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DESCRIBING DANGEROUS TECHNOLOGY

side of explosives storage shed

One supposes terrorists might read novels. If they read mine, the deadly technology I describe will not help them much. There are three reasons why Randall Jarmon novels seem eminently safe.

 
REASON 1. My descriptions tend to be a little off one way or another. Indeed, for scientists, engineers, and technicians, part of the fun in my stories could be finding the subtle errors I implant. Such persons especially might enjoy how FLAT LIGHT's Ludwig Ernst deploys thermite.

 
REASON 2. I think I also can safely describe certain lethal technology so commonplace that – even if the description were correct – evil doers would gain no advantage. 

 
For example, these days 81-millimeter mortars are ubiquitous among battlefields of the world. With a little effort, I imagine, one could find online full instructions for firing mortars. My telling bad guys how to shoot mortars should give them as much tactical advantage as my telling bad guys how to file their teeth. 


REASON 3. Then there is the dangerous technology I make up entirely. Doing so can be delightful since I face but one main constraint: Such technology should be no more than an inch ahead of what is available today.  


The one-inch restriction is important. If a novelist gets a foot or two ahead of today's technology, that novelist is writing science fiction. I don't write science fiction.

 
Accordingly, Aesop's oxymorgenthalene in THE DALHART PURSUIT sounds like something any pharmacist might have behind the counter. Further, since oxymorgenthalene does not exist, it will not hurt anyone – and it has no harmful side effects! Remember that part the next time you see cheery pharmaceutical TV ads during the evening news. 


To sum this topic up, the lethal technology I write about is flawed, is mundane, or is nonexistent. It would actually seem a good thing if the world's villains relied upon my novels for technical advice. 


Randall Jarmon

 

Mikvelk Publishing, LLC

Coppell, Texas USA

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