Terrestrial Magic Goes Live

I maybe, kinda, sorta am posting an urban fantasy/post-apocalyptic web serial online. So…surprise?

The first chapter has just gone up, it will post on Thursdays, and here’s the premise:

Most sensible people avoid fire-breathing carnivores that prey on humans. But Jordan has built a career out of studying such legendary animals, creatures thought mythological until their reemergence in the world three decades ago. She and researchers like her believe that knowledge is the key to reclaiming the land they’d lost back then, when humanity retreated into designated safety zones.

But when the humans moved out, the legends moved in. They were the descendants of mythical heroes, inheriting the powers of their ancestors, and they weren’t afraid of the monsters. Jordan never expected to run into a legend, but when a field expedition turns into a trap for her team, she realizes that one deliberately tried to kill her. It’s a diplomatic nightmare the Roman authorities might happily sweep under the rug. But if Jordan doesn’t figure out who attacked her and why, they could try again. Yet even if she does solve the mystery, what could one stubborn scientist possibly do to stop a powerful legend?

For those of you who know something about me, you’ll notice the premise incorporates a lot of elements that rely on my own particular knowledge: my scientific background, my semester abroad in Rome, and my study of ancient history. Hopefully, I’ve managed to take all of that and tie it into a decent story.

Advertisements

Science in Media: Handling Medicines Without the Proper Understanding of Dosage

Haven’t done one of these in a while. But there’s this scene, in Stranger Things 2, that struck me enough that I had to talk about it.

Basically, you have a character with no medical or pharmacological experience whatsoever, filling up a syringe with an unspecified drug (to put patients to sleep) and injecting a child with it. (At least twice in about a day, actually.) My immediate thought upon seeing that was, “well, if it were real life, she’s probably just killed this kid.” Continue reading “Science in Media: Handling Medicines Without the Proper Understanding of Dosage”

Passengers: Shouldn’t be Marketed as a Sci-Fi/Romance if It’s Gonna Be This Creepy

Two people's faces, above an image of a ship in space. The words read "Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Passengers."
Image: Sony Pictures

Genre: Sci-fi/Romance

Synopsis: Jim and Aurora are passengers on a starship, kept in stasis inside hibernation pods during the journey. When they arrive at their destination, a good century would have passed, and they’d have reached a distant world. Except they wake up too early. 90 years too early. Without the ability to put themselves back to sleep, they’re looking at the rest of their lives spent alone, aboard the ship… Continue reading “Passengers: Shouldn’t be Marketed as a Sci-Fi/Romance if It’s Gonna Be This Creepy”

Science in Mass Effect: Andromeda

I’m still not done with Mass Effect: Andromeda–I’m about halfway through the game. It might take me some time to get through it, but in the meantime, I wanted to talk about the impression I’ve had of the game so far from a biological/genetics standpoint. Continue reading “Science in Mass Effect: Andromeda”

Sci-Fi for Capturing the Imagination with Detail-Oriented Debate

Today I want to bring up two pieces of media, a book and a movie, that do a great job with something I don’t see tackled in fiction very often–they delve into the complex details behind the big picture, and make them interesting. They form a story around those details, instead of making it all about the big picture.

Character conflict and personalities are used to engage the audience with the narrative. Meanwhile, focusing on the complexities instead of sidelining them make the stories feel like they belong in a world as complicated as our own. Both of them managed to pull me in by appealing to my sense of curiosity. So it’s fitting for me to talk about both in one post, given that they share their strengths. Continue reading “Sci-Fi for Capturing the Imagination with Detail-Oriented Debate”

Science in Media Roundup: Artistic License with Medical Safety and Loaded Terminology

More science in TV, and as expected, most of it has issues. So, what in recent television is not quite as portrayed?

(video)

The Catch: In a case of the week episode, the private investigation firm goes up against a pharmaceutical company being sued for a clinical trial gone wrong. A drug trial ended with 16 patients in the ICU, and the firm’s client suspects that the previous trial must have had adverse reactions as well, which were covered up. In the end, it turns out the the lead clinician in charge of the trial deliberately sabotaged it because the medicine wasn’t working and he wanted to start from scratch to develop something that would work (as his wife suffered from the condition the drug was meant to treat, MS.) Continue reading “Science in Media Roundup: Artistic License with Medical Safety and Loaded Terminology”

Broken Age: A Different Take on the Hero/Victim Dichotomy

broken-age-walkthrough
Image: Double Fine Games via Video Games Blogger

Genre: Point-and-click adventure/sci-fi

Synopsis: Vella is chosen for the honor of the Maiden’s Feast, a ceremony vital to the safety of the village. But something feels wrong, and Vella finds herself wondering if the way they’d all been taught to live is really the only option… Continue reading “Broken Age: A Different Take on the Hero/Victim Dichotomy”

Science in Media: Agent Carter Season 2’s Surprisingly Refreshing Points About the Nature of Experimentation

I recently spoke about my feelings on the second season in general, but the way this show thinks about science is worth its own post. Because in this regard, the show generally exceeded my expectations. Without further ado, the things I noticed about the show’s attitude towards scientific inquiry: Continue reading “Science in Media: Agent Carter Season 2’s Surprisingly Refreshing Points About the Nature of Experimentation”

Science in Media: Eureka’s Strange Ideas About Intelligence

It’s been a while since I’ve watched Eureka, a sci-fi series about a community of mad scientists, but I found a few notes I’d made about the show and never posted, so this might be a good time to address some of the weird misconceptions. Note that I did really like this show while I was watching it, and it wasn’t the technical stuff that threw me out of the story (because sci-fi) but rather the ideas about how being a scientist or an intellectual in general worked. Continue reading “Science in Media: Eureka’s Strange Ideas About Intelligence”

Science in Media: Stringency, Contradictions, and Cloning

Just a few weeks ago, I had my first thesis committee meeting. This means that I passed my qualifying exams (yay). And it means that I now have a thesis committee made of several professors with whom I will meet at least once a year, to check the progress on my project. They’re there to advise graduate students and make sure we’re on track.

So in honor of that, I’m going to highlight some positive examples of scientific portrayal in media, as opposed to my usual rants. (Though I don’t promise to be completely rant free, just to highlight some positive examples.) Continue reading “Science in Media: Stringency, Contradictions, and Cloning”