Recently, I had some discussion with a reader about creatures with different DNA being on Earth alongside creatures like ourselves — if the probabilities had worked out differently. And, of course, my heroes using a Variable Probability Drive in the next series of The Modest Proposal Institute would be sure to stumble upon such an Earth eventually. My thoughts at the time were that such creatures may be useful to us because they could convert things that had little value for us into things that might. The example I used was of a silicon-based lifeforms eating rocks and excreting metal ores in highly concentrated form.
It’s possible, however, that they may be more intelligent than us, or were intelligent sooner than us, and, consequently, we might be the ones being used as processing plants — though perhaps not if their DNA was as far removed from ours as a silicon-based one would be. But what if their DNA were either carbon- or closely related element -based and we and they overlapped in our needs? Competition for resources is what has driven us to fight each other from the beginning, as it does every other species. We’re fortunate no other creature on Earth has ever come close to us in intelligence and we’ve had a ‘relatively easy’ time of it. What if we’d a more closely matched competitor?
One suggestion was the idea of ‘islands’ (not islands in the sea) where we inhabit and other ‘islands’ they inhabit. It’s an attractive idea. Nature does this in everyday life by having herbivore species that inhabit the same landscape but eat different foods so they don’t compete. Our two different DNA tribes could do the same. The reason there are no Neanderthal or Denisovian humans left on Earth is probably that we out-competed them for the same foodstuffs. A stable world of different DNA creatures would have to have widely different needs or one of us would eat the other’s lunch. I see plenty of opportunities for conflict around the margins of these two ‘islands’ even if we couldn’t actually eat each other. Until next time, remember that The Complete Modest Proposal Institute Boxset is available to read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited, #KindleUnlimitedBooks, and Book 1 is only $0.99 on Amazon right now.
I’ve mentioned in previous posts that my next books are a cozy mystery series. While working on those and developing themes for the second series of The Modest Proposal Institute I thought satirically of merging the two for a whole new series of Science Fiction Cozy Mysteries. An idea I thought too absurd to be taken seriously. Today, I discovered that books like that actually exists!
The books that share this theme don’t have their own category in Amazon yet but I can see this ‘genre’ has possibilities. The close-knit community of a space station or moon- (or mars-)base, with all its inevitable tensions, would be an ideal setting for a cozy mystery and has the added advantage of some unusual ways to commit murder. And not only murder; affairs, thefts, and all the other earthly crimes would be likely to occur under the pressure-cooker stress of isolation and the possibility of immediate death if something goes wrong. All things considered, I can’t understand why it isn’t already a huge selling category — other than the two diametrically opposite audiences, I mean.
Sci-fi books do include murders, of course, but they’re generally thrillers with lots of action and violence. It seems those two categories work well together. I avoided making The Modest Proposal Institute overly violent because I wanted the inevitable rolling out of Earth’s near-future and the collapse of Western nations to be the central theme. My next series takes place after that period so it can include more threatening environments for the heroes and more thriller-like responses from them. Very like my old favourite, Dr. Who when Tom Baker was the doctor. Check out DrWhoOnline for information about all the many Doctors. Sadly, series two won’t be a sci-fi cozy mystery just yet. It would make this writer’s life much easier:-)
I often ‘joke’ that the only part of book writing I like is doing the rough draft. Every other part is just like work. However, there are degrees of ‘don’t like’ that are worse than the others, which is a long way of saying that this week I’ve been learning how to do Amazon Ads properly. The days have been full days and all of it felt like work. When I become a best-selling author, I’m paying someone else to do the advertising and marketing for me. There are way too many spreadsheets and tables to fill with data for any sane person’s comfort!
I’m using The Modest Proposal Institute Boxset as my guinea pig for the ads in the expectation it will boost sales even as I’m learning the online advertising craft. We shall see. It better because I’m developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in my whole arm doing the data entry. Not to mention the numbness in the rear end from sitting for hours on end. Should any of my readers be thinking of becoming an self-publishing independent author I will give some advice — start with a bestseller so you can subcontract right away.
One thought about my Variable Probability Drive I’ve been considering during my training sessions is what would a world be like with species that didn’t share our DNA. So far as we can tell, we and very other living creature on this planet share the same DNA. Suppose, a comet or meteorite had delivered a package of different DNA here? The species that share DNA find it hard enough to get along. How would we co-exist with something quite different? Any thoughts? Beyond the obvious one of ‘we’d get along badly’ I mean.
The Complete Modest Proposal Institute Series boxset is back in Kindle Unlimited so, for those of you in Amazon Select, you can read it for FREE. For everyone else, it’s still available on Amazon at the low, low price of $5.99.
Much of my time right now is taken up with the soon to be published Cozy Mystery, In The Beginning, There Was a Murder, which I’m planning to publish on November 15, provided the world hasn’t ended due to the American Presidential Election. However, I’m still considering how the Modest Proposal Gang get on in their new universes and your ideas would be welcome. You might even become a character in one of the books, if that was something that interested you.
I dispersed the heroes in different directions because I want a wide variety of unusual places to write about. I’ve spent my life reading history and that suggests many opportunities for alternate realities but it can’t be just that. I’m looking for seriously different and just not quite finding it yet. An Earth where the Ice Ages wiped out human beings would be a great starting point. Which species would become ‘top dog’ and how would they compare to our travellers when they arrived? Douglas Adams, in ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’, has his hero, Arthur Dent ask at one point, ‘Why is no one ever pleased to see us?’ and it’s a fair question. Would the ‘top dog’ on an Earth without people, be pleased to see us? I suspect not. Any more than we’d be pleased to see an evolved and armed lion appear in our midst. Here’s your chance to float some ideas to me:-)
I’m going off topic again this week because I’m closing in on finishing the first book in my Miss Riddell Cozy Mysteries series and I want to let my readers know when that is coming out. I mentioned it some weeks ago and said it would be out in mid-October or thereabouts. However, I’ve noticed there’s something going on out there in the wider world that will absolutely blitz any promotional activities I do for the new series. To be clear, the USA is having a Presidential Election and from mid-October until some days after November 3, nothing else will get noticed. I will, of course, continue to ignore this pointless waste of time and money because no matter who wins, the government always gets back in — as we used to say way back in the Sixties and Seventies. Nothing since then has changed my mind.
To cut this long story short, I will now release the first book in the series, In The Beginning, There Was a Murder, around November 15, provided most of the irrational screeching has died down by then. As you see, I’m not missing my schedule, just consciously and sensibly delaying it. It will be available for pre-order on my Amazon Author Page about a week before November 15. If it sounds interesting, visit my page and order it. How will you know if it is interesting? Easy, I shall tell you about it here in this Cole’s Notes version.
Pauline Riddell is twenty years old, just out of college, and in her first job at an armaments factory. The time is 1953 and the place is Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, UK. The Korean War is hot, the Cold War is cold, and World War 2 is still fresh in everyone’s mind. Her friend is murdered and for various reasons, she becomes unhappy at the way the Police investigation is going. She decides to do some investigating herself and the rest is history. If a look back in time and a puzzle to solve are your passions, then remember to look out for it, coming soon to an Amazon near you. I haven’t finalized the cover yet but here’s one of the covers being considered. Tell me if you like it.