Monday, November 02, 2009

Genetics in Fiction @ Clarkesworld

Roger Moraga has a nice article in the current issue of Clarkesworld Magazine on "Modern Genetics in the World of Fiction":
Most of the time there is a certain amount of unrealistic superscience involved in the creation of speculative fiction, but as a geneticist I can't help but wonder if it is really necessary to trample all over what we do know about genetics to make it happen. Ultimately it is up to the creator to decide how much, and how soon, to depart from "real" Science, but before long it may not be necessary to depart much at all. A more in-depth look at what genetic engineering is doing today may be enough to make one's imagination run wild.
You should definitely go read the complete article for yourself, but I will note that I couldn't agree more with Moraga's conclusion:
If you are a writer considering genetic engineering for your next work, take a little time to invite a molecular biologist to a drink or two and pick his* brain. We don't bite, we love speculating about science fiction, and many of us even like free drinks.

* and don't forget that some molecular biologists are she rather than he (hint hint).
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