Ian’s a nu­clear tal­ent

Lennox Herald - - THE TICKET - Jenny Foulds

An au­thor has drawn on his fas­ci­nat­ing ca­reer trav­el­ling the globe as a nu­clear waste ex­pert to write a col­lec­tion of dystopian sci-fi sto­ries.

For­mer Dum­bar­ton man Dr Ian McKin­ley has writ­ten sev­eral nov­els ex­plor­ing the evo­lu­tion of so­ci­ety in the face of ma­jor tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances and a de­grad­ing nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment.

Ian, who now lives in Switzer­land, works in ra­dioac­tive waste man­age­ment and as­sesses the safety of dis­posal sites a mil­lion years in the fu­ture.

This in­cludes work­ing on the site of the Fukushima Dai­ichi nu­clear power plant in Ja­pan since the 2011 melt­down trig­gered by a ma­jor earth­quake.

A pro­fes­sional sci­en­tist and fan of all forms of sci­ence fic­tion, he de­cided to ex­tend from writ­ing text books and tech­ni­cal pa­pers to the new chal­lenges of fic­tion.

He said: “A ma­jor chal­lenge as­so­ci­ated with ge­o­log­i­cal dis­posal of such waste is demon­stra­tion that this will be safe for a long time in the fu­ture – hundreds of thou­sands or even millions of years.

“Even if there are good tech­ni­cal ar­gu­ments, the gen­eral pub­lic need to be con­vinced, which is a much trick­ier job. It can be quite frus­trat­ing when the con­tri­bu­tion of nu­clear power to help pre­vent an en­vi­ron­men­tal catas­tro­phe, such as global warm­ing, is lim­ited by wor­ries about the re­sult­ing waste.”

Ex­plain­ing the think­ing be­hind his first book Ex­tremophile, he said: “I was think­ing about how cur­rent global warm­ing, in­creas­ing pop­u­la­tions and ad­vanc­ing technology would af­fect Scot­land, so the novel starts in Glas­gow. “De­spite grow­ing pop­u­la­tions, there is more money in­vested in ex­tend­ing the life­times of the rich than pro­vid­ing con­tra­cep­tion for the poor – so I thought about the con­se­quences of the dis­cov­ery of a drug that would ex­tend life in­def­i­nitely.

“Ba­si­cally, the story is a thriller where the sci­ence fic­tion is as­so­ci­ated with the mid-21stcen­tury back­drop. Ac­tu­ally it is the only one of the nov­els in which Dum­bar­ton ap­pears di­rectly, near the end of the story.”

Ian, for­merly of Castle­hill, lives in Switzer­land with wife Linda, who is also from Dum­bar­ton, and the cou­ple run McKin­ley Con­sult­ing to­gether.

Ian’s work in­volves lots of in­ter­na­tional col­lab­o­ra­tion and travel to ex­otic lo­ca­tions, in­clud­ing Jor­dan, Brazil and the Philip­pines, which also pro­vide in­spi­ra­tion to his writ­ing.

He wrote the se­quel – Che­motroph – which was an early ebook. It has since been rewrit­ten and will be pub­lished soon.

This was ex­panded into a tril­ogy and the fi­nal vol­ume Al­lochthon is now be­ing re­viewed, with hopes it will be pub­lished this year by TWB Press.

Ian also has three other nov­els pub­lished by Dou­ble Dragon Press.

Cof ex­am­ines the im­pact on a highly con­nected world when the en­tire in­ter­net is com­pletely de­stroyed by a com­puter virus.

Emer­gence pro­vides a rather quirky take on the de­vel­op­ment of sen­tience in ad­vanced com­puter sys­tems and Kabuki-cho Cabaret fol­lows high-tech de­tec­tives as they come up against megarich se­rial killers who con­sider them­selves above the law.

A sev­enth man­u­script The Swiss As­sas­sin has been sub­mit­ted for re­view and Ian is now work­ing on his eighth.

Ian’s e-books and pa­per­backs can be pur­chased on Ama­zon at https://www.ama­zon.co.uk/-/e/ B078BXGC6S.

Bright Swiss Au­thor Sci­en­tist and sci-fi writer Ian now lives in Switzer­land with (in­set) his wife Linda

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