KARINA FABIAN TAKES OVER THE BLOG TODAY. KARINA’S STORY, DADDY ISSUES, WAS INCLUDED IN TUSCANY BAY BOOKS’ PLANETARY ANTHOLOGY SERIES: JUPITER. TODAY SHE WILL TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT HER STORY IN JUPITER.
In our next installment of Topic in Spaaace! It’s all about the noir, baby.
Actually, it’s about noir and baby.
I love writing a good mystery, and what’s better than a murder with a paternity case and a natural disaster tossed in.
One of the fun things about noir is that you build this huge, operatic world, full of dirt and danger, and then see it through the lens of a single character. Jupiter is perfect, with the sweeping storms and hostile atmosphere. There’s no way a standard human could live in its hostile atmosphere, so I turned to genetic engineering:
They say that if man were meant to live on Jupiter, God would have given him thicker skin and hydrogen-processing gills. That same “they” also said if man were meant to fly, God would have given him wings. Of course, by 2867, we’d not only cracked our genetic code, but could stack the nucleotides like gods playing with toy blocks. We gave ourselves wings or fins and gills and skins to suit any environment we wanted, and to hell with what God wanted.
When the geneticists designed humans for Jupiter’s environment, they fell into two camps. One wanted to create super-dense molecular structures that could withstand the incredible atmospheric pressures – the heavies. The other decided a more elegant solution was an inflated barrier between dense skin and the more delicate internal organs – the guppies, because the amusing result was that they float instead of sink like us heavies would. But floating or walking, we were all just trying to get ahead in this gaseous soup we called home.
From this genetic mix in a gaseous soup, the characters crafted for me a tale of deceit and loss, as the privileged classes connive to keep their power and wealth and the rest of the schmoes try to get by. But what does that mean when the next Red Spot storm threatens to destroy a continent-sized swath of home for the next hundred years? How can a guppy carry the child of a heavy who’s been dead for over a year? How well can cynical PI who is entering heat (yep, animal gotta-mate heat) keep her wits enough to find a murderer and get justice for an orphan whose only chance at survival is for her father to take responsibility for the result of his own indiscretions?
Once again, I had a lot of fun with the details. Oxygen plays an interesting role, as does genetic engineering. No, I’m not going to tell you! Go get the book. There are so many great stories to enjoy in it. But when you finish Daddy Issues, I hope you’ll drop me a comment and let me know what you thought.
After all, it’s part of human nature to want feedback, and no matter how we mess with the genome, there’s no escaping human nature.
Karina writes both serious and seriously funny science fiction and fantasy. You can find her stuff at https://fabianspace.com