All right, those of you who have read my first novel, Sunshine Patriots, know that it's a science-fiction anti-war novel. I'd written it way back in '98, but it didn't come out until '04. So, a lot of things that I thought would never be relevant suddenly became relevant with the invasion of Iraq. It was almost a 30-year US policy to not conduct a war of occupation, so I thought it was safe to write about a war of occupation. Silly me. And that book tour was highly uncomfortable. How do you sit in ultra-conservative bookstores in Bombingham, Alabama, while Americans are being beheaded on the evening news and talk about how your book's against the war?
The novel's cyborg soldiers, who are constantly blown to bits, stitched back together with mechanized parts, and thrown right back on the battlefield, are also becoming more and more relevant by the minute. I originally set SP in the 2200s, but it looks like I should've set it in the 2020s.
First, amputee soldiers started returning to active duty back in '07.
And now, through targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR), scientists are able to move nerves to alternate muscles in the bodies, allowing amputees to think in order to command their prosthetic limbs. (Read more.)
A friend of mine, almost 10 years ago, said that we are living science fiction today. I think he had something there. I'd originally set Sunshine Patriots in the farflung, exotic future of the 2200s. While a lot of the novel seemed to play out over the past couple years, it's looking like the cyborg will be here in the 2020s--if not sooner.