|The Early Days of a Better Nation|
Sunday, July 05, 2009
A while ago I was staring at a poster of the human genome produced by the US Dept of Energy, and I remembered Michael Swanwick's Periodic Table of Science Fiction. Cue lightbulb moment.
Why not set up a website that displayed short pieces - stories, flash fictions, poems, and reflections - inspired by genes or genomics, and arranged them (as far as possible - I soon found myself applying for an artistic licence) according to the chromosome that carries the gene that inspired the piece?
Everyone I told about this idea thought it was a good one. The distinguished poet Laura-Gray Street contributed two published poems straight away. Best-selling fantasy writer Alma Alexander sent me an original short story. My good friend Mike Holmes volunteered witty song lyrics he'd once offered to Hawkwind. Other writers and poets assure me they have work on its way.
Now, thanks to enthusiastic work from Emma Capewell and Claire Alexander at the Genomics Forum, and the creative skills of web designer Damien Noonan, The Human Genre Project has gone live. It's early days yet, but it looks good and it's just waiting to be filled up with new writing. If you have something you think might sit well behind one of those colourful chromosomes, here's how to contribute.