greygirlbeast (greygirlbeast) wrote,

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Clash of the Invertebrata!

Yesterday, I did 1,218 words on The Dinosaurs of Mars and reached the end of the third section, "The Survivor" (note that in my entry of July 5th I mistakenly referred to the second section by this same title, though in fact that section is titled "The Inquest"). So, that's 10,983 words thus far, fifty pages, and I'm guessing a little less than a third of the book. Having reached a natural pause in the story yesterday, I have decided that today I will go ahead and begin work on a new vignette for Sirenia Digest #20. I am hesitant to set TDoM aside even for the space of a few days, now that it's moving along. But the platypus says that's the way the cookie crumbles. So, I will likely spend today and the next two or three days on something brief and weird and quasi-erotic.

Anything else to yesterday? Ah, yes. This is cool. Spooky was out front of the house doing something or another, and she was fortunate enough to spot a specimen of the terrestrial planarian Bipalium kewense (Phylum Platyhelminthes) as it began an attack upon an earthworm (Phylum Annelida). She came back in and got her camera and snapped the following images (behind the cut), which you might want to avoid if the thought of one squirmy thing eating another alive gives you the willies:

A wonderful shot of the Bipalium kewense and its distinctive scalloped head.

The unfortunate earthworm moves too close.

The planarian makes its move!

The feast.

This particular Bipalium kewense was, conservatively, 16-17mm in length, though these beasts may grow as large as 120mm. Originally described from specimens recovered from a greenhouse at Kew Botanical Gardens, near London, England, in 1878, this species is prbably native to Indochina, and has been turning up in America since 1901, an exotic invader inadvertently imported by horticulturists. A remarkable little creature.

Last night, we had a good walk through Freedom Park. There were low pinkish clouds, catching the distant rays of sunset. There were two rather enormous bats. Later, we watched The Fifth Element, which I think I'd not seen in a couple of years. I remain immensely fond of this film.

Michael Brampton writes:

Some time ago you talked about the possibility of writing a literary Science Fiction novel revolving around the idea of the human race being offered the ultimatum from an alien race: if they continued to cause the extinction of species upon the plant, they would in turn suffer huge losses. I thought it sounded like a wonderful idea. Do you still plan to write it? I think you mentioned in the journal that you were advised that there is no audience for literary Sci-fi, but you would perhaps write it anyway. I hope so, it sounds like a fantastic plan for a book.

I haven't forgotten the idea, one I'd still very much like to write someday. No time soon, as my next two novels, under contract to Penguin, will be dark fantasy. It's possible I may someday be able to write this particular sf novel for Subterranean Press. On the other hand, I have already told subpress that The Dinosaurs of Mars may be my last sf novel, aside from some steampunk pieces I want to write. So, we'll see.
Tags: planarians, sf, sirenia, tdom, the fifth element, writing
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