David K Roberts – self-published author sci-fi thriller horror novels

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Science Fiction Influences Reality – True or False?

All in all I am not as convinced that Science Fiction influences reality – our lives – as much as we think – or would like to think. It’s the old argument of life imitating art or vice versa.

animus portal new cover scifi science fictionI write science fiction – I love science fiction. To write it I observe and understand current technology and extrapolate where it might be sometime in the near future, say thirty years from now. I have had a few instances where Google has endeavoured to catch up with my thought processes but I doubt very much that it’s because I have influenced Larry Page or Sergey Brin through my writing.

No, I think sci-fi writers simply think ahead of the curve – we find answers for our needs – it’s what we do for entertainment J If you are a lead thinker in real science, such as Stephen Hawking, you spend a lot of time thinking about how to get there – how to solve similar needs – that’s how real-world technology evolves as well. Humbly, I prefer to get there rather than work out how exactly – I doubt the detail of that particular journey would be entertaining but to any but a very small minority.

Here are a few examples that bring into question the science fiction influence in life:

Science Fiction Influences Reality – Self-driving cars

– sort of reality now – sci-fi films where self-driving cars were used:

Demolition Man – frustratingly safe

audi tt Science Fiction Influences RealityI, Robot – way less fun than in manual mode – we can definitely thank this film for the Audi TT

The Jetsons – I think the father drove the family car – mostly

Minority Report – they look good but self-driving – where’s the fun in that?

Total Recall – The Johnny Cab – probably the most annoying self-driving vehicle ever, although the Google self-driving car looks like it might be a close contender

Batman – the Batmobile – in the ‘60’s they had awesome ‘self-driving’ cars – shame you had to wear leotards and a cape to have it take notice of you!

Fifth Element – more useful and the driver had better repartee than the Johnny Cab – and it certainly looked more fun when flying!

Knight Rider – anyone watching in the ‘70’s loved this car – fast, indestructible, obedient and not always sarcastic to the driver – what a car!

Logan’s Run – another boring pod car!

Timecop – clearly of its time in aesthetic form – not even vaguely good-looking but at least it had time on its side

Science Fiction Influences Reality – Communications:

Dick Tracey’s watch – 2-way radio was the first real celluloid comms device to be remembered by the general public – it was cool when you think that in 1952 the most mobile radio was the Infantry Walkie-Talkie – not exactly something you could put in your pocket or put on a table in a restaurant. Modern comms was inevitably going to reduce in size as technology improves – we are now at a stage when getting smaller is not an option – ease of use is compromised if devices get too small. This demonstrates a natural development around size and capability. Very small devices such as smart phones on wrists tend to be loaded with only a subset of functionality to make them manageable.

motorola fliptac science fiction influences realityThe Star Trek comms device – we all know this one – did it really influence the Motorola Flip-TAC’s design? Life imitating art or vice versa?

While we’re talking about Star Trek, it doesn’t matter whether you like it or not, the long-running programme does appear to have been a pretty great influence on the World. Or has it? Although you can point to it as having first mooted everything from tablet computers, body health analysers, and all the way through to translation devices, was it really the parent of all that progeny? Or was this kind of development really just the logical next step? After all, the computer keeps getting smaller and more powerful so all of these inventions might be argued as being inevitable. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Science Fiction Influences Reality – Weaponry:

XM-25 Grenade Launcher science fiction influences realityWith respect to conventional weaponry, ‘advances’, if they can be called that, will tend towards the more autonomous devices and the integration of AI (Artificial Intelligence). A simple yet powerful example of using modern technology to kill more effectively is the XM-25 Grenade Launcher – its rounds might yet not be able to follow a target (like the ZF-1 multi-weapon in Fifth Element) but it is laser aimed and rounds can be set to explode when it is near the target using accurate distance measurement. Don’t bother hiding around the corner! Still not autonomous though. Why?

As of yet we are still to be allowed to use armed autonomous robots – the fear is that they will have problems differentiating between friend and foe – we’ve all seen Terminator or heard about Tay, the racist and generally anti-human AI from Microsoft. Considering the all too frequent friendly fire of sentient beings I tend to agree with this approach. Not even modern weapons are perfect, only more efficient at killings. Will Asimov’s 3 laws of robotics be enough to protect us? If you say yes they will, then I suggest you read the book “I, Robot”, and not just watch the film.

The closest automated device is probably the remotely controlled Maars system; it has four grenade launchers and a machine gun that packs 400 rounds of 7.62 calibre ammunition. Nothing you would want pointing in the wrong direction – wonder how that would defend us if we introduced it to Tay? Of course, there are always armed drones – they may not be autonomous yet although they do have autopilot, fortunately they are manually controlled when it opens fire yet still they have their share of detractors and controversy.

laser system on US Navy ship science fiction influences realityIn the 21st century we are heading towards lasers and true star wars, and not simply political posturing. Laser weapons are the most exciting, most potentially dangerous and accurately targeted but also have the capacity for the longest distance killing field. Even the Rail Gun (a hand held version was used in Eraser along with a see-through-anything laser sight) cannot compete – its ammo travels at almost the speed of light but still sits in second place because in the end the ‘bullet’ is still only a physical projectile mass that, even at its amazing speed still has a parabolic trajectory – back to Earth. By 2023 it’s been announced that the US Navy (and others probably) will have laser weapons.

I could wax lyrical about weapon technology for ever – after all, we make our best technological progress when working out how best to kill another person – but it’s not really the point of this article.

I hope I have given you some insight into the fact that those who give thanks to science fiction for a number of modern inventions may not have been quite right in their assertions as some would have you believe. What you should realise is that science fiction, especially near-future science fiction is not as easy as you may think and that technology will eventually make these quantum leaps towards reality without necessarily being guided by a good story.

Nevertheless, good science fiction is still good science fiction!

Undead – A Film Review

Was the Australian film, ‘Undead’, worth the £1.95 I spend on its purchase? Well and truly. I believe this has the potential of becoming a cult film if it isn’t already in some circles. It has all the right content, particularly the strange, slightly barking hero (played by Mungo McKay) and the hot, kick-ass female heroine (Felicity Mason) whose claim to fame is having won the ‘Catch Of The Year’ beauty pageant in her small home fishing town of Berkeley, somewhere along the Queensland coast.

Undead a cult Aussie film zombies aliens
Undead – well worth watching this Aussie film!

It may be that because I hail from the Antipodean side of the world allowing my bias slip to show, but I reckon Australia makes 2 kinds of film, 1. excellent and 2. quirky. Perhaps it’s because being so far away from other influences they have the room to think outside the regular Hollywood box. In a way they are a little like the French; they, too, bring us films that often don’t go according to the usual plan. Of course, the Australians produce superior wines.

If you go to Amazon and read the reviews of ‘Undead’ then they are very mixed. There are a number of 5 star ones, while at least one of the 1 stars suggests the 5 star reviews are a fix by the film production company. They couldn’t be more wrong and it just goes to show that either their brains are wired incorrectly or they hadn’t had enough to drink before viewing.

So what’s the story of Undead?

Well, having said what I have above, I am just a little confused as to the overall plot of ‘Undead’. I think it goes like this:

The heroine, René Chaplin, is leaving town as her parents have died leaving her home farm up to its proverbial eyeballs in debt; naturally the bank takes it away and so she decides to leave the place she has always called home. Hitching a ride driven by a sleaze-ball with his own agenda, they head out in his old Volvo. A meteorite storm overtakes them and mayhem ensues. Every person that is hit becomes a zombie (in spite of the fact that the afore-said meteorite put a fist sized hole in their torsos). After some of this undead mayhem, it rains an acidic liquid that can be quenched by normal water.

Holing up in the town weirdo’s place they are joined by a few more survivors and together they do their best against the salivating horde comprised of their once-upon-a-time neighbours. Marion, the allegedly mad recluse, tells of how he was attacked by zombie fish and taken by aliens – I can’t see why no-one believed him. He takes then into the basement and then to a lower level hideaway that looks decidedly like a nuclear bunker (don’t ask).

Through various escapades they make it out of the house but their progress is stopped by a VERY high wall erected around the town. I won’t tell any more of the story (you really need to see it to get the best from this little gem) other than to say that aliens appear and ‘fix’ the townsfolk. There’s a light aircraft scene that any sci-fi film would be proud of. The final scene is in a hospital where Marion utters these immortal words by way of explaining his predicament:

“One day you’re out on your boat, you get attacked by zombie fish; they munch at your face like you’re the main course of an all-you-can-eat-crazy-boy-buffet. You walk away, tell the town your story – they think you’re mad.”

It doesn’t end there (although Marion does, at least the breathing version).

All in all it was entertaining. I have tried to watch a number of off-the-beaten-track zombie or undead films recently and most are truly painful to watch. This one is genuinely worth the effort – and at this price is definitely money well spent. Five Stars from me!
Books by the Author – available worldwide on all good eBook stores:
Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle (first in trilogy)
Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle – Z Factor (second in trilogy)
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle (first in Trilogy)
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle – Cabin Fever (second in Trilogy)
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle – Dez Rez (third in Trilogy)
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle Trilogy – three books in one
The Animus Portal
Fierce Alchemy

The Real Return Of A King

I’ve been watching the proceedings of today’s celebration of a king much disputed, all the more because his place of rest was so disputed and frankly unknown. Through a significant amount of clever detective work his remains were unearthed and so we witnessed the real Return Of A King.

In the car park where his remains were found was the letter ‘R’, designating a reserved parking bay. Directly under this ‘R’ was the remains of the king, named Richard. Was nature or the gods trying to tell us something all along? On top of this the stones from the Greyfriars Church in which he was buried were removed during the Reformation and used to build the current St Martin’s Church – cathedral actually – where he is now lying in state until Thursday. It’s strange how things come together for the Return Of A King.

The Real Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle - Extra Terrestrials?
The Real Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle – Are We Human?

Why is this important to me? Apart from several of my relatives being of the Ricardian persuasion, the discovery of his bones prompted me to begin writing a trilogy, Return Of A King, that stretched thousands of years into the past, through the turbulent early post-Roman days of Britain, right up to the modern day period where lack of superstition or respect for the dead led to the ultimate overthrow of the species Homo sapiens, assuming that’s what we really are. I have completed two of the three required novels, the third will follow soon.

The whole idea of unearthing mortal remains to me is not so much sacrilegious because that’s down to personal beliefs, but certainly undignified for the deceased. Having laid there for well over five centuries, his tissues mingling with the local earth, it’s interesting to speculate as to whether or not he was spiritually comfortable in place, even if the living regarded his resting place as ignominious?

To be fair to the archaeologists, today they and the church have gone a long way towards making good their unearthing of his remains; giving a king the long due respect of a stately funeral and burial is almost certainly a good thing – maybe the ghost/soul/spirit/essence of King Richard will see the positive side of the whole proceedings.

It is interesting to contemplate what would have happened if Richard had succeeded in defeating Henry Tudor at Bosworth Field:
Henry VIII would not have existed, certainly not as the king he was, creating a schism in the Church dividing Catholics by creating the Church of England. There would not have been a Church of England, certainly not in that form; people would have remained Catholic for a continuing period. As a result there would not have been the splinter groups that arose from that break from Rome. Consequently there would not have been the Act of Uniformity in 1559 leading to the Pilgrims fleeing England from Plymouth in 1620.

Extrapolating from there is probably pointless as it would be fictional with too many suppositions to be credible. The one thing we can be sure of is that the world would not look as it does today. Would that be a good thing? Or would we end up with a completely different set of problems? Would Catholicism be dominant? Would Islam be nothing more than a regional religion? Catholicism is a strong religion, so it’s not unreasonable to assume it could well have a strong grip on our world today.
And all if Richard III had been the victor.

What’s your take on it?
Books by the Author – available worldwide on all good eBook stores:
Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle (first in trilogy)
Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle – Z Factor (second in trilogy)
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle (first in Trilogy)
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle – Cabin Fever (second in Trilogy)
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle – Dez Rez (third in Trilogy)
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle Trilogy – three books in one
The Animus Portal
Fierce Alchemy

Leonard Nimoy – Rest In Peace

Part of my brain thinks ‘what a tragedy’, while the rational part of me knows that 83 is a damn good age to reach, and with all he’s done in his extraordinary life he probably couldn’t have achieved much more. ‘Live Long And Prosper’ has been a good motto for both Leonard Nimoy and Mr Spock.

Zombies Of The Stratosphere - Leonard Nimoy
Zombies Of The Stratosphere – Leonard Nimoy

Of course Leonard Nimoy was not just Mr Spock; from what I can tell his first televised role was on what may be the first ever reality show in 1951 called Queen For A Day – the contestants would compete for an opportunity to pour their hearts out on TV to explain why they should be queen for a day. Weird but hauntingly familiar, I’d say.
Leonard Nimoy has also been in a zombie film; in 1952 ‘Zombies of The Stratosphere’ was released. It told the story of aliens, including Leonard Nimoy as Narab, a zombie alien, intent on H-bombing us out of orbit to be replaced by Mars.

A large number of people will remember Leonard Nimoy for his voice, that gravelly, precise diction is as unmistakable as that of Morgan Freeman or Richard Burton. He was the voice in a number of performances such as ‘Sinbad: Beyond The Veil Of Mists’, and ‘Atlantis: The Lost Empire’.

One thing I have always admired about the sci-fi performers of the ‘60s is their obvious ability not to take themselves too seriously. Unlike modern actors who largely seem to be all about the ‘hard stare’ these folks knew the programmes they made were supposed to be a bit of fun and great entertainment and their characters shone out from the screen like beacons. Leonard Nimoy was no exception. He played an unattributed part as a chauffeur in a Bangles video, and most of us have seen the episode in The Big Bang when Mt Spock played with the quirky psyche of Sheldon Cooper.

Leonard Nimoy tweet
Leonard Nimoy tweet

Leonard Nimoy’s departure from this planet, for me at least, is up there with John Lennon’s demise, albeit for entirely different reasons. He is a man I would have loved to have met. His last Tweet said it all – #LLAP.

Books by the Author – available worldwide on all good eBook stores:

Sci-Fi

The Animus Portal
Fierce Alchemy

Horror – Zombies

The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle (first in Trilogy)
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle – Cabin Fever (second in Trilogy)
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle – Dez Rez (third in Trilogy)
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle Trilogy – three books in one
Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle (first in trilogy)
Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle – Z Factor (second in trilogy)

Teleport – A Equals B?

I have touched on this subject before, but considering our technological advancement will cause us one day to produce something not entirely unlike Star Trek’s teleport technology I think this subject needs to be understood before putting a sentient being through this process.

We all know about teleportation, right? We stand in teleport chamber A and get beamed through space (and time?) to the destination teleport B. Fabulous concept, reduce those pesky carbon footprints in the blink of an eye. Looking more closely, what is actually happening?

Recently German scientists revealed a ‘teleport’ they have nicknamed ‘Spock’ – for obvious reasons. It destructively analyses an object in the origin chamber, and reconstruct it in a receiving chamber, in this case a 3-D printer. Although it doesn’t have much in the way of real world application, it is a pretty graphic description of what would happen to a human body that undergoes the eventual journey. Destructively analysed (don’t let the swirling, pretty blue stars you see on Star Trek fool you), the information is collected by a computer, beamed to the destination where the body is faithfully reconstructed. Or is it?

For those of us who have a religious inclination or even a healthy respect for our ‘id’, this process might not be quite as simple as we think. Whatever it is that makes us tick, be it pure biology, physics, a soul/spirit/divine spark, the question is whether this ‘essence’ for want of a better word, takes the journey with us through the teleport. At the other end we appear miraculously intact, but maybe we don’t.

Consider this About The Teleport

To Teleport Or Not To Teleport
To Teleport Or Not To Teleport – Can you Spot The Difference?

What if, for the first time our body undertakes the deconstruction/reconstruction process, we lose that ‘essence’ that makes us what we are. No-one recognises this fact and they continue to transport people in ever-increasing numbers as the technology becomes available to the masses; at the other end the person feels perfectly normal and senses nothing out of the ordinary, having just come into being moments before armed with all the memories and feelings of the original.

If this is the case then the population is being denuded of the human ‘essence’, becoming simply a cog in a machine that doesn’t recognise itself for what it has become.

The process of deconstruction for teleportation converts everything we are to mere atoms and data – the stuff of everything. How could our ‘essence’ identify with a specific set of atoms, our deconstructed selves, and follow us to our destination? After all, atoms are just atoms; one carbon atom is exactly the same as another carbon atom at least as far as we can see. They can be arranged to form other substances such as diamonds, graphite, or graphene, but the atoms are the same.

There is another possibility, of course. And that’s simply that we have always been machines and no matter how sophisticated and spiritual we think ourselves to be, we are just a walking computer so advanced that we cannot or do not recognise ourselves for the robots we are. We are discovering more and more about the make-up of everything from the God Particle and beyond, so perhaps biologists are looking in the wrong place to find out how we work. Perhaps the millions of neurons they see in our brains and attempt to comprehend just manage the macro functions. What if we use sub-atomic structures to store data and perform complex brain functions? That might just begin to allow us make sense of why we see ourselves as having that ‘je ne sais quoi’ that separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. Are we really that special? Is really a divine plan or are we simply subject to physics? I’m not about to expound on that particular subject.

Next time you watch Star Trek and see people entering the teleport, don’t bother shouting at the screen, it’s already too late.

Books by the Author – available worldwide on all good eBook stores:

Sci-Fi

The Animus Portal
Fierce Alchemy

Horror – Zombies

The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle (first in Trilogy)
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle – Cabin Fever (second in Trilogy)
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle – Dez Rez (third in Trilogy)
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle Trilogy – three books in one
Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle (first in trilogy)
Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle – Z Factor (second in trilogy)

The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle – Complete Trilogy

Hello All

In order to make it easier to own all three books (at a lower price than buying all three separately) I’ve just published the complete Trilogy of “The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle” as a single book on Amazon. Saves money over buying all three! Get the complete Zombie Chronicle while it’s hot!!

Overview of the Zombie Chronicle

An average day in London, or is it? As Daniel goes to work it becomes apparent that something very strange is happening, something very strange indeed. It appears that zombies are taking over the London streets. A battle is afoot for Daniel and his colleague Rob to avoid certain death by the zombie hordes and with Daniel’s wife Janet and little Sam and Penny escape with fellow travellers to the relative safety of the USA. Or is it?

Once established in the mountains above Denver the real challenge for survival against the zombie hordes begins. And then the true horror of their predicament dawns upon our motley crew. Zombies are changing, adapting in terrifying ways to their new environment.

Having decided they can no longer cope with the rigours of mountain living, the ever-increasing band of survivors is looking to pastures new. But their chosen piece of prime real estate contains new horrors, a malevolent force that seems unstoppable, and will require all the combined intelligence and skills of the group and their newest member Marianne to defeat…


Common Cold Trilogy cover - Zombie ChronicleIn the UK:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00N9D3CLE
In the USA:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N9D3CLE
In Australia:
https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00N9D3CLE
In Canada:
http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00N9D3CLE?%2AVersion%2A=1&%2Aentries%2A=0

Happy reading!

All the best,

David

What Do Teleportation and Zombies Have In Common?

Answer: They have the same question in common – where does the soul go after infection or during teleportation?

Have you ever watched Star Trek and given a little thought to what happens when a person is deconstructed and transported over a distance? What do you get at the other end? The original person – or an exact copy, allowing the unfortunate original to disappear forever into nothingness? Sort of smacks of the film “The Sixth Day” with my mate Arnie, where clones can be reproduced a number of times while a score is kept in the form of dots inside their eyelids. Which version of Captain K are we watching through each progressive teleportation during each episode of Star Trek?

With respect to a zombie, when they come back to ‘life’, is the soul trapped inside the slowly rotting husk or has it taken flight, the person involved being truly dead? Unanswerable.

Soul visiting body during burial - Courtesy WPClipart - soul teleportation
Soul visiting body during burial – Courtesy WPClipart

Teleportation – Assuming The Stickiness Of A Soul

Of course both of these questions assume the existence of a soul. One of the hardest things to prove is the absence or presence of something we cannot even quantify. Experiments have been done that attempt to weigh a body before, during and after death. There seem to be detectable differences, but could this be due to the change in disposition of the body? Remember the expression ‘dead weight’? A person appears unreasonably heavier because their own muscles no longer take up the slack when they are lifted. Maybe the weight difference detected at death is aligned to this principle rather than the departing soul.

I personally believe there is something within us that makes us ‘us’, so to speak. It could be called a soul, it could be called ‘the big baldie’, the name doesn’t really matter. While writing my book ‘The Animus Portal’, I made what I think is an interesting point. The awkward juxtaposition of the scientist that says we have barely scratched the surface of brain capability and function versus the scientist that says we use less than 30% of our brains. Two points come from this assumption, the first is why has our brain developed only to use such a small part, and secondly, if we know so little about the brain, how can we expound so, quantifying how much of our brain we use?

Are you exhausted yet? What I am saying is, next time you see a zombie film, or watch a sci-fi where Scottie is beaming someone up, think about the soul. Where the hell is it?

Zombie books by David K Roberts:

The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle

UK          USA        Canada    Australia

The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle – Cabin Fever (Sequel)

UK          USA        Canada    Australia

Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle

UK          USA        Canada    Australia

Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle – Z Factor

UK           USA         Canada    Australia

The article that inspired this blog today:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2643332/Beam-Scientists-sat-teleportation-possible-transfer-atoms.html

Control Nature

Can we continue to control nature?

How many of you realise that just before the detonation of the first atomic bomb, many scientists feared that it would trigger an unstoppable chain reaction that would engulf the world? There was a strong logic behind this potential outcome. In spite of that appalling risk to the whole world they still went ahead and did it. Why? Perhaps it was with the certain knowledge that if it did create the dreaded chain reaction and destroy the world, there would be no-one to complain and accuse. If it didn’t then they had themselves a new weapon (of mass destruction).

One year away from the seventieth anniversary of this decision (July 16, 2015) made on our behalf we can look back, alive and well, at a controversial use of a WMD as the event that shortened the war in the Pacific. The dice rolled the right way for us. Fortunately. Of course it did mean over 45 years of Cold War followed but that’s definitely a subject for a different blog.

Love this photo - had this as a poster when it came out! Control nature
Love this photo – had this as a poster when it came out!

Move forward to 1993. The film Jurassic Park is released – a fictional (at the time) example of our attempt to control nature. Remember the monologue expounded by Jeff Goldblum about how nature finds a way? Well, it appears that the current crop of biological scientists neither watched that film, nor did they attend to their studies at University. Not only that, but they seem strangely unaware that respective governments and companies spend billions annually trying to keep their pollutants safe from the public. Waste nuclear materials, deadly engineered viruses and assorted mutant deadlies keep our humanity on a constant knife edge – one slip up is all it takes; see my book Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle (links below). If you want to scare yourself silly, do a Bing or Google search on “lost phials audit” – you’ll find quite a list. BTW, phials=vials. For example, on the 16th April this year 2,000 phials of SARS virus were found to be missing in France (or not in France, perhaps), in March 2013 a phial of a bioterror agent went missing – apparently accidentally destroyed in the lab – maybe, but there’s no proof of that.

Can We Really Control Nature?

It seems strange to me that the tale of Pandora’s Box is not compulsory reading for all scientists, along with a study guide explaining the ‘hidden’ meaning to the more literal of their number.

I am not shouting from the roof top “woe is me, beware the wrath of God!” In fact I have scientific training (biological) and have been involved in technology all my working life, so I’m no Luddite; however, that old motto, ‘Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should,” rings clearly in my mind.

Courtesy of WPClipart - control nature
Courtesy of WPClipart

It’s a crying shame then that scientists in La Jolla, California, have developed ‘unnatural’ DNA and inserted it into DNA strands of bacteria. I eagerly await the news that they were lost or mislaid – that’s when you get your Apocalypse survival kit out of the wardrobe and dust it off. After all they didn’t choose a strain of bacteria that was harmless to humans, they chose E. coli. So now we have what they term ‘alien life forms’ in labs – and on top of that they are probably quite deadly to us as we have no resistance to this new strain. Excellent! Mr Burns would be so proud. Something else to protect forever lest they get out and change us for good.

Maybe it will not be mutated SARS or any other natural contagion that kicks off the Zombie Apocalypse, maybe we will be the authors of our own downfall, as I’ve suggested many times before, it’s just a question of whether our end been invented yet. After all, civilisations come and go all the time. Why not us? With luck, it will be quick and relatively painless like the chain reaction scientists once feared in 1945, or maybe it will be a protracted war between survivors and The Walking Dead.

Which would you prefer?

Zombie books by David K Roberts:

The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle

UK         USA       Canada    Australia

The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle – Cabin Fever (Sequel)

UK         USA       CanadaAustralia

The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle – Dez Rez (2nd Sequel)

UK         USA       Canada      Australia

Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle

UK         USA       Canada      Australia

Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle – Z Factor

UK         USA       Canada     Australia

 

The Story that led to this blog:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2622543/Alien-life-form-grown-lab-Scientists-add-two-extra-DNA-strands-genetic-code-bacteria-create-new-strain.html

Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle – Z Factor is out!

I am very pleased to announce that the sequel to the mayhem in Leicester is now available on Amazon Kindle!

King and crown Z-Factor 3It takes the ‘minor’ zombie problem in the UK to the USA. It’s a typical story of boy loses girlfriend, boy gets new, hot, sexy girlfriend, couple travel to the USA, accompanied by lethal, world-changing contagion. That sort of story.

Anyway, it is available on Amazon, some of the links are as follows:

America: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JJ3F76Q

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00JJ3F76Q?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Canada:http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00JJ3F76Q?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Australia:https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00JJ3F76Q

I hope you enjoy it!

David

Death Of Antibiotics – Beware Ancient Ailments

There have been many articles recently about the end of time for antibiotics. All very well but how about those bacteria that have been coming at us, lances tilted, all through time. Bacteria has the ability to remain infectious for very long periods. Take Anthrax, Bacillus anthracis, as an example. There are areas in the south of England where it is illegal to dig due to mass graves of military horses that contracted the disease (most during WWI). Even today the spores of the bacterium are still viable. I used to live near a military town and I remember a friend of mine when I was younger telling me about one of those sites nearby – he used to dig for old bottles and that sort of tat. I’ve never forgotten that piece of information.

Pictures-Of-Leprosy - antibiotic resistant?

Treatable with Antibiotics?

The article that spawned this blog talks about the fact that Leprosy, Mycobacterium leprae, can be shown to be between 10 and 20 million years old, the latest versions having genes that can be followed backwards through time, the ultimate time journey. Not only that but maybe we ought to be grateful for the fact that its evolution turned off about 40% of the genes in its genome pool – what would it have been otherwise? Would it have been resistant to antibiotics? There are still hundreds of thousands of new cases of Leprosy annually, a tragic number considering it is treatable.

The really interesting thing is that Leprosy has always been very specific to humans (apart from some remote species of armadillo – poor sod). Of the more than 400 strains found so far, they all have a common genome pool suggesting it was with us before we migrated out of Africa over 100,000 years ago.

King and crown 2 - no effective antibioticsIn a way, from an artistic point of view or course, I am pleased with this hypothesis. It gels quite nicely with my book, Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle. In it I use the longevity of disease to suggest that zombie-ism has been with us a very long time. In the upcoming sequel, due in about a month’s time, I have another suggestion as to origin. No spoilers here though but what I can say is, New York watch out!

Zombie books by David K Roberts:

Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle

UK          USA       Canada Australia

The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle

UK          USA       Canada Australia

The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle – Cabin Fever (Sequel)

UK          USA       Canada Australia

The news article that influenced this blog: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2568579/Leprosy-oldest-disease-humans-Bacteria-existed-MILLIONS-years-infected-ancestors-claims-study.html

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