Fictional Scientists

September 12, 2018

There have been many celebrated scientists in fiction.  A disproportionate number of these have been depicted as mad, working on outlandish experiments to change the world and often nearly destroying it in the process.  They usually end up destroying themselves.  I often wonder if it is because of these fictional caricatures that people regard scientists and the science they produce with suspicion.  However, the real reason is almost certainly because of their inability to communicate properly with the public.

I have spent most of my working life as a biological scientist while writing fiction in my spare time.  Up until a few years ago I have been reluctant to publish any fictional science.  I know how much effort goes into researching real science and getting it to work.  Fictionalising it, by making it up goes against the grain.  But what in the past has been regarded simply as science fiction is often now becoming science fact and so  this form of fiction is now a real force in driving fact.

My novel Magic Bullets at http://peatmore.com/magicbullets.htm

 

Keith Jahans

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Music in Fiction

August 29, 2018

Conveying music in fiction is hard to do.  I have read novels where an author has written an original song and printed the lyrics on the page.  A good example of this can be found in the works of Tolkien where his penned “folk” songs are sung by his heroic characters.  But when reading these stories I find it hard to visualise these songs without a tune to put them to.  This is of course where film and audio adaptations have the advantage over the written word where the producer is able to hire musicians to write a fitting melody.  I suppose the author could add a short piece of sheet music to fit the lyrics but the musically illiterate such as myself and even those among my readers might find this a distraction.

Instead, I have merely opted to describe the sound without going deeply into its substance.  In my first novel, Cogrill’s Mill, I have simply suggested that my fictional characters were listening to local folk music or when they were listening to contemporary country music I chose a well known song, namely Dolly Parton’s Jolene.  My latest novel features a young female singer who becomes a star and I applied the same technique here.  In this way I hope to show my readers that her singing and the sound of her voice are essential ingredients to the plot.

Copyright: Dmitriy Cherevko / 123RF Stock Photo
Magic Bullets can be found at http://peatmore.com/magicbullets.htm

Keith Jahans


Bullets in Fiction

August 21, 2018

There are numerous references to bullets in literature.  Silver bullets have been used by the fictional masked western hero, The Lone Ranger, to shoot his armed adversaries without harming them, and by others to kill supernatural werewolves.  Other examples can be found in detective novels where forensic ballistic reports often lead to the undoing of many a criminal mastermind.

The German Scientist and physician, Paul Ehrlich, coined the concept of a magic bullet to describe the perfect drug that could selectively target a disease-causing organism without harming the patient.  I worked as a professional microbiologist for forty years and had experience of working with different bacteria and antibiotics so I thought it might be an idea to write a story about a scientist who discovered a fictional drug and the effect this had on his life.

Despite the endeavours of scientists such as Ehrlich, drugs are not perfect medicines.  I cannot think of one that does not have harmful side effects.  Given the fact that some have hallucinatory properties and are addictive, I decided to throw that into the mix as well.  There are a lot of references to bullets in literature so as the narrative progressed I thought it might be an idea to link the story with bullets that came from guns and are specifically designed to kill.  Whether I succeeded enough in creating an entertaining read is up to the reader to decide.

My novel Magic Bullets can be found at http://peatmore.com/magicbullets.htm

 

Keith Jahans


Summertime Reading

July 6, 2018

Summer is here and there is no better time to spend the day outside reading on lazy sunny days.  It will soon be the holiday season in the northern hemisphere so choose some books to take with you to while away idle relaxing moments.

It is a good time for authors and publishers to release books so that bookstores at airports, train stations and holiday resorts can stock up to help travellers make those last minute purchases.  Peatmore Press is no exception and has launched its fourth novel which is the first I have released under my own name.  It is a crime thriller and I am told by those who have had a chance to turn the pages that it is a good read.  But see for yourself and let me know how you feel about it.

Keith Jahans

Published on 2 July 2018
and can be bought by following the links at
http://peatmore.com/magicbullets.htm