The Human Genre Project: mapping the genome with fiction

genesHere’s Ken MacLeod announcing a rather interesting science fiction project:

A while ago I was staring at a poster of the human genome produced by the US Dept of Energy, and I remembered Michael Swanwick’s Periodic Table of Science Fiction. Cue lightbulb moment.

Why not set up a website that displayed short pieces – stories, flash fictions, poems, and reflections – inspired by genes or genomics, and arranged them (as far as possible – I soon found myself applying for an artistic licence) according to the chromosome that carries the gene that inspired the piece?


Now, thanks to enthusiastic work from Emma Capewell and Claire Alexander at the Genomics Forum, and the creative skills of web designer Damien Noonan, The Human Genre Project has gone live. It’s early days yet, but it looks good and it’s just waiting to be filled up with new writing. If you have something you think might sit well behind one of those colourful chromosomes, here’s how to contribute.

That’s a very cool project – I’m half-tempted to put something together and submit it  myself, though I have no doubt plenty of better writers will beat me to it. Maybe you’ll be one of them? [image by mtowber]