Ian’s a nuclear talent
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