True Lies


The cliche is write what you know. Toni Morrison said something like “Write the book you want to read.” I did both of those things when I told a story about a young black woman making her way into adulthood in the secret supernatural underbelly of Seattle. I wanted more representation of characters like people I knew, but in the sci-fi/fantasy settings I loved. So I made those characters. Girl Out of Water was part of my process of trying to understand Seattle better, instead of you know, hating its guts and plotting my escape.

Radioactive salmon? Probably. "Spent nuclear fuel stored underwater and uncapped in Hanford's K-East Basin." - Wikipedia

Radioactive salmon? Probably. “Spent nuclear fuel stored underwater and uncapped in Hanford’s K-East Basin.” – Wikipedia

I definitely was not writing what I knew when I created a physicist searching for proof of the existence of gravitational waves at the LIGO Center in Richland, WA. My armchair physics end with Stephen Hawking books, FTL drives on Battlestar Galactica, Discovery channel documentaries, and odd blind alleys of the internet. When the book was finished, I wondered where I should mail my letter of apology to Science for the liberties I took. Imagine my surprise then, when after years of no news on the gravitational home front, within days of each other there were headlines about new proof in the existence of gravitational waves, and a recent spike in congenital anomalies in eastern Washington, particularly in Benton county, where Irene Chownyk lives and works. Near the environmental clusterfuck that is the inactive Hanford Nuclear reactor site.

Am I implying that there are new cryptids being born in Washington state as we speak? Absolutely. Obviously. However, the article mentioned real families facing serious health issues that I’m sure are totally coincidental and not at all related to the toxic dump in their backyard. To help those families, give to charities like The March of Dimes and speak up when there is industrial negligence in the world. If a large commercial interest has not polluted your area, assume that they’re busy and haven’t gotten around to you yet. As for gravitational waves, huzzah! Science is now positive that they’re probably real. Mostly. Which means more insights into the big bang theory and black holes. If only there were more measurements…