuck with you?


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Eleri Stone was born and raised in New Jersey. She graduated from the University of Iowa, married her college sweetheart, and settled in the Midwest where she still lives with her husband and their three children. A lifelong fan of fantasy, she started reading romance as an adult and was instantly captivated by the strong female protagonists and character-driven storylines. All of her stories have some element of speculative fiction and they all end with a happy-ever-after.






4 comments:

  1. I bought Reaper's Touch yesterday and am really enjoying the fresh take on zombies. Very cool. Can't wait to finish reading it today. Are there more books planned in the series?

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  2. Thanks, Nicole! There are more books planned. There's a short (and free!) novella coming up soon called The Adventures of Cassius Flynn and Molly McGuire about a pair of semi-reformed airship smugglers. The next full length is Gun Shy. It's all written and turned in, but it doesn't come out until Sept. That's everything contracted right now, but I'm working on a proposal for another 2 stories so *fingers crossed*.

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  3. Toxoplasmosis! I'm totally a cat zombie.

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