Last blog I posted the first two chapters of my atompunk book. For the last few blogs I’ve noted my protagonist will have a friend who was famous in real life (Watergate whistleblower Frank Wills). Now I decided after reading Case Closed by Mark Lane I would model some of my protagonist’s behavior on real Secret Serviceman Abraham Bolden. As a story about atomic power being put in smaller generators that tend to fail, I have been reading up on reactors, especially the one down the road from me.
In an amazing twist of fiction into nonfiction, I went to work and picked up the July/August issue of Discover magazine. Page 10 has an interview with physicist Derek Muller, host of the PBS show Uranium-Twisting the Dragon’s Tail. What made me choke was the final question, after Muller related the Chernobyl disaster of the 80’s caused a gap in research.
Q: what kind of research should have been done?
A: research into small, modular designs that could be mass produced at lower cost, and reactor designs that are walkaway safe- they shut themselves down, with no risk of explosion.
I choked. My story portrays an alternate history wherein small generators are mass produced, but cheaply and leaky. By the time anyone sees the calamity to come, it’s too late. I found this a terrific example of real life meets fiction. Muller believes this may be a safer alternative. Me, distrustful of nuclear power, disagrees but hey, I’m no physicist.
Also if you read the last blog you may have read my comment on needing history books for the time from 1960-1970. Thanks to Sonja Nelson, I got a great list of them. Ordered Nixonland, the Echo from Dealey Plaza, the Great Funk from Can’t wait til they come!
If you know any others comment the titles. I have more on my list to grab later, along with some for the Worlds Wars, the Victorian Age and planes. Research. Yum!
Oh, and if those first chapters peaked your interest, comment and next time I’ll post Chapter Three. At the dentists now (again!) so later!

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