Friday, February 15, 2013


One of the primary purposes of science fiction literature is to afford the opportunity to speculate about various "what if" situations, or to propose an idea in a more-or-less real world situation.  In honor of that I give you this idea, and see if it works its way into a storyline.

The other day I was in a conversation and the subject came up about gmo foods.  What he said was something of labeling foods that are of gmo origin.  And I had to ask, please define what you mean by genetically modified.  For instance, common corn that we eat today and feed to our livestock is a genetic manipulation of grasses to produce bigger seeds.  Way back in Aztek times, they discovered one day that crossing this grass stalk with this other one produced a seed that was edible and life sustaining (code words for nutritious).  Over decades and centuries man produced bigger and better corn, some as recently as just last week.

In the early periods of this experimentation there were lots of bad crops, it was inevitable to the whole trial and error discovery method.  But as time went on the corn got better.  Today it has become a mainstay food source for much of the world population.  And we have become very adept at trial and error, just as we have gotten better at most everything else of human origin.

But more recently, or maybe all through time for all things new, there are people who worry about the new variety of corn.  These naysayers say that the new stuff is bad for you.  Studies are produced that show that some people react badly to some things.  Some react so badly that they die.

But what if the question isn't how we produce 100% safe corn, but instead how the human race evolved to survive on the corn that humans invented.  That would include the concept of those humans who did not survive on the corn dying out and those genes died out with them.  Those conditions would make for a more solid and durable human race.

The problem of course are the luddites, those that are fearful of change.  Sometimes they need to be neutralized, and even laughed at if need be.  And that is where a good writer of speculative fiction might lay the drama for the story. The conflict.  If I had the imagination I would try to tackle this idea.