Technical Question for Epic Atheist Novel

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Technical Question for Epic Atheist Novel

Okay, without getting too far into the details... basically I'm writing a novel. It's something I think most of the people on this forum would be into.

 

It has some science fiction aspects (not many, more just to establish a background for the socio-politics of 10-30 years from now).

 

Anyway, I needed a plot device that basically reduced birthrates in half, so I made up my own nasty STD. It's called RHV, for Reeves' H-Variant. No actuall significance there, but here's how I described.

 

Basically, global warming releases this virus from its ice-bound dormancy. Presumably this thing has killed off entire populations before human beings ever evolved, but there's no way we could actually tell that from the fossil record.

 

So far, so good. Now here's the kicker: The virus infects males, and they pass it onto women. While it doesn't kill them, the infected woman is basically left barren after the virus leaves the system.

 

My idea is that originally it was more generic and less dangerous. Hypothetically a strain could have survived the process of ejaculation and wound up in a female body, where it could feast on the high-quality material of a woman's eggs as opposed to millions of low-quality sperm. So the virus discovered a more efficient source of energy and evolved to take advantage of human sexual activity by staying largely dormant in males and multiplying deviously once it enters the female body.

 

Is this even remotely plausible? At least, for a novel? I don't go into technical detail often when I write. The novel itself is about the characters, but the reactions of several women of different ages to their barrenness are part of their character development. Can anyone give me some technical assistance?

“It is true that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It is equally true that in the land of the blind, the two-eyed man is an enemy of the state, the people, and domestic tranquility… and necessarily so. Someone has to rearrange the furniture.”


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 Not bad for a start,

 Not bad for a start, certainly.  You could lose the idea of ova (eggs) being nutritious, given that viruses aren't really eating anything--they're just taking over the cellular machinery.  If you look at most viruses, they attack cells that are on the fringes of the body as far as the external environment is concerned--the upper respiratory tract, the immune system (often through blood, but through the reproductive tract as well).  Getting to the ovaries would require motility and chemotaxis, neither of which are exhibited by viruses.  If you want to make this thing viral, I'd say you should go with a virus that infects the epididymis (where sperm are produced) and the walls of the uterus (virus particles could get released when millions of non-fertilizing sperm die), causing the womb to be hostile to zygote implantation.  You may want to look at a bacterium if you want to keep the egg idea.  There are lots of bacteria that exhibit the ability to travel deep inside protected structures of the body.  

Your only problem is the survival of the organism.  Most sexually transmitted diseases only destroy the reproductive function (if they even do that much) over a long span of time.  No point in evolving to exploit a host that you immediately eliminate the reproductive potential of.

I've got things to do at the moment, but I'd like to communicate more with you on this--I've had ideas for a similar story myself but I'm not a fiction writer.

 

"The whole conception of God is a conception derived from ancient Oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men."
--Bertrand Russell


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Its science fiction which

Its science fiction which does allow for err fiction and liberties to be taken with biology.

Sounds like a very interesting plot line through


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Good idea, but be careful

This could turn into a very interesting story, but I'd be careful about it being perceived as a clone/ripoff of "The Last Man on Planet Earth".  Although in that movie it was a bioweapon that wiped out almost all males, rather than what you're planning on having your microorganisms do.

And who said the organism had to have good survival instincts?  It was apparently frozen, so maybe it just got lucky.

 


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Aqua_Seal wrote: And who

Aqua_Seal wrote:

 

And who said the organism had to have good survival instincts?  It was apparently frozen, so maybe it just got lucky.

 

I guarantee you it wouldn't have good survival instincts.  Microbes don't have instincts.  Rather, consider the various hemorrhagic fever viruses (SHV, Marburg, Ebola)--while we don't know the original animal host for these, you can bet for damn sure that it's something other than humans, given that the viruses tend to infect and kill with terrible speed, all but ensuring that there aren't any new hosts for infection within a very short time frame.  Evolution obviously doesn't have goals, but it's quite clear that the final stage of evolution for most successful pathogenic microorganisms is an endemic state, one in which from year to year a population is infected with no need from transmission from external sources because the bug has gotten so tailored by natural selection in its pathogenicity that it can hide and flare up for centuries and very rarely make itself a dead end by killing a host.

"The whole conception of God is a conception derived from ancient Oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men."
--Bertrand Russell


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Hmmm

Actually t

Aqua_Seal wrote:

This could turn into a very interesting story, but I'd be careful about it being perceived as a clone/ripoff of "The Last Man on Planet Earth".  Although in that movie it was a bioweapon that wiped out almost all males, rather than what you're planning on having your microorganisms do.

And who said the organism had to have good survival instincts?  It was apparently frozen, so maybe it just got lucky.

 

 

 

I'm familiar with The Last Man on Planet Earth, though this novel is nothing like that. It's Social Sci-Fi about an all-out fundamentalist America and the people who resist in the name of a rational society.

 

The point of the virus/bactera/virally-infected bacteria (which ever final form it takes) is really a social commentary- a stand-in for HIV/AIDS that primarily (but not exclusively) affects heterosexuals.

 

“It is true that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It is equally true that in the land of the blind, the two-eyed man is an enemy of the state, the people, and domestic tranquility… and necessarily so. Someone has to rearrange the furniture.”


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Thanks

Thanks! What about a virally-infected bacteria? I want to keep the notion of the host's gametes actually being destroyed by the infection, or possibly by the body's resposnse to the infection... some sort of bacteriophage?

 

Like I said, I'm trying to keep the science realistic because the novel is actually about social change. The infection is a background element, but it's important and since this is supposed to a realistic, semi-satirical political novel with science fiction elements, the science should at least be realistic.

 

“It is true that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It is equally true that in the land of the blind, the two-eyed man is an enemy of the state, the people, and domestic tranquility… and necessarily so. Someone has to rearrange the furniture.”


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FulltimeDefendent

FulltimeDefendent wrote:

Thanks! What about a virally-infected bacteria? I want to keep the notion of the host's gametes actually being destroyed by the infection, or possibly by the body's resposnse to the infection... some sort of bacteriophage?

 

Like I said, I'm trying to keep the science realistic because the novel is actually about social change. The infection is a background element, but it's important and since this is supposed to a realistic, semi-satirical political novel with science fiction elements, the science should at least be realistic.

 

There's no reason why that wouldn't work.  The phage would be lysogenic rather than lytic in that case (it would remain dormant within the bacterial chromosome until a triggering event).  You may be interested in a bacterium called Mycoplasma genitalium.

"The whole conception of God is a conception derived from ancient Oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men."
--Bertrand Russell


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That's perfect.

That's perfect. Thanks!

 

DamnDirtyApe wrote:

There's no reason why that wouldn't work.  The phage would be lysogenic rather than lytic in that case (it would remain dormant within the bacterial chromosome until a triggering event).  You may be interested in a bacterium called Mycoplasma genitalium.

“It is true that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It is equally true that in the land of the blind, the two-eyed man is an enemy of the state, the people, and domestic tranquility… and necessarily so. Someone has to rearrange the furniture.”


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Thanks for the biology lesson :)

Biology isn't my strong suit. I probably should have said "reproductive method" or something along those lines.

And your sig rules!

DamnDirtyApe wrote:
"The whole conception of God is a conception derived from ancient Oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men."
--Bertrand Russell

Can I have it if you get a new one?


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More about marketing than actual content

FulltimeDefendant wrote:
I'm familiar with The Last Man on Planet Earth, though this novel is nothing like that. It's Social Sci-Fi about an all-out fundamentalist America and the people who resist in the name of a rational society.

Your story certainly bares little resemblance to the movie.  I was just concerned that someone might try to spin your novel into "just another superbug story".  Someone with a religio-political agenda. *cough*Pat Robertson*cough*

FulltimeDefendant wrote:
The point of the virus/bactera/virally-infected bacteria (which ever final form it takes) is really a social commentary- a stand-in for HIV/AIDS that primarily (but not exclusively) affects heterosexuals.

Will we be getting a sampler/excerpt anytime soon?  I'm really looking forward to one!  Smiling

 

 


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My idea

FulltimeDefendent wrote:

That's perfect. Thanks!

 

DamnDirtyApe wrote:

There's no reason why that wouldn't work.  The phage would be lysogenic rather than lytic in that case (it would remain dormant within the bacterial chromosome until a triggering event).  You may be interested in a bacterium called Mycoplasma genitalium.

     Why not a simple mutation of the mumps virus;   all adult males would be sterile, capable but sterile. All  prepuberty males whould be the hope of future generations; maybe?  Your the novelist.   What would the social impact of lining up  11-12-13 year old boys to impregnate your wife be; again you are the writer, you tell us.

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

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Jeffrick

Jeffrick wrote:

FulltimeDefendent wrote:

That's perfect. Thanks!

 

DamnDirtyApe wrote:

There's no reason why that wouldn't work.  The phage would be lysogenic rather than lytic in that case (it would remain dormant within the bacterial chromosome until a triggering event).  You may be interested in a bacterium called Mycoplasma genitalium.

     Why not a simple mutation of the mumps virus;   all adult males would be sterile, capable but sterile. All  prepuberty males whould be the hope of future generations; maybe?  Your the novelist.   What would the social impact of lining up  11-12-13 year old boys to impregnate your wife be; again you are the writer, you tell us.

 

Hmmm. Too late. Female sterility drives a major plotpoint in the second part of the novel... specifically "fertiles" passing for "sterile." At this point I am neither will nor able to rewrite the entire gender politics arc, as it would necessitate an entirely different story.

“It is true that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It is equally true that in the land of the blind, the two-eyed man is an enemy of the state, the people, and domestic tranquility… and necessarily so. Someone has to rearrange the furniture.”


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Aqua_Seal

Aqua_Seal wrote:

FulltimeDefendant wrote:
I'm familiar with The Last Man on Planet Earth, though this novel is nothing like that. It's Social Sci-Fi about an all-out fundamentalist America and the people who resist in the name of a rational society.

Your story certainly bares little resemblance to the movie.  I was just concerned that someone might try to spin your novel into "just another superbug story".  Someone with a religio-political agenda. *cough*Pat Robertson*cough*

FulltimeDefendant wrote:
The point of the virus/bactera/virally-infected bacteria (which ever final form it takes) is really a social commentary- a stand-in for HIV/AIDS that primarily (but not exclusively) affects heterosexuals.

Will we be getting a sampler/excerpt anytime soon?  I'm really looking forward to one!  Smiling

 

I am sure I will put a sample of it on here at some point. The thing is, it's over 300 pages long at this point and will probably approach something like 1000 or more by the end.

Pat Robertson probably wouldn't get it anyway. It's a novel written for intellectuals. I doubt Robertson would read far enough into it to get to that plot point. As the novel takes places over about 30 years, a major element is the  The actual narrative is rather post-modern and references science, philosophy, and pop-culture heavily. It's the kind of dystopian vision that doesn't rely on just a single over-exaggerated problem. It's rather a critique of contemporary society, with fundamentalism, ignorance and anti-intellectualism, blind faith, romantic escapism and post-modernism itself being revealed as the true banes of humanity. Of course, there are really no heroes. The protagonists are just as brutal as the Moral Patriot Party they resist. They are as deeply flawed and as capable of treachery as anyone. They recognize that power and authority will never disappear, and they're willing to commit to a bloody revolution based on a philosophy.

Then again, considering who they're up against, I can't fault them for that.

It's really about a paradigm shift brought on by necessity.

“It is true that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It is equally true that in the land of the blind, the two-eyed man is an enemy of the state, the people, and domestic tranquility… and necessarily so. Someone has to rearrange the furniture.”


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Excerpt now posted

Excerpt now posted in General Introductions and etc...

 

Be warned: there NO zombies, NO aliens, NO nanotech, NO genetic engineering, and NO FTL travel.

 

The excerpt available is from Part I: The Lion and the RAM of the manuscript "Sons and Daughters" (Part II is called "City of Orphans" at this point).

“It is true that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It is equally true that in the land of the blind, the two-eyed man is an enemy of the state, the people, and domestic tranquility… and necessarily so. Someone has to rearrange the furniture.”


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FulltimeDefendent

FulltimeDefendent wrote:

Okay, without getting too far into the details... basically I'm writing a novel. It's something I think most of the people on this forum would be into.

 

It has some science fiction aspects (not many, more just to establish a background for the socio-politics of 10-30 years from now).

 

Anyway, I needed a plot device that basically reduced birthrates in half, so I made up my own nasty STD. It's called RHV, for Reeves' H-Variant. No actuall significance there, but here's how I described.

 

Basically, global warming releases this virus from its ice-bound dormancy. Presumably this thing has killed off entire populations before human beings ever evolved, but there's no way we could actually tell that from the fossil record.

 

So far, so good. Now here's the kicker: The virus infects males, and they pass it onto women. While it doesn't kill them, the infected woman is basically left barren after the virus leaves the system.

 

My idea is that originally it was more generic and less dangerous. Hypothetically a strain could have survived the process of ejaculation and wound up in a female body, where it could feast on the high-quality material of a woman's eggs as opposed to millions of low-quality sperm. So the virus discovered a more efficient source of energy and evolved to take advantage of human sexual activity by staying largely dormant in males and multiplying deviously once it enters the female body.

 

Is this even remotely plausible? At least, for a novel? I don't go into technical detail often when I write. The novel itself is about the characters, but the reactions of several women of different ages to their barrenness are part of their character development. Can anyone give me some technical assistance?

 

Your virus sounds rather convincing except for one fact. How do the males get infected? Ideally, the virus would infect males during intercourse.

I also highly dislike the rather unimaginable idea that the virus remained dormant in ice. It would be much more convincing if the virus was a new mutation of an existing virus. If you must use global warming as a plot device, simply say that invasive tropical climates created evolutionary pressure on the virus to move into new niches with heavier populations.


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Aqua_Seal wrote:Biology

Aqua_Seal wrote:

Biology isn't my strong suit. I probably should have said "reproductive method" or something along those lines.

And your sig rules!

DamnDirtyApe wrote:
"The whole conception of God is a conception derived from ancient Oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men."
--Bertrand Russell

Can I have it if you get a new one?

Thanks.  Don't really see myself getting a new one, though.  If you haven't read "Why I am not a Christian", you'll find it in the last couple paragraphs.  I honestly really like the  "Oriental despotisms" bit.  If you can make a white guy think about himself as a serf to an Asian potentate, you've halfway won the battle.  Given that Russell's audience at the time was mostly comprised of the most well educated members of the world's most powerful empire, it must have profoundly stung the first time it was heard.

"The whole conception of God is a conception derived from ancient Oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men."
--Bertrand Russell


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theotherguy

theotherguy wrote:

FulltimeDefendent wrote:

Okay, without getting too far into the details... basically I'm writing a novel. It's something I think most of the people on this forum would be into.

 

It has some science fiction aspects (not many, more just to establish a background for the socio-politics of 10-30 years from now).

 

Anyway, I needed a plot device that basically reduced birthrates in half, so I made up my own nasty STD. It's called RHV, for Reeves' H-Variant. No actuall significance there, but here's how I described.

 

Basically, global warming releases this virus from its ice-bound dormancy. Presumably this thing has killed off entire populations before human beings ever evolved, but there's no way we could actually tell that from the fossil record.

 

So far, so good. Now here's the kicker: The virus infects males, and they pass it onto women. While it doesn't kill them, the infected woman is basically left barren after the virus leaves the system.

 

My idea is that originally it was more generic and less dangerous. Hypothetically a strain could have survived the process of ejaculation and wound up in a female body, where it could feast on the high-quality material of a woman's eggs as opposed to millions of low-quality sperm. So the virus discovered a more efficient source of energy and evolved to take advantage of human sexual activity by staying largely dormant in males and multiplying deviously once it enters the female body.

 

Is this even remotely plausible? At least, for a novel? I don't go into technical detail often when I write. The novel itself is about the characters, but the reactions of several women of different ages to their barrenness are part of their character development. Can anyone give me some technical assistance?

 

Your virus sounds rather convincing except for one fact. How do the males get infected? Ideally, the virus would infect males during intercourse.

I also highly dislike the rather unimaginable idea that the virus remained dormant in ice. It would be much more convincing if the virus was a new mutation of an existing virus. If you must use global warming as a plot device, simply say that invasive tropical climates created evolutionary pressure on the virus to move into new niches with heavier populations.

 

Except that ice melts releasing hereto unknown or presumed extinct pestilences is based on hypotheses by scientists. I've read a couple articles on this one.

My reasoning is that 1) the bacteria that plays host to the virus is a mutated form of something like Mycoplasma genitalium, maybe lacking the gene for a coating that protects it from viruses. It's transferred by fluidic contact, not necessarily sex, though that is one way to be infected (and the most troubling).

Yes, a female could probably infect a male, but the male wouldn't experience adverse effects: he'd be a carrier, transmitting it to other females through sex. The implication is that either the virus or the bacteria seems to have evolved to take advantage of sexual asymmetries in primate mating behavior: males make a better carrier.

“It is true that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It is equally true that in the land of the blind, the two-eyed man is an enemy of the state, the people, and domestic tranquility… and necessarily so. Someone has to rearrange the furniture.”


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NO Zombies?

That being said, I was writing a book with zombies.  And there were viral interactions.  I have a science background  so for a brief time I got really into the details...I wanted something that made sense....but then I thought....90% of the people who read this will have a most a basic understanding of how viruses actually work.  Of the other 10% unless you are going into deep details will just go with the flow.  Unless they can prove a virus would NEVER do what you are suggesting, it is possible. And the handful of people that say "Hey, this sci fi book isnt all facts" will just look like morans.

 

Oh just for the record, I dont think it is possible for a virus to bring the dead back to life.

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iluvc2h5oh wrote:That being

iluvc2h5oh wrote:

That being said, I was writing a book with zombies.  And there were viral interactions.  I have a science background  so for a brief time I got really into the details...I wanted something that made sense....but then I thought....90% of the people who read this will have a most a basic understanding of how viruses actually work.  Of the other 10% unless you are going into deep details will just go with the flow.  Unless they can prove a virus would NEVER do what you are suggesting, it is possible. And the handful of people that say "Hey, this sci fi book isnt all facts" will just look like morans.

 

Oh just for the record, I dont think it is possible for a virus to bring the dead back to life.

My thoughts are that I just don't want to have anything too outlandish. The single most advanced piece of technology depicted in the year 2018 in this novel is a miniaturized iPod-like device that clips on one's ear.  No other technology that's not already slightly-better than theoretical at this point is going to make it into the novel.

“It is true that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It is equally true that in the land of the blind, the two-eyed man is an enemy of the state, the people, and domestic tranquility… and necessarily so. Someone has to rearrange the furniture.”


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Reminds me somewhat of a

Reminds me somewhat of a short story called "The Screwfly Solution." Good story for atheists everywhere.

Read here:

http://www.scifi.com/scifiction/classics/classics_archive/sheldon/sheldon1.html


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inspectormustard

inspectormustard wrote:

Reminds me somewhat of a short story called "The Screwfly Solution." Good story for atheists everywhere.

Read here:

http://www.scifi.com/scifiction/classics/classics_archive/sheldon/sheldon1.html

 

Interesting. Definitely some thematic similarities.

“It is true that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It is equally true that in the land of the blind, the two-eyed man is an enemy of the state, the people, and domestic tranquility… and necessarily so. Someone has to rearrange the furniture.”


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FulltimeDefendent

FulltimeDefendent wrote:

Okay, without getting too far into the details... basically I'm writing a novel. It's something I think most of the people on this forum would be into.

 

It has some science fiction aspects (not many, more just to establish a background for the socio-politics of 10-30 years from now).

 

Anyway, I needed a plot device that basically reduced birthrates in half, so I made up my own nasty STD. It's called RHV, for Reeves' H-Variant. No actuall significance there, but here's how I described.

 

Basically, global warming releases this virus from its ice-bound dormancy. Presumably this thing has killed off entire populations before human beings ever evolved, but there's no way we could actually tell that from the fossil record.

 

So far, so good. Now here's the kicker: The virus infects males, and they pass it onto women. While it doesn't kill them, the infected woman is basically left barren after the virus leaves the system.

 

My idea is that originally it was more generic and less dangerous. Hypothetically a strain could have survived the process of ejaculation and wound up in a female body, where it could feast on the high-quality material of a woman's eggs as opposed to millions of low-quality sperm. So the virus discovered a more efficient source of energy and evolved to take advantage of human sexual activity by staying largely dormant in males and multiplying deviously once it enters the female body.

 

Is this even remotely plausible? At least, for a novel? I don't go into technical detail often when I write. The novel itself is about the characters, but the reactions of several women of different ages to their barrenness are part of their character development. Can anyone give me some technical assistance?


 


I don't specialize in viruses, but I will say it's a lot better (believeable) than most the crap publishers pump out today, so I'd say yer in the clear anyways.  Besides, it's a made up virus, it can have any characterists you want.  Especially if it's from outer space, lol.  But meh.

Do you mind me asking.... You said this was an Epic Atheist Novel, so, what' the atheist part of this?


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Why "Atheist"

Samuel wrote:

FulltimeDefendent wrote:

Okay, without getting too far into the details... basically I'm writing a novel. It's something I think most of the people on this forum would be into.

 

It has some science fiction aspects (not many, more just to establish a background for the socio-politics of 10-30 years from now).

 

Anyway, I needed a plot device that basically reduced birthrates in half, so I made up my own nasty STD. It's called RHV, for Reeves' H-Variant. No actuall significance there, but here's how I described.

 

Basically, global warming releases this virus from its ice-bound dormancy. Presumably this thing has killed off entire populations before human beings ever evolved, but there's no way we could actually tell that from the fossil record.

 

So far, so good. Now here's the kicker: The virus infects males, and they pass it onto women. While it doesn't kill them, the infected woman is basically left barren after the virus leaves the system.

 

My idea is that originally it was more generic and less dangerous. Hypothetically a strain could have survived the process of ejaculation and wound up in a female body, where it could feast on the high-quality material of a woman's eggs as opposed to millions of low-quality sperm. So the virus discovered a more efficient source of energy and evolved to take advantage of human sexual activity by staying largely dormant in males and multiplying deviously once it enters the female body.

 

Is this even remotely plausible? At least, for a novel? I don't go into technical detail often when I write. The novel itself is about the characters, but the reactions of several women of different ages to their barrenness are part of their character development. Can anyone give me some technical assistance?


 


I don't specialize in viruses, but I will say it's a lot better (believeable) than most the crap publishers pump out today, so I'd say yer in the clear anyways.  Besides, it's a made up virus, it can have any characterists you want.  Especially if it's from outer space, lol.  But meh.

Do you mind me asking.... You said this was an Epic Atheist Novel, so, what' the atheist part of this?

 

The major characters are members of an unpopular Rationalist political movement that stands, sometimes in violent opposition, to an increasing Christian Fundamentalist America.

“It is true that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It is equally true that in the land of the blind, the two-eyed man is an enemy of the state, the people, and domestic tranquility… and necessarily so. Someone has to rearrange the furniture.”


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Atheistic content

The novel concerns violent confrontations between those who are in favor of a rational society and those on the side of irrationalism. Keep in mind this is a gross simplification of the politics involved. It could more accurately be described as a conflict between those who believe morality comes from God and those who believe morality comes from human reason. The former are the Moral Patriot Party and the later are variously known as the Rationalist Movement, the RUF (Rationalist Underground Front), the Technate (the technocratic half of the government of Free State Philadelphia) and the the RAM (Rational American Movement or Rational American Militants, depending on the context.)

It is told in 3 parts: Part 1 is about the revolution itself, against a theocratic movement that is taking over the country. Part 2 is about the aftermath of that movement, the methods both sides resort to in order to establish control, and the eventual collapse of the city of Philadelphia and (presumably) other American cities in a post-apocalyptic future.

Part 3 is the oddest, as it concerns the world 3-4 million years after the fall of civilization, and the two branches of humanity that have survived: one is stoic, rational, and has created a society where technology is suppressed in order to stave off any conflict between the public and individual goods, thought they do not know religion. Rather their traditions stem from the attempts of their ancestors at social engineering. They are hunter-gatherers and warrior-scholars who are still technically human, though they are distinguished by specific adaptations to their new, harsher environment. The other branch of humanity consists of regressed hominids (who are also still technically Homo sapiens), but resemble their ancestors in form only. In behavior they are rather ape-like- primitive, compared to the other branch of humanity (the more stoic, "future-modern" branch). The split stems from a conflict explored in Part 2 between those who favor social Darwinism over social engineering--- the "social darwinists" regress while the "social engineers" find ways of retaining their humanity, intelligence, and ability to reason.

“It is true that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It is equally true that in the land of the blind, the two-eyed man is an enemy of the state, the people, and domestic tranquility… and necessarily so. Someone has to rearrange the furniture.”