Wednesday, May 2, 2012

New story out

My short story Galileo Day is out online in Albedo 2.0
It is a story from an alternate history line that forked from ours in 1633, at the acquittal of Galileo. Seventy years later, Catholic monasteries are centers of research and higher learning. Christopher, a Theobaldian monk, is working hard on his contagion theory when... he meets Jacob Brucke, his newly-discovered half-brother.

There is a lot of science in this story. Some of it is period-appropriate and some anachronistic, but all of it is real. Many may recognize small pox vaccination about 100 years before Jenner and genetic theory about 200 years before Gregor Mendel. But perhaps few can see that Jacob Brucke suffers from Fanconi Anemia, a congenital genetic disorder (more here) that, if left untreated, ends in bone marrow failure if not leukemia.
Christopher's tragedy is that he in fact correctly diagnoses and even successfully treats Jacob, forestalling leukemia and thus saving Jacob's life, only neither Christopher, nor Jacob realize it. Christopher's discoveries are too precocious to be properly understood and put into theoretical context even by him.

Observation versus theory: more on it later.

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