Posted by Timandm (3374 posts) - - Show Bio

I realize that characters in a story have to be flawed and they have to make mistakes, else there simply aren't problems to solve and the story becomes rather boring... HOWEVER.... Well, take a look at this:

Basically: "We've made a seed that will sprout under ANY condition whatsoever; drought, toxic, wet, hot, cold... It just doesn't matter. Not only will this thing sprout AND grow rapidly under any condition, if something changes and it doesn't like the current condition, it will just MUTATE into a new species of plant! Oh, and this new species will also sprout and grow rapidly under any conditions whatsoever.

We have a seed that can't be killed or stopped. It'll probably mutate into many different species of plants that will grow faster than anything the world has ever known...

Okay, so...Seriously... Am I the only one that sees the problem with this? I wonder if the people who wrote this have heard of Kudzu.... and Kudzu doesn't instantly mutate and it isn't immune to toxins and drought...

Is this just a setup for another reason for the world to hate mutants?

  1. They give this seed out and plants start growing out of control and over running the land.....
  2. People start dying as buildings collapse and highways are choked off
  3. Airports close down causing a large number of people to miss out on a date with their favorite stewardess (or is flight attendant now?

Isn't it painfully obvious that this is going to be a massive problem?

#1 Posted by Aronmorales (9434 posts) - - Show Bio

It appears that by the time it does become a problem, they will have noticed it too late.

#2 Posted by Jokergeist (4930 posts) - - Show Bio

I wonder what would happen if I eat the seed.

Sincerely,

#3 Edited by Timandm (3374 posts) - - Show Bio

@Aronmorales said:

It appears that by the time it does become a problem, they will have noticed it too late.

and we have the setup for the next 'kill the mutant' event...

@Jokergeist said:

I wonder what would happen if I eat the seed.

Sincerely,

Actually....you might be joking, but that's an excellent question. There are some very interesting seeds out there. Some seeds actually won't germinate until AFTER they have been swallowed. The stomach acid sort of kicks things into gear. There are even some seeds that won't germinate until after (and I'm not making this up) they've been in a fire. It's believed that this mechanism evolved as a way to ensure a species survival even after a forest fire.

So, if we're talking comic book seeds that mutant instantly to respond to new conditions, then why not some poor kid swallows a seed and... well.. he burst open like that scene from Aliens only it's a plant instead of an upright iguana that comes out.

#4 Posted by Aronmorales (9434 posts) - - Show Bio

@Timandm: Yep.

#5 Posted by Jokergeist (4930 posts) - - Show Bio

@Timandm said:

Actually....you might be joking, but that's an excellent question. There are some very interesting seeds out there. Some seeds actually won't germinate until AFTER they have been swallowed. The stomach acid sort of kicks things into gear. There are even some seeds that won't germinate until after (and I'm not making this up) they've been in a fire. It's believed that this mechanism evolved as a way to ensure a species survival even after a forest fire.
So, if we're talking comic book seeds that mutant instantly to respond to new conditions, then why not some poor kid swallows a seed and... well.. he burst open like that scene from Aliens only it's a plant instead of an upright iguana that comes out.

Interesting...

*Swallows seed*

Tastes like chicken.

Sincerely,

#6 Posted by RazzaTazz (9354 posts) - - Show Bio

Usually in writing sci-fi only little bits of real life science are taken in.

Moderator
#7 Posted by JediXMan (28063 posts) - - Show Bio

@RazzaTazz said:

Usually in writing sci-fi only little bits of real life science are taken in.

Depends on the type of Sci-Fi. I believe the term is "hardcore Science Fiction" when a good deal of research or general knowledge is required to write. See: Michael Crichton.

#8 Posted by spetsnaz_gru (235 posts) - - Show Bio

@JediXMan said:

@RazzaTazz said:

Usually in writing sci-fi only little bits of real life science are taken in.

Depends on the type of Sci-Fi. I believe the term is "hardcore Science Fiction" when a good deal of research or general knowledge is required to write. See: Isaac Asimov.

Fixed!

#9 Posted by RazzaTazz (9354 posts) - - Show Bio

@JediXMan said:

@RazzaTazz said:

Usually in writing sci-fi only little bits of real life science are taken in.

Depends on the type of Sci-Fi. I believe the term is "hardcore Science Fiction" when a good deal of research or general knowledge is required to write. See: Michael Crichton.

Sure, but even Crichton (or Asimov) would use only the science that they needed. For instance, in JP the dinosaurs can switch between genders because they have amphibian DNA, and some amphibians can do that. That sounds like hard science, but it is completely soft for how much of a logical bridge it has jumped. There are too many gaps in it to sound real. Crichton did usually try for the hard science (though he wasted his last years seemingly in dementia trying to battle climate science) but it is generally the case that only some scientific principles get carried over to fiction. As I have heard the description of the difference between science fiction and fantasy - It is like a game of tennis, fantasy plays with no net, whereas science fiction plays with a regular one, in this case the net being the filter for scientific fact. To expand on that hard science has an even higher net, but still the needs of the plot are quite often going to make the writer skip some scientific fact.

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#10 Posted by ArticulateT (189 posts) - - Show Bio

Perhaps this is an unintentional prequel to "The Last of Us".

Either way, it is one of those obvious plot points. I get the value in dramatic irony, but only if it's kind of subtle, and permits the reader a Eureka Moment. Having something like "We have a miracle seed that will grow anywhere," is only made more obvious as a potential hazard by the promise of some great benefit, such as "it will end world hunger."

The inherent problem is that if they undercut this and have the miracle seed go off without a hitch, then the reader is left unsatisfied with the amount of attention such a thing has been given, although, there are other potential problems with it, like some new, random as all hell mad scientist stealing the seeds and allowing him plant control powers, becoming the dreaded Botanist.

I dunno, I see a lot of potential for a new spin, but if the thing backfires as we're all expecting it to do, then it just seems like an opportunity wasted.

#11 Posted by Timandm (3374 posts) - - Show Bio

@ArticulateT said:

Perhaps this is an unintentional prequel to "The Last of Us".

Either way, it is one of those obvious plot points. I get the value in dramatic irony, but only if it's kind of subtle, and permits the reader a Eureka Moment. Having something like "We have a miracle seed that will grow anywhere," is only made more obvious as a potential hazard by the promise of some great benefit, such as "it will end world hunger."

The inherent problem is that if they undercut this and have the miracle seed go off without a hitch, then the reader is left unsatisfied with the amount of attention such a thing has been given, although, there are other potential problems with it, like some new, random as all hell mad scientist stealing the seeds and allowing him plant control powers, becoming the dreaded Botanist.

I dunno, I see a lot of potential for a new spin, but if the thing backfires as we're all expecting it to do, then it just seems like an opportunity wasted.

Well said... I'm absolutely expecting this seed to get into "the wrong hands." Although, I'm wondering what the right hands would be... But this does seem like a potential beginning for new storylines as well as new super powered beings. I'm thinking a mutant swallows the seed ( as Jokergeist suggested) and becomes a new version of 'man thing" or 'swamp thing' or Ultimate Comics version of Poison Ivy....

@RazzaTazz said:

Usually in writing sci-fi only little bits of real life science are taken in.

I hear you... I have degrees in Bio-engineering, chemistry, and electronics and I'm still a huge fan of comic books and sci-fi... I'm constantly having to suspend the iron-grip of reality so I can enjoy comics... But I do believe writers have to know where to tow the line... When they take things so far that there's absolutely no connection to our 'real universe' physics, then it begins to lose interest for us here in the real world...

If you saw the movie "The Navigator" (which I recommend) you may recall the scene where Howard Hughes (Leo Dicaprio) is watching a film he's made of fighter planes soaring through the sky... Unfortunately, they look like toys and there's no real sense of how fast they are going or what they are accomplishing... This happened because there were no clouds in the sky and the planes where flying past any structures that were fixed in place... Thus, there was no sense of 'relative velocity.' The viewer saw planes flying but had no reference point, whatsoever, to compare the planes velocity to... The planes might as well have been standing still.

So, getting back to comics... Are we amazed if Super Someone can make light come of their hands and just fix everything without explanation of how? Maybe some people are but it loses interest for me if it's all some abstract metaphysical hoo hah that means nothing to us on this side of the fourth panel...

I do realize they can't stick to real science and the real laws of physics absolutely, but they MUST be rooted in them, if the readers is supposed to be interested.... At least, that's what I think...