No, really … Well, all right, you might not be interested, in which case, toddle off once I reveal what I’m about to share with you. But if you are curious, stick around, because I am about to share my thought processes regarding the genetics of my two major magical people in my little fantasy world …
Yeah. That’s right. It’s geek-speak time!
So, I’ve written a whole book without really investigating this so far. Sure, I’ve thought about it. But I haven’t really delved. But as I set down to work on my future books and think about the implications of some of my previous work (one of which can be seen in my supporting “prequel” short story Toes Across The Floor*) I find that I really do need to know this. No, it’s not going to be explained in the books (we’re talking equivalent to 1860s, here, people. Mendel himself was only just figuring out the basics).
Right, so now for the fun stuff. There are a bunch of options available to me. There are genes carried only on the sex chromosomes. Genes carried on the somatic (non-sex) chromosomes. Genes like blood types – with three varieties, leading to four (at least …) outcomes. There are genes in which two copies can be fatal. And then there are genes like the colour genes for cats and horses etc. that have another gene that can override the fact that there was going to be colour and make a white patch. Or, like human skin colouring, or height, or whatever, we could have a multitude of genes involved. So very many choices (although, I have ruled out the last because that leads to a spectrum of effects, rather than an “on/off” kind of situation that I want) … So, what to do , what to do?
I’ll be honest. I haven’t come up with my final answer, yet. But I do have ideas.
For one thing, each “race” (as they are referred to in the story, though it is just a matter of a gene or two) has two varieties: The Sy- and the non-Sy-. OK, let’s go back.
I have two “races”: the Kara (“Karan” singular), and the Aenuks, which may also go on to be Syakaran or Syaenuk. My current thinking is that there will be a separate gene controlling the Sy- part.
What’s exciting about that, is that you could have a “normal” person (carries neither the Karan nor the Aenuk genes) who carries the Sy- gene … They might not have any magic, but pair them with the right person and voilà you get a super magic baby, rather than “just” a magic baby (the Sy- gene being a volume booster for the other two).
Now, to complicate things even further, but also make it even more fun, I am considering having the Sy- gene have three varieties like our blood groups – so, if you’re Aenuk but carry the Sy- (Kara) gene, you’ll still “just” be Aenuk (healer, by the way). And if you’re Karan (warrior – strong/fast), and carry the Sy- (Aenuk) gene, you’ll be “just” Karan, rather than the more powerful Syakaran. With me so far? Yeah …
To illustrate, somewhat, here are the potential Sy- varieties in this scenario: SKSK, or SKS0, or, SASA, SAS0, or SKSA, or S0S0 (bummer, superscript doesn’t work … well, pretend the little K’s, A’s and 0’s are in superscript, OK?). S0S0 would be “normal” (non-Sy-) and, like the O Blood-type, would be the most common.
What’s quite fun about separating out the varieties like this is that I have two countries who each prefer one race (Karan or Aenuk). Of course, they also mostly value the Sy- varieties, but they’re rare. I’m thinking the countries could be shooting themselves in the foot (feet … whatever), because the nation that prefers the Karan might just happen to carry a large proportion of Sy(Aenuk) genes hidden within their population, but they wouldn’t know it because they don’t have any of that race within their borders (if they can help it). And vice versa, of course. And never mind the rest of the world beyond those nations’ borders …
Now, I just need to decide how the Karan and Aenuk genes are passed on …
* For those interested, while I originally “stole” the title of the Blind Melon song for the title of my story, I have kept it thanks to the opening lines of the song and the uncanny relevance to my little world: “Doesn’t anybody feel that all these killers should be killed, and all these healers should be healed …” (which of the two “races” we consider killers – the “perfect for battle” super strong and super fast Kara, or the devastating Aenuks who sap life from other things to do their healing, well, that’s up for interpretation … but, still …)
- Harry Potter wizarding genetics decoded (mnn.com)
- News & World Events – Re: Scientists Isolate Dickhead Gene! (disclose.tv)
- DNA researchers find athletic gene (abc.net.au)
- Confessions to the Dentist and Good Teeth Genes (culdesaccool.com)