website themes: fiction about science -- environmental
ethics -- environmental issues -- science journalism -- progress
-- limits to growth -- women in science -- women in espionage --
dark side of science -- environmental language -- environmental
many Trucks are enough trucks? -- A technopolitana image
Stories of Human Science,
Stories of the Dark Side of Human Science,Invention,
Read the opening section of the
Technopolitana novel named >>>>
Was old man Edwards awake? Or were these flashes in his mind
dreams? November 1945! Flash! Like flash news cameras. War over!
Atom bombs! Demobilization! President Truman already in trouble.
At the very personal level his son Gareth was home and alive. A
new drug called penicillin had saved his life. Progress…
Progress? Such pain for a life saving chemical. His description
of the pain of the injections for this penicillin defied reason.
As to his shoulder, there was no doubt he still had acute pain –
nerves bones, everything had been shattered by the enemy
shrapnel – Belgium a terrible winter ago -- and you heard him
nights. And yet it happened. The chemical saved his life.
The senior doc had said about the woman.
Gareth’s voice had trailed off.
shrugged and turned away. ‘Not like that, Dad,’ he said later.
‘The doc said ‘she changed’… Changed what?
answer. Woman? Chemicals? He's drowsy. Getting old.
Wake, man!. The eastbound train is coming The Baby Ben alarm
clock was clanging and he put his hand out to stop it. Ed Senior
was the stationman at the little high settlement of Alderson,
Or read about the background to the
idea, below. There are other excerpts from the novel
-- this comes under the Technopolitana banner
My visit to
Ireland, not meeting who I intended to see....then turned
positive... meeting Francine, first hearing of Nathalie -- and
of the Technopolitana idea
Unlikely location -- unlikely event.
October 16, 2016. Worry about a friend. I remember this
building. See left. Private Lake. Shore Fishing Only.... Something was not
going to be right. 8 am I stopped the car by this fishing hut
in Connemara, had some coffee in its shelter. I was going to
visit 'Spy' Nielsen who lived north of here. He was a war zone
reporter -- Bosnia, Rwanda, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and now
green issues, rain forest cut for palm oil, illegal logging in
the USA. He was staying at a house his late father had bought in
Ireland. He said he had stress. Did he just need a rest or
was he suffering from serious traumatic stress disorder? He'd
seen the lot. I drove on.
Craggam Lodge, inherited from Spy's father, was larger than I remembered.
How had his father
acquired this place? Eventually, following a side branch off the main river
of this story, the unhappy answer became clear.
That's for later. I reached Craggam Lodge
at 9.15, watery sun, leaves off the trees. Worries, even here.
Can the environment get the attention it needs?
Mayhem in Syria? Why has Spy gone into the country?
Park, go to the front door, knock. No Spy. No one home.
Look to the left of the house. Behind the
bush, you can see the pale shadow of another white building
where I met Francine.
She had the story. She was from
>> read right>>
>>>>I walked up the river with her, glad to be out of the car.
'That's where I swim,' she said. (see left)
'In October?' I asked.
'You never know with fashion models,' she said. 'Spy walked
out on me. He told me you'd come.'
I was a friend of Spy's. I had never met her. She
wanted to talk. She came here four days ago. Spy had
papers that showed her grandmother had had a false identity.
Through meeting Francine, I met Nathalie Armstrong who had taken
a false identity. And I met her backer, the man who helped to
put her in as an an underground scientist -- a role that led to
her being a player in the
The backer was the American reporter and documentarist, Bill
Rutland. Rutland had invented the Planet Techolpolitana idea.
Francine asked me to help edit the first part of the
grandmother's story which is called
>>> link to
writing from Penicillium & the background to Rutland and
Walking and Talking late
with Francine about Nathalie Armstrong -- a woman
suppressed by history.
From western wilderness to penicillin:
Rutland wrote in the 1920s on the destruction of US virgin
forest, the exploitation of bird species for the hat trade and
the need for wilderness. Determined not to be polemical, he
moved to more generally writing about progress, about the
benefits of oil versus the pollution caused by drilling, about
mass production of automobiles versus the exploitation of the
workforce, about the chemical industry and cancer, about the
need for water and the Colorado River not getting to the sea. He
invented Planet Technopolitana as a place where science and
progress had a bright side and a dark side. In 1938 he was sent
to London to look favorably at the dark side of technology: were
the British paying enough attention brutal new weapons in order
to fend off Hitler?
It was an unusual mission
and it led to him meeting a fiercely ambitious young woman
scientist who needed to change course.
This was Nathalie,
grandmother of Francine.
This is a project where non-fiction, a
factual basis, underlies fictional stories -- two books about
the complex and controversial development of penicillin in World
War II -- centered on the underground role of Nathalie. The
penicillin story is in part about a bitter and deep
Anglo-American rift. Nathalie was caught in this -- a
woman scientist who history forgot until Francine was told by
Spy of the existence of the papers in the Irish house.
Bill Rutland features in these books, a
reporter who wrote about progress and about its dark side. Also
forgotten, he is a critic of science and progress in a way that
Francine and I consider important. Part of this website relates
to attempts to address that.
If espionage stories feed on the underside of diplomacy, the
Planet Technopolitana idea tries to do the same to the underside
of what moves our lives -- science, progress & growth.
Documentary basis of the
Penicillium novels. So secret
was this project & so bad the
Anglo-American tensions, that
even clinical reports were not declassified until
the 1990s. See US govt date 10/7/97 above.
Penicillium I --
Five weeks earlier:
Bill Rutland of the American weekly NOW!
is sent to London on an unorthodox mission
The unorthodox recruitment of an unsettled woman....
Bill Rutland, the last dying wolf and the sense humans were
fiction project --
All this site and work within it is
© copyright Francis James