cancer

The Deadpool Solution

deadpool_common_senseI can only assume that most X-Men, comic geeks (I use that term affectionately to recognize my kin), and general sci-fi fans were extremely disappointed by the X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie.  Like many adaptations, Hollywood strayed too far away from the source material and left us with the husk of what could have been.  More to the point, they introduced and set-up Wade Wilson aka Deadpool for a possible spin-off, which had now been "Greenlighted," but pervert him to the point that he's no longer palatable for us.  Maybe not.  I present to you, The Deadpoool Solution.

The Pitch

The concept is really simple.  As the movie has said, Wade was the only member of the Team X (Yes, I'm referring to them by their comic name.  We keeps it real here in the comic geek hood. Yea! Yea!) that could handle/survive the implantation of all the mutant powers.  When did Wade become a mutant?  Nevermind. We take the story from Wade's involvement.  To do this we have to give him some sort of BS power like hyper-agility, which will explain his sequence in the beginning (I'm trying to stay vague for those of you that haven't seen the movie yet) and will somewhat explain his constant chatter.  This power will allow his body to quickly adapt to anything new that has been introduced to it.  This is not a healing factor.

deadpool_who_meWade has been living a quiet life, like the rest of them.  Unlike them, he's quickly dying from cancer.  An adverse affect of his hyper-agility, rapidly spreading the cancer through his body.  Aware of Wade's condition, Stryker approaches him about coming to work for the government again, and offers to find a cure for his cancer.  Once Wade agrees to come back in, it all begins.  Of course, Wade is completely unaware that Stryker is the one who had him exposed to a cancer-like agent to bring him in.  Much like he does with Wolverine, Wade had to come on his own volition.  Stryker begins testing his theory by giving him a bit of Sabretooth's healing factor.  Once he realizes that his plan will work (Wade's cancer goes into remission), he has Wade placed on continuous sedation and begins with the mutant hunt and other experiments.  It's at this time Stryker decides to fuse Wade's mouth shut using acid.  (I am aware that the healing factor should prevent this from happening, but it has to be done, and it can't be done prior to getting the healing ability.)  He also gets the idea to infuse him with adamantium and decides to test it first on Wolverine; needing his healing factor.

deadpool_v_wolverineNot wanting to lose such a valuable test subject and possible perfect soldier, Stryker has Sabretooth bring him a young man named Jamie Madrox.  You may remember Madrox as being poorly written and misplayed in X-Men: The Last Stand.  Madrox, also known as the Multiple Man, has the ability to create duplicates of himself.  Not clones, but exact duplicates of the original.  In the comic, he can't control this ability as his dupes are spawned by kinetic energy and has to wear a special suit which allows him to control if and when a dupe will spawn; still brought about by kinetic energy.  You can see where I'm going with this.

Stryker has Madrox's ability synthesized to create a duplicate of Wade to do all of his experimentation on.  If something goes wrong, he hasn't lost the whole show, and can start over again with another dupe.  The synthesized version is a onetime use, with plans to fully infuse the ability in him and create a full army once Deadpool has been perfected.

After Wolverine is given the adamantium Wade is infused with Logan's ability and a dupe is created so that they can inject him with adamanium, too.  The events of the Wolverine movie prevent Stryker's plans for a Deadpool army from proceeding.  Wolverine and Sabretooth fight and kill the Deadpool dupe and the Three Mile Island base is destroyed.

Wade emerges from the rubble of the base with no knowledge of the recent events.  He knows that he's cancer free, and that he has a healing factor now.  He slices his mouth open so he can talk, and covers his disfigured face with a scrap of cloth he finds.  So begins the Deadpool movie.  Now, to help push him to that edge-of-sanity Deadpool we know from the comics, we can have him find the disembodied head of his dupe.  Not knowing how of why he's looking at himself decapitated, his mind would start to warp a bit.  To do this, we scratch the stinger ending with Deadpool (since not everyone gets to see it, it's easier to do away with) and use this.  Trying to use the extra ending creates additional problems we don't need; all the extra powers and 2 foot non-retractable adamantium claws would dilute the true character and weigh down the story.

Michael Crichton died

OMG, my jaw dropped.

Michael Crichton, the million-selling author who made scientific research terrifying and irresistible in such thrillers as "Jurassic Park," "Timeline" and "The Andromeda Strain," has died of cancer, his family said (AP).

This is a shock.  I was just talking about his books this weekend.  His imagination will be missed by his fans, and he will be missed by his family and friends.

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Interview With Jeff Carlson

**Possible Spoilers**

The Plague series by Jeff Carlson is about a nanotech plague that erupts in California and soon takes over the world. Supposedly a cure for cancer, this plague begins to eat away at anything under roughly ten thousand feet. People are forced up into the mountains for fear of dying from the completely debilitating flesh-eating nano. Soon, the global population is hiding on various heights seemingly floating above the invisible sea of computer plague. These books are so real that you begin to find yourself asking, “What if this happened tomorrow?” According to author, Jeff Carlson, it could. What makes him the authority on the realness of the computer plague? He’s been talking to scientists working on similar projects as we speak.

The trilogy has been called ingenious, thrilling, and cutting edge. Here are my thoughts on each of the books:

Plague Year

The first few pages of Plague Year confused me because I am not used to reading a book that jumps so quickly into action. I thought perhaps it would be too "fast-pace thriller" for me to finish. However, Jeff’s ability to make you feel emotion about the characters when you hardly know any back-story on them really amazed me. He did get into their back stories as the novel progressed. There were exciting surprises later on as far as who did what before the plague. These characters are real and once you start reading, you begin to feel like they are your buddies out on that hill. It’s as if you are standing in the huddled masses with them.

This book can scare the crap out of you. Living in Nor Cal, the news reports about what cities the plague takes over as it eats its way across the country seemed too real. Jeff makes you feel like you are watching the news reports on TV. Maybe you’ll be the one making a call to your mom in the hotzone. Maybe you’ll be the one gathering supplies and heading for the hills.

While I was reading Plague Year, I found myself thinking about how long it would take me to pack up my family and flee. My mind would start charting ways to get to Tahoe if the roads were blocked. Then I'd remember it wasn’t really happening and calm down.

As far as all the scientist and military stuff is concerned, I am not an expert. Jeff explained well enough for me to understand what the nano does without making me bored or feel inadequate.

One portion of the book I thought he did particularly well was where one of the characters is in a wheelchair and unable to express himself. The anger and desperation Jeff creates is quite powerful.

While reading the Plague series, you might find yourself taking a few more showers than usual as his descriptions of grime, bugs, sores etc... are excellently detailed.

When I read the first book I thought the end of the book portion where they finally go into a city could have been longer. I felt like I missed out on what they actually did while hiding. Good news! He goes into that more in the sequel.

Overall I was surprised how much this book pulled me in and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to read something no one's ever done before.

Plague War

I was surprised to find that although this sequel was in the same style as the first, it had a different sort of tone. The relationship between the two main characters Ruth and Cam is infectious. They each have their issues and it’s interesting to see how they interact with each other. The sexual tension that Plague War delivers is amazing considering all the characters are grimy, nano-bitten, unwashed, scrappers who will do anything to survive.

This book causes you to feel the desperation of a world that is in constant threat of annihilation. However, the characters have the hope to survive and the power of the human spirit to carry on, no matter what the obstacle.

Some of the untouched mountain people infuse this story with a newness, that by this time you would expect not to exist. The contrast of the beaten down warriors against these innocent, fresh-snow-like individuals is really an excellent contrast in a book that is about fighting for life.

There is a lot of war talk in this book. Military actions, governments colliding, plots foiled, plans carried out. Since I am not a fan of military stories, I was slightly distracted by this. However, the human relationships of the people in those uniforms carried me through those sections of the book. If you are a military enthusiast, I think you will be pleasantly surprised by how detailed this book is.

I was happy to see the reappearance of some of the characters from book one that I did not expect. Hernandez was a pleasant returnee. His point of view was intriguing because of his lack of control over the situation that was happening to him. I felt his struggle between what he knew was right and how he was going to survive.

Ulinov, who I disliked the most after book one, was one of the most interesting characters to read about because we get to see his allegiance to his country. It may not be a very popular thing to say, but I think I was actually on his side when the bomb hit.

With the set up of possible resolution in book 2, I am expecting great things from book three, Mind Plague, which comes out Summer 2009.

To find out more about Jeff Carlson, visit his site at: http://www.jverse.com and listen to my podcast interview on the Project Shadow Informant podcast:

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Andreas Katsulas Dies

C.E. Dorsett A great light has gone out:

Andreas Katsulas, the character actor known to SF fans as G'Kar on Babylon 5 and a familiar face from Star Trek and other SF&F TV shows, died Feb. 13 of lung cancer in Los Angeles, his agent, Donna Massetti, confirmed to SCI FI Wire. He was 59 (SciFi Wire).

The heart of the man fell silent, but he will be remembered. He was one of the best actors we had. Sorry, I am kind of choked up about this. My prayers go out to his friends and family.