Warren Fahy's Blog: Warren Fahy Gazette
March 28, 2015
March 27, 2015
Along the way, there were places I pushed it that Don and other science consultants said there was no way it could go -- and I would have abandoned those directions if biological analogs of what I was after had not been discovered DURING the writing of the novels. Half a dozen times, Don and others had to retreat and say, "OK, Damn it, go ahead, I guess it's plausible" because of current discoveries. It did seem at times like there was nothing I could suggest that nature would not match in the headlines. What a great experience writing FRAGMENT and PANDEMONIUM was. I consider them to be one book, actually. One WHOLE.
The thing I loved about Jurassic Park was that it was a fantasy about monsters that was (ostensibly) grounded in actual science. That made it sing and leap off the page. That was what had to happen with Henders Island. It took years of careful research to make that leap.
Don had a few wild ideas of his own, which are part of the Henders ecosystem. The cliff-gliders are his idea, for one example. I visited with him the Associates of Cape Cod lab that Geoffrey visits in the book. He arranged my visit there. We toured the facility. While we were there, I noticed that the lab coats I had showed the employees wearing were the wrong color, and I fixed that. Don and I had a great time on Henders Island... (Don't let anyone tell you the science is flakey on Henders Island - if they are saying that, you can be sure THEY are the ones who don't know what they're talking about. Everything in the book was vetted - not just by me, but by other experts, as well, including Don. It was an integral part of making the whole experience really fantastic.)
I conferred with authorities throughout - the Internet connects! So I was able to consult with top mantis shrimp authorities, mollusk authorities (again), and all authorities on every level of what I was doing. To tell the truth, I got the idea to do this from Michael Crichton. I noticed how in Jurassic Park he had researched all of the hardware. The fences, the lights, etc. Now, obviously, I was doing something very different - it wasn't a zoo but a natural habitat that had to have existed for half a billion years. But there would have to be technology for the equipment shipped in to study this habitat, and I studied that technology, and the companies that could make it, in the same way that Crichton had for Jurassic Park. I was creating field laboratory elements that were more advanced than even Ebola-like outbreak labs, but combining the mission with extra-terrestrial NASA goals, and I was able to engineer the vehicles shown in the novel.
When I was first writing FRAGMENT I had a problem and reached out to one of the world's foremost authorities on osmoregulation in crustaceans for the answer. I detailed my problem and he wrote back to me: 1) here is the highly-detailed answer to your question and 2) what kind of novel could you possibly be writing that you need the answer to this question? I told him and he exclaimed, "Count me in!" wink emoticon Donald L Lovett continued to be a scientific foundation for both FRAGMENT and PANDEMONIUM for all things biological, though I certainly am responsible for all things that stretch those boundaries.