Author Ken L Gould
Author Ken Gould
There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. ~Ernest hemingway

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Origins

I read once about these cool scientists, who put these rodents in hibernation by applying a certain amount of hydrogen sulfide. The "lab rats", as it were, remained in that low metabolic state for about 17 hours, which is a long time in the life of rats and mice. Unfortunately, this same trick did not work with higher order mammals like pigs and dogs (the pigs died, as I recall), though another technique did work. They transfused half of their blood with cold saline, thus putting them into what the scientists termed a state of "suspended animation", similar to hibernation. All the research animals in these experiments (except the poor pigs given H2S) were revived to their normal state with minor deficits.


At the time I thought how cool is that (except for the poor pigs, of course)! I considered all the possibilities from all the great sci-fi flicks from Aliens to Star Trek, where long distance space travel was aided by some form of cryogenic sleep. Or the possibilit, mentioned in the article I read, about preserving organs for months or years in a cold saline solution, which might lower the metabolic requirements of the organ's tissue and thus prevent tissue death.


Now, wether or not any of this comes to pass doesn't really matter, does it? I always wanted to use it in a story, and I so began work on one at the tender age of 40. I then proceeded to make a collosal mess of it. It had all sorts of cheap plot devices, which had no direct integration into the plot, not on a thematic level or even on a cellular level. The story simply didn't work. As I sifted through the rubble of that debris field, I discovered the heart of my story, the first thing an author is always fumbling around in the dark for. The parts were reconstructed in a very interesting way. And Death's Grip was born out of the ashes of initial failure. But then that's the story of how to become a story teller, or at least one way of getting where you're going. Make a mess of it, then pick up the pieces and start over. I hope to not make a habit of that, but it worked for this one.