Workshop Episode 14 (Guest Host: Nobilis Reed)

The Roundtable Podcast, Workshop Episode 14, with Nobilis Reed and Terry MixonNobilis Reed – a man of SO many gifts and talents, including author, podcaster, editor, vocal performer, and audio guru – returns to the Roundtable for some workshop action.  Joining him at the table is Terry Mixon, a gifted and prolific author and one of the co-hosts at the much esteemed Dead Robots’ Society!  Terry offers up a truly epic tale, an erotic romance thriller that get’s ideas and inspirations flowing like fine wine. (and check out Nobilis’s Showcase Episode, too!)


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Workshop Episode 14(Guest Host: Nobilis Reed)

[caution: mature language and subject matter – listener discretion is advised]

Check out this episode on iTunes

(Liner Notes are in the works… promise!)

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Comments (14)

On the topic of Police specialization think about how not only will the police force change, but the crime statistics of New York will change. With lower population density the violent crime rate tends to go down.

In the 2010 census the population of NYC was over 8,000,000 and they had 536 homicide victims, which was a low year for NYC.
In the 2010 census the population of Boston was about 4,000,000 and they had 72 homicide victims, which was a high year for Boston.

Your plague will drop the population of NYC down to numbers that were there in 1905.

Crime rate percentages for drug crimes and gambling might stay the same, but I bet prostitution would go way down.

The crime that would probably rise (I’m guessing) would be child abduction. The youngest children in the world would be 10 – 13 years old. They would be a finite and precious commodity.

About Brian’s suggestion that the Police woman be kidnapped and the last viral man in America rescue her. I’m against it. In a world that is 99.9999% female you still have the man rescuing the woman? Really?
I would much rather that the man be kidnapped/recaptured and that the Police Woman rescue him.

Good thoughts, Peter. I’ve made some notes to myself on those thing. Apprecte the input.

BTW, I blame my iPhone for my spelling flubs in the post above. 😉

The absolute worst diseases in human history only have a 70-90% mortality rate. That’s a lot of (lucky) men still around. And to have 100% exposure is ludicrous, even with a long period of infection prior to death. In other words, the idea that all men die off from a single virus is not a very convincing scenario. A more believable scenario might be something like this:

A company developing bio weapons is compromised, and their entire viral arsenal is unleashed on the world. The viruses vary in deadliness (though all are potent) and method of spreading (air, blood, sex, contact, etc.), thus making lack of exposure to several to be very unlikely (perhaps there are thousands and they were let loose on a large group of people ready to event like the olympics?)

Here’s how to do the gender thing. For some reason (the mechanism of which doesn’t need to be understood by scientists), due to a commonality in all of the engineered viruses they share a feature (possibly unknown)that makes them ineffective against women who have previously given birth. This doesn’t protect all women, (especially kids) but it put men right out of luck.

I would still have some men survive, especially in remote places, but the thrill of finding one leads to quick exposure since all women are carriers. They wouldn’t live long.

That’s all I’ve got for now!

Bryan, I appreciate the detailed input. Thank you.

What I wonder is this, if I can have an unexplained mechanism that connects all the viruses you mention, why can’t I have an unexplainable active, wide-spread, and virulent virus that gets global exposure? The situation might be implausable, but many implausable situations are posited as past fact to set up many science fiction stories. Extremely unlikely in real life, fiction often comes up with more extreme long-shots to end life as we know it.

For example, no children are born to any woman in Children of Men. Also, I’ve read a number of science fiction novels with artificial biological weapons that not only kill everyone, but mutate to kill al life: plant, animal, and microbial. No one blinked at the premise.

I can envision that it might not be realized that women were carriers for some time, and that they were utilized in apprehending men who had fled. Perhaps men might turn up occasionally for a few years, only to die in turn. I can see it, but I’m not sure I will use it. Frankly, a virus engineered to be that effective is more plausible than the Hunger Games to me. Or many other science fiction setups.

Also, changing such a major aspect of the backstory would have a huge impact on the story I intend to tell. While it seems difficult to imagine a virus this effective, there is ample evidence that the readers have accepted backgrounds just as unlikely in real life.

Thanks again for your detailed criticism, and I will keep what you’ve said in mind. Even if I’m stuborn and go my own way. 🙂

A follow up thought. There are a number of diseases carried by animals that infect people. The same could be true here. If food animals and mosquitos carry they virus, it will find people anywhere. Very, very few would realize the danger before infection.

A few ideas to pass on:

Viruses need a method of transmission. Person to person excludes reclusive people. By air is the most deadly, but even that depends on wind patterns and would not be 100% coverage. Disease spreads city to city (due to fast transport systems) and work their way out from there. This is a science.

Children of men: no children born anymore is not a very likely event. The story gets away with it (sort of) by setting up and not dwelling on the idea.

Bio-weapons that kill all life? I would blink at that (as a scientist) so why do you say all are fine with it? You are painting a broad, assumptive brush there, which is similar to the one you are using when you talk about the dynamics of disease propagation.

I suggested the idea of many viruses to make the premise more plausible. You are free to consider and use (or not use) the suggestion, as you are writing the thing. My point is if I were to read it, I would be lost at the 100% spread and kill virus. I would immediately say “that isn’t how a virus spreads” and might put the story down. Many people would not be so affected, but since you’re looking for ideas and feedback I figured this was the time to give it.

I do appreciate your knowledgable insight and I will consider what you’re saying. I will also point out that, like Children of Men, I don’t intend to dwell on the specifics of the virus. Just the consequences. Perhaps the scientific community is still uncertain about many aspects of what happened.

In the end, while a scientist may be skeptical or outright disbelieve the premise, I need to have some room to tell the story I want to tell, or I might as well just put it away. Readers in general are more accepting of science that stretches the boundaries of plausibility.

As I said, I appreciate your input and will think about the possibilities further. Thanks.

Story comes 1st, I agree. Maybe a skype chat sometime? Verbal communication might help me to clarify/help.

I’d like that. You can catch me at terry special symbol lynnmixon com and we can see how our schedules mix. Thanks again for your insight.

Actually, it isn’t important that the virus be 100% spread and kill. What is important is that the areas where men are surviving be isolated so that the dominant culture effectively has no men. You won’t have 100% fatality, but for the purposes of this story men who survive and are infertile aren’t worth mentioning, so you can still have high mortality and a higher sterility factor among the surviors. The point is really to make fertile men extremely rare.

Having no men also has some unusual side effects. Are women going to raid sperm banks? Will the surviving men end up getting killed by struggles by groups of women to control them? Will there be black market sperm from men who are surviving in remote areas?


Doc and Bryan,

I’ve given your posts some thought and you’re probably right. I’ll have to consider how best to change the story in my head. Thanks for your input.

Danny Terry Jr.

I am always amazed at home much of the fiction part of sci_fi gets scrutinized. Part of telling a good fiction story is embellishment IMHO as well as controlling the cause and effect of the crisis at hand. Too much “real” science can be boring or even ruin the myth of the story i.e. Midaclorians. After hearing this word, the force lost its mystique. Always leave room for the readers imagination and personal interpretation.

Solo shot first.

Good luck.

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