Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Near Future Inspiration by P. I. Barrington

My writer friend P.I. Barrington is stopping by today to talk about inspiration and....wait for it my geek buddies...near future inspiration!

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Inspiration can create many things from mechanical items of fancy to urgently needed life saving technology and pretty much everything in between. Where to get some of that inspiration? If you're a dedicated science fiction writer, a heck of a lot of it comes from absorbing all that techie stuff in books and movies about the future, near or far.

There are other places and sources of inspiration for your particular however. Two of the technologies I created and am very proud of are the spray on latex gloves and Sedadone my foam crowd control sedative in the Future Imperfect trilogy. Where did those ideas spring from?

From reality and fantasy; I'm sure you've seen the new foam disinfectant dispensers in hospitals and doctors' offices that are attached to the walls. Medical staff presses a puff or two on their hands as they pass keeping themselves and hopefully everyone else as germ free as possible.

I first noticed them when my mother had to be admitted to the emergency room and the staff there used them almost without thinking. I was amazed that no one had ever thought of it before, and wished I'd been that creative in helping people. But it did start me thinking about more wonderful technologies to come. When I started Crucifying Angel, I took it a step further thinking how and what I wanted to see improved especially in medicine.

I'd always disliked those latex gloves that doctors and nurses snapped on their hands. I just always felt they were still too easy to contaminate so I thought about the foam disinfectant and combined the two in a sense. What I came up with was the spray on latex gloves that touched nothing prior to spraying them on hands as foam where they harden to the texture of latex. They could then be peeled off without too much contact with contaminants and were easily portable in spray bottles. Not only that but they played a major part in all three novels of the trilogy!

I'm even more proud of my invention of Sedadone, the crowd controlling foam sedative. If you know anything about Los Angeles, you know we're prone to riots and demonstrations and protest marches. Being an ex-journalist, I watch the news voraciously; something we never overcome, lol! Over the years, watching the many times violent interaction between police and protestors, even when they used non-lethal crowd control methods like rubber bullets and tasers it was still fairly painful and violent.

I used to watch and think "there's gotta be a better way" and not only a better way but a more effective way to control large crowds rather than focus in on a few rowdy people. When I got to Final Deceit (Book Three) an idea popped into my head connected with the foam concept!

What if, instead of using weaponry, the police could just spray a non-lethal, non-harmful foam sedative over the crowd that would be absorbed through the skin and produce a sedative effect on an entire crowd of people at once?

Oh sure, the politics of that would probably never allow it to come to fruition in reality, but in a crumbling 2032 Las Vegas, the police would probably welcome anything that could produce immediate results in riots, especially non-violent, temporary incapacitation type results. It would probably reduce civil suits in courtrooms all over the state of California too!

Well, maybe not reduce…maybe create more class action lawsuits. But for the purposes of science fiction writing, I thought it worked pretty well. Both of those ideas came from reality and fantasy: what we have and what we wish we have.

Look around you there's always something you can improve upon even if might not be an eventuality then again nobody thought we'd really have a space shuttle or space station outside of some sci-fi author's imagination. Yet there they are, functioning on a daily basis getting and giving us improvements and knowledge to deal with our own inspirations and make the fantasies into reality.

A little inspiration can go a long long way.

More about P. I. Barrington:


  1. That is so neat! I thought you were going to use the sanitizing foam with a sedative. Just have the pumps all over the city and people would sanitize their hands and at the same time, get a nice feel good dose of something to keep people non-violent. :) Yours was better. LOL!

  2. Thanks so much Patty! My name is Patti too, lol!

  3. Today's sci-fi is tomorrow's reality. Maybe we'll see those spray-on gloves in the not-too-distant future.