This morning I watched a quick clip on CNN.com breaking the myth of the five second rule. You know the one that says something is still safe to consume if it spends no longer than five seconds on the floor when dropped. Well of course it's bogus. Bacteria spreads to surfaces faster than we can have the thought about it. But I realized listening to the scientist expound on this that I just don't care. I honestly believe one of the environmental hazards of our world (or at least the first world culture) is over cleanliness. Brace yourself for TMI and skip over this next part if you care. I've suffered from Ulcerative Colitis since I was a teenager, a condition in which the colon attacks itself for no apparent reason. Some researchers speculate that this may in part be a result of our over clean society. Did you know that people who live on pig farms don't suffer from colitis or Crohn's disease? Interesting. So a little dropped food, five seconds or not, may be good for us, although I'm not advocating dropping it in a pig's pen. Of course bad things still happen. You can still get sick from bacteria that your food encounters on floor contact. Life is about risk management.
Here's where I tie this topic in with my actual writing. This time it has nothing to do with erotic fiction per se, but if you're really upset comment at the end and I'll reply with a few naughty words to spice up the exchange.
When I wrote Bound Odyssey the story premise involved the eventual emigration of Earth's population to a parallel world. Wanting to base my tale on completely factual science (eyes rolling--no chance in hell there) I stopped to think about the implication of diseases on the two world populations effected. (ALERT--tie in to bacteria!) How could we avoid dying from diseases en mass if we hadn't been exposed to the new world's germs previously? Here I'm thinking how small pox decimated native populations in the America's when European explorers hit the dirt here. Imagine that effect multiplied a hundred fold.
I'm all for creative license. I couldn't write fantasy and futuristic fiction without it. But I do feel an obligation when I write to at least consider these subtle issues. So I decided that the two world cultures would exchange inoculations ahead of time for the most potent of their major world diseases. Does that address the entire problem? No. But at least the readers knew I was thinking about it.
Caring about this issue is a bit like my husband's complaints about Star Trek science. I hate it when he points out some inconsistency or impossibility when we watch together. Who cares? The point is moot because the whole damn show is PRETEND! What part of Science FICTION does he not get? No, James T. Kirk and Jean Luc Picard are not real and do not have to defend their choice to scatter molecules throughout the universe with their transporter systems. Yet here I am caring about infectious disease concerns between two planets in the hypothetical future of 2067 when a portal gate has been ripped open between two humanoid populated worlds. Get a clue, me. I know I'll keep on addressing these types of issues for the sake of creating a believable feel to my worlds. As an author, I want my readers to be immersed in my stories, so these details matter.
I'm curious what sort of minor details in world building nag at you as you read or write books? Are there issues in a story that MUST be addressed or they'll bother you endlessly? Please share.
Be well all,