03 May 2009

H1N1, space opera, and alternate history

These things are not all related, except inasmuch as I'm interested in all of them.

I'm a pharmacist, if soon to be unemployed, and I've done a certificate in Field Epidemiology through UNC School of Public Health. I'm fascinated by infectious diseases. So of course I'm following this new influenza strain.

Key thing to remember right now is that it's not any more lethal than a seasonal flu, at least not in the US, but that viruses mutate readily, so there's potential for it to be more lethal. Something like H1N1/1918 (Spanish flu) is most likely not going to be the case; there were a lot of extenuating circumstances in 1918 (World War I and troop movements, taking the virus along with them, for example.) We've got better drugs and better technology now, and we've got people working on preparedness stuff.

If public health works, nothing happens. Which is to say, if public health authorities are on the ball, encouraging social distancing, hand hygiene, and cough etiquette, then the outbreak will be contained. Unfortunately, the public perception will too often be, "Oh, they were exaggerating! Next time, I'll just ignore them." BAD PLAN.

I saw a call for submissions from Samhain Press (on The Galaxy Express SF/romance blog) for space opera romance novellas. I'm all over that! In my soon-to-be copious free time. Those are due 8/1.

I'm working on (sort of) an alternate history short story (5-10K) for June submission to Crossed Genres. I have an idea, and I'm researching stuff, hoping that the seed will grow into something usable.

Those two things are related, since the alternate history is the basis for the space opera. (Imperialism in space. Can't exactly grow from current history. Or could, but I like alt.hist stuff.)

If the weather stops going back and forth between sunny and cloudy and looking like it's gonna rain, I can go take a walk. (Added bonus of not working: more time to exercise.)


Heather Massey said...

Thanks so much for mentioning my post on the Samhain space opera anthology. Fingers crossed for you!

Conni said...

You're welcome! I'm just chuffed you read my post ;) And thanks!