Inspired By Science. . . Again

I’m taking the recent science articles I’ve found on cultured neural networks and such that correlate to my novels as a sign that I’m doing something right. And it’s just happened again.

Bucky Ball In today’s New Scientist article “Solar shield could be quick fix for global warming” Catherine Brahic outlines how a planetary sulphate shield might work:

. . .the shields are inspired by the cooling effects of large volcanic eruptions that blast sulphate particles into the stratosphere. There, the particles reflect part of the Sun’s radiation back into space, reducing the amount of heat that reaches the atmosphere, and so dampening the greenhouse effect.

In my novel River of Stars, a group of alien plutocrats decide they know what’s best for the home planet of my hero and decide to solve the problem of increased radiation expected to occur when its dwarf star flares by blasting particulates into the atmosphere. The particulates are actually buckminster fullerene particles — “bucky balls” — filled with fertilizing compounds that will give the plant life a boost. At least that’s the spin on their content. There are indigenous groups willing to do just about anything to stop the shield from being deployed; who fear most that the shield will destroy particular native flora with medicinal attributes. The heroine is the one with the power to stop it, but first the hero has to convince her to take his side.

I have to give credit to my friendly neighborhood rocket scientist who gave me the particulate shield idea to solve my problem of how the solar shield works. A science fiction writer should always hang out with even bigger geeks than herself.

Comp image from Fotolia. “Alien plutocrats” would make an excellent band name, don’t you think?