I have just read a story that should have us all scared out of our wits (see URL at the end of this blog). For the first time in forty years they have discovered a new strain of Botox (Botulinum) toxin. Apparently they don’t yet have a treatment for it so the details of its genetic structure have not been released. For the first time ever it was allowed that this discovery could be written up in The Journal of Infectious Diseases missing these specific details. That is how nervous the scientific population is about this particular discovery. What really scares me is that secrets rarely remain that.
Clostridium botulinum was the first dangerous bacteria I ever learned about at school – from that day to this it has made me look far more closely at tinned food on the rare occasions when I use it. Of course there was the tinned-salmon mousse scene in ‘The Meaning Of Life’ to use as a cautionary tale, but Eric Idle complaining, even in death, about the fish monger’s reliability reduced the impact somewhat. The years went by and still I didn’t die a tinned-food related death, but that didn’t stop me from remaining paranoid about selecting metal containers without dents. Of course it isn’t so much of a problem today as tins mostly have plastic liners so the threat is significantly diminished.
I have recently completed a science fiction book (awaiting the discover of an agent willing to take it forward) where I look at how far people will go for the ultimate new gadget. What about cosmetic surgery? Traditionally the domain of the rich and famous it has become almost mundane in its availability. As for Botox injections, even men are doing that – what the hell? It’s not even as if a medical professional administers the shots! It’s a beautician – rarely the natural career progression following university and a science degree!
It is rare for a zombie novel to be particularly explicit with regards to the origins of the problem. As an author of such books I have had my fair share of reviews complaining of such. My first retort to such critique is that they haven’t read the book closely enough as there are always clues as to the origin. The second response is – who really cares?
Enter the new strain of Botox. What if this secret leaked and a permanent Botox solution was offered. One shot was all it took and lasted the rest of your life. Would you go down that road? Are you worth it?
Now to Zombies. Imagine the Apocalypse. You contract the new strain of Botulism – what happens? Your face loses its wrinkles – maybe. But ultimately you die and come back. How long will you exist? If your flesh is poisonous it is likely you won’t become green/grey with mould and mushy as in TWD; will you retain your new and now eternal youthful looks or end up looking like old cosmetically enhanced Hollywood actors with a mirror and/or acolytes that lie to you all the time?
Mirror, mirror, on the wall. Who is the sexiest zombie of them all? Gaahhhh…
Read more zombie oriented blogs at http://www.david-k-roberts.com