Universal consciousness or just plain lucky?

Fiction novelists and especially those whose scribblings dabble into sci-fi and the paranormal are expert at making stuff up.
It works best when the writer tries as much as possible to make it plausible or at least not entirely implausible given the universe he or she has created.
Jules Verne likely inspired rocketry space travel with From The Earth To The Moon.
Star Trek’s writers seeded the minds of those who developed the cell phone, the iPod, and computer tablets, so say their inventors. And lots of eggheads are trying to make a transporter for, initially, sub-atomic particles.
But do writers really invent these things or are they ideas that float around like low-hanging fruit, ripe for plucking by almost anyone? Or is there a universal consciousness that allows scribes to tap into the minds of great thinkers before the ideas are fully formed?
All of this may sound a bit like me interviewing my keyboard but a couple of things have happened in the past few months that made me wonder.
In my first novel, Late Bite, (published April 2014) my vampirish main character Dragul Mangorian is a member of Homo sanguinus, a human sub-species that split from Homo sapiens 30,000 years ago, hiding secretly in deep underground habitats to avoid fatal conflicts with man.
On September 10, 2015, the world learned that a hitherto unknown species of human lived in South Africa, Homo naledi. The bones of 15 different individuals were found in a deep underground cave.
From there everything departs from my invented human variants – I missed the split from sapiens by a couple million years and Homo naledi didn’t live in deep caves so much as bury the remains of their dead in them.
Still, it is kind of cool to find that the bit of digging I did to research my Sanguinus found a plausibility mate in the diggings of Prof. Lee Berger, the paleoanthropologist who led the South African expedition.
My make-believe paleoanthropologist was a Dr. Felix Ostrander who gave testimony at the vampire Dragul Mangorian’s trial that the Sanguinus had sufficient similarities to modern man to be entitled to protection under the law as a human being.
About a month after Dr. Berger’s news went public, a UK medical team announced it had successfully repaired a Polish man’s severed spinal chord by introducing nasal cells as a patch on the damaged parts of the spine.
Based on decades of research by Geoffrey Raisman, a professor in the Institute of Neurology at University College London in the UK, the team used nasal cells in regenerating the nerves to grow along the spine because they possess special qualities like stem cells.
In my second novel Gravity Games, completed in May 2014 but not published until late October of this year, my main character Nathan Sherlock has a super sense of smell because of his nasal cells incredible ability to reproduce. Those cells also have an eerily similar ability to help others. I won’t say more because that would be a spoiler for those of you who haven’t read the book.
It may all be a coincidence but sometimes going the extra mile in research to find what’s out there gives credence to the notion that novels can be novel.

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