Fear in Writing: A SciFi/Mystery writer's pot'o'gold

Today in Literary History

Today in Literary History...December 14, 1907: Rudyard Kipling receives the Nobel prize for literature, the first English-language writer to do so.ud

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A SciFi/Mystery writer's pot'o'gold

The printer heads hum into action, warming to the huge task at hand like it's nothing.  To them it is nothing.  Every day occurance.  Their job.

Printing body parts.

That's right, San Diego-based Organovo has developed a 3D bio-printer, the first of which are on their way to research groups around the country (see The Economist, 'Making a bit of me').  The machine will begin with the simple stuff--you know, skin, muscle, blood vessels--easy.  But, eventually, Organovo predicts doctors will be able to print kidneys and hearts in situ--that's right, inside the body.

Ok, so the medical implications are obvious--no more waiting for on long transplant lists, no more worries of your body rejecting someone else's organs, survival of fetuses that before were not viable.

But this is a writing blog!  And the implications for mystery and science fiction writers is astounding!  Look at the possibilities, people!  Though, I have to say it is less science fiction than science fact, I see medical mysteries abounding.  Machines gone crazy, printing incorrect organs, or crazy misuse of the system.  Maybe these printers have biological traits of their own? 

The future is here and it is great for writers.
(More on the bio-printer at an NPR interview here.)

Author Keith Raffel will be answering my questions here tomorrow!  Don't miss the interview, and check out his books, Smasher and Dot.Dead.)
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  1. Interesting thought and a great post. Have a Happy St. Patrick's Day.

  2. Beam me up a new heart, Scotty! Sounds like many failures waiting to happen, but you're right, great for us writers.


  3. Ann Elle- Many failures, but also many possibilities. If you read the article, you'll see that they are already creating parts from nothing, just not printing them. Right here in NC, they have placed many "created" bladders that are in place and working for going on four years! I am amazed and inspired.

  4. i knew about the printing of the organs, but not about the printing in situ. awesome.
    Yay Future!

  5. Wow - that really is amazing! I was (okay still am...) a Star Trek fan & it's fun to see what's come from that show.

  6. Isn't science great? I can imagine this would be great for writers. Too bad I have to stick to gold toes and amulets in ancient Egypt. :)

  7. Yes! The future is here and it IS great for writers. I loved that line.

  8. Wow... that's interesting. And... kind of scary (in a cool way)! : )

  9. Caught my attention!

    And reminded me that I'm excited for Repo Men this Friday...

  10. At first I thought you were writing about REPO MEN Jude Law's upcoming sf thriller :) and now I see Alex had the same associations :) We SF fans are all the same.

  11. Falen- Won't that be incredible? No more scars, no more sutures on the skin...

    Jemi- Yes, the creative mind is coming to science!

    Stephanie- You might go a little SciFi in ancient Egypt one day, you never know!

    Elana- Thanks. :) Great post today on your blog about success. It really ties in here, too!

    Kimberly- Definitely a little scary. But can you imagine one day when this will be the norm? Very Aldous Huxley.

    Alex- I wrote the headline just for you!

    Dez- You and Alex are cracking me up. I knew I'd draw you in. :)

  12. I love it when something like that gets my imagination going. I read Scientific American every once in a while for just that reason. There's all sorts of blurbs in there to get the creative juices flowing: DNA based computing, the multi verse...I even learned about plasma TV screens about a decade before they came out for sale and finally got one a couple of years ago. Still waiting on my own personal air car :)

  13. Air car? that sounds fantastic! I'll take one. Meet you over the Horn of Africa!


  14. I think this is a case where sci-fi writers once again were way ahead of science. We live in exciting times. As sicnece catches up to us writers, we will have to be more creative and imaginative in what we can dream up.

    Stephen Tremp