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Super Viruses and Sci Fi

Ebola Virus

OK, so we’re knee-deep in the Ebola crisis here in the US. No, not the disease itself, which has so far been quickly contained in New York and Dallas, albeit with an uncomfortable amount of official fumbling.

No, I mean the epidemic of fear. Schools are turning away teachers and students just for having visited or being from Africa – even if the country involved is thousands of miles from the outbreak.

Health care workers who have tested negative for the virus and have no symptoms are being quarantined, chilling the potential medical response to the disease in Africa.

And one town in Maine freaked out because someone came there from… Dallas.

So my questions today – what future epidemics might threaten the US or the world? How would the world respond? And what LGBT stories can we tell against this backdrop?

2 thoughts on “Super Viruses and Sci Fi”

  1. Question. David Brin’s *The Giving Plague*, Bear’s *Darwin’s Radio*, and Mona Clee’s *Overshoot* aside, what have we seen *happen* with viruses in SF?

    We’ve seen zombies revealed as infected by a virus in several recent works, notably *World War Z* and so on.

    We’ve seen vampires as humans infected with a plague which makes them drink blood, though a virus isn’t always named as the culprit.

    And we’ve seen weres as explicitly likened to people with a disease, with Hamilton and other authors making reference to AIDS.

    What other ideas have centered on a virus as the transformative agent? What have we seen viruses *do* to people besides make them sick or turn them into movie monsters?

    Let’s hear about it!

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  2. A fungus to be specific, the cordyceps virus might cause a severe outbreak, or a mutated strain of Rabies which could turn people into “zombie”-like creatues. of course it will kill them later. Or a genetically engineered virus, for instance. Who know what people will be able to do in the future.

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