Science-fictional Nuggets Found in the News

A couple of items that crossed my path this week struck me as raw materials for science fiction:

1) How to save your LHC story, now that they switched it on and the world didn’t end: LHC shuts down for 2 months over faulty wiring. The LHC will not be back online until April because of “an electrical glitch caused a helium leak.” So, if I were were writing an SF story about the LHC, the detail of the faulty wiring would be the tell-tale sign that we were in the alternate universe—the one that didn’t end when they turned it on.

2) Readymade dystopian setting: PETA Urges Ben & Jerry’s To Use Human Milk!

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent a letter to Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, co-founders of Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc., urging them to replace cow’s milk they use in their ice cream products with human breast milk, according to a statement recently released by a PETA spokeswoman.

First of all, the nutritional and chemical intake of the lactating women would need to be controlled somehow. No glass of wine; no Zoloft for that postpartum depression; no peanuts because allergens might be transmitted, etc.

Secondly, PETA has not considered the scale of the B & J’s operation. Production on an industrial scale requires industrial control of a supply line. Speculation on how one might accomplish that is rich material for dystopian science fiction.

The obvious solution: Third World factory farms! After their babies are harvested for adoption mills, women in indentured servitude are warehoused and machine-milked several times a day like cows to provide milk for a new designer ice cream flavor produced by a company in Vermont.

So your protagonist walks into a B&Js and sees a new flavor called “Mother’s Milk.” She is in an alternate universe, one the LHC didn’t destroy. She is pregnant and single and looking for a job. There is an intriguing ad in the paper, but the job appears to involve international travel . . .

So get to work!

6 Comments

Subscribe to this thread

Post a Comment

All comments must meet the community standards outlined in Tor.com's Moderation Policy or be subject to moderation. Thank you for keeping the discussion, and our community, civil and respectful.

Hate the CAPTCHA? Tor.com members can edit comments, skip the preview, and never have to prove they're not robots. Join now!