Monday, December 3, 2012

Dispatch #4 - FFR: Fiction Fusion Reaction

Foreign Correspondent in Disguise
by Lupe Fernandez

In October, thanks to my various confidential contacts, I attended Family Day at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory here in Northern California. Formerly a Navy air station, the Lawrence Livermore Lab was founded in 1952 by physicist Ernest Lawrence for "strengthening the United States’ security through development and application of world-class science and technology..."

The Sun
One facility that intrigued me was the National Ignition Facility. No, it's not used to develop a better cigarette lighter, but to create a self-sustaining nuclear fusion reaction - the power of the sun.

Official Sticker
Unfortunately, no cameras were allowed on the lab property, so this foreign correspondent had to smuggle out a technical drawing.

Top Secret Diagram of NIF Device
The design of the NIF brought to mind the various elements required to be targeted to create literary chain reaction.

The Lawrence Livermore Lab has yet to create a fusion reaction, imitating the nuclear furnace of the stars. But the writer must target various elements toward a common goal of creating a manuscript, and then, if a literary chain-reaction occurs, a successful novel.
Hypothetical Literary Fusion Diagram
As the NIF calibrates and tests its lasers to fuse hydrogen atoms into helium atoms, thus liberating energy, what other artistic beams must the writer aim, calibrate, test, dismantle, fund, construction, calculate and ponder to fuse such different literary elements into a a stellar novel?

This writer would like to think X. Xxxxx and X. Xxxxxxxx (names obfuscated for national security) for allowing me access to the lab.


  1. I'm personally stuck on my time device.
    Rewrite going very slowly....

  2. Okay, Lupe, what about adding subplot, dialogue, story arc (rise/fall), climax, problem/resolution? Of course, there are already too many things to consider in writing a story. And the longer the story, the more things creep in that have to be processed, placed, and promoted. Whew!

    1. Due to National Security I could not include all the elements used at the National Ignition Facility for a sustained nuclear fusion reaction, therefore, the absence of subplot, etc...
      Your Foreign Correspondent

  3. Okay, okay, I admit it. This was fun. Go, Lupe!

    1. Up here in wilds of the far north of California, we must find fun where we can.
      Fun Guy Three

    2. I especially loved the hand-drawn illustration!


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