Genetic engineering - insects
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Are there any decent SF books that specifically explore this subject? All the ones I can think of look at genetic engineering on humans or larger mammals but I reckon insects would be a much higher-impact class of creature.
The dinner party that's hijacked by an infestation of the gengineered butter bugs always cracks me up, although they are included as more of a plot device than a philosophical discussion.
John Wyndham: "Web" also comes to mind. Don't read it if you don't like spiders. The spiders in the book are probably the result of radiation mutations, so at best it's a crude form for genetic engineering.
I agree the "butterbugs" are a plot device but so funny. I'd forgotten about Queen City Jazz - interesting ideas but I found it quite slow so didn't bother with the sequel. The Tchaikovsky is a great book but not quite what I had in mind.
Thanks everyone for the recommendations but I've read them all and they're not quite what I was looking for - the unexpected ecological consequences from engineering one insect species for a supposedly beneficial purpose. Maybe Screwfly comes closest, or Queen City Jazz.
Looks like this is a subject that hasn't paricularly caught the imagination of SF writers - maybe I'll just stick with the science :)
The author wrote the same story over and over again about scientists creating something good just to have it turn into disaster overnight. But sometimes the world is saved and sometimes not, so I should have said two stories :-)
I think he both liked and disliked scientists.
I haven't read either of the likely looking books, but there were some: Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith and Invasive by Chuck Wendig.
When man toys with nature, nature strikes back.
Dr. Haylen Bennett, a genetic scientist at the Center for Biological Defense Research, and colleague Dr. Sarah Li, live quiet lives on a remote island base. When ordered to perfect an organic natural armor able to withstand .50 caliber AP rounds, it’s just another job for them.
Suddenly their world is turned upside down when two agents from the Department of Defense show up and whisk them away on the adventure of a lifetime. Everything that Haylen and Li have done at the lab is brought into question as they learn that the impenetrable armor they helped create provides protection to a 10-foot scorpion with a mouth that spouts armor-eating acid, a giant stinger and a bad attitude. When Dr. Li is viciously killed by the scorpion, Haylen vows vengeance, and teams up with lovely Sergeant Jen to take the monster down.
Filled with action, adventure, tragedy, comedy, and a ton of heart, the story will hold you in its clutches from the very first page and carry you along on a rapid romp through the world of sci-fi satire.
Contains graphic violence, some mild profanity and a behind-closed-doors love scene. Not recommended for readers aged 13 and under.
Plenty of room for SF writers there, but it's quite near-future and perhaps not as interesting as larger genetic tech versions. Out of the 52 books I've got that were found with a 'genetics' search of my catalogue only GM deals with insects at all, but it's a poor story and gets the biology wrong. "Not worth the effort, its a bad zombie book, a worse anti-science one, and only just about notable for a minor social comment regarding the difficulties of aid in africa. There are plenty of good books along any of those lines, but cramming them all into one failed miserably."
There's also a short story collection wasps at the speed of sound which doesn't really cover the genetics but is fun.
We are sensitive because we want LT to be free of editors and writers soliciting reviews and work. It's not complicated.
I also counterflagged for the same reason, although I will allow there was a bit of hucksterism in the tone of the post.
The purpose of LT is to talk about books and provide a platform for cataloging one’s library - writers, reading and reviews are just byproducts in the whole thing. :)
Yeah, that would be way wrong. The focus is books, not authors, and I would guess the majority of users have never posted a review. As someone who has posted over a thousand reviews myself, I would never mistake it for the main activity of the site, I.e. cataloging.
I thought that the purpose of LibraryThing was to talk about and support authors and write reviews.
It is not, no. The purpose of LibraryThing is to help people catalog their books easily and connect people who want to talk about books (or people who like talking about books but sometimes want to talk about other things.)
No wonder more people are turning to Goodreads.
According to whom?
And I think that >24 paradoxosalpha: is spot on about the tone.
To go back to the original question I think that we've determined that there are very few stories of that kind.
If you had just offered the title and author of the scorpion story everything would have been fine, I think. Copying the blurb was overselling :-) Getting a comment flagged is not the end of the world. So don't panic.
Philip K. Dick: "Meddler" is one of my favourite stories, but the insects are (probably) not the result of genetic experiments.
Arthur Herzog: "The Swarm" ?
(For some reason the original question keeps triggering some background search process in my brain :-)
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