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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Does anyone have the poison book?

   
Author Topic: Does anyone have the poison book?
I am destiny
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I need the name and info of a poison that kills slowly and can mimic the signs of old age. I only need this one thing and dont want to buy a book for one situation. so if anyone has the book or a website I'd apreciate it. THX ~D
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Robert Nowall
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I can't think of anything off-hand---but buy the reference books anyway. You never know what you'll stumble across in the process of serendipitious discovery...
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Marzo
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I'd say don't buy a reference book until you've already thoroughly perused it in the store or at the library, or its reviews are so utterly outstanding there's now way you can go wrong.

I enjoy research (and work at a library), so I'd be happy to help you with the task. But, I (and you, for a good websearch) will need some specifics.

Some questions:
1. Which particular signs of old age are you looking for? Do you in fact just want a poison which is difficult to detect, and the victim is someone older?
2. What country/year is this? This is important to know so I have an idea of what natural and artificial toxins are available, and what tests a hospital can perform.
3. What's the situation between the killer and the victim? I'm assuming this is intended murder...?



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KJSanders
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This infamous thread helped me realize how great a place Hatrack is:
http://www.hatrack.com/forums/writers/forum/Forum1/HTML/001268.html

Also, I'm reading a book by Peter Macinnis called "Poisons: A History from Hemlock to Botox." However, I haven't finished it, so I don't yet know if there's a poison that would meet your requirements, but it's an interesting book.


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RMatthewWare
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What happened to the glorified tradition of making stuff up. You are only constrained to the limits necessary to your plot.

Old Bill Shakespeare made up poisons all the time. Remember Romeo and Juliet?

Matt


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I am destiny
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It is an island in the eastern pacific.... under Japanese influence aprox 180 yrs in future. MC sees old man a few months before and old man shows his age but severely deteriorates between that point in time and when he sees him next. He dies in his presence a few months after he visits him the first time.

It has to be somewhat belivable because it is future earth.

thanks for help
~D


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Wolfe_boy
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Actually if it is future earth it doesn't have to be believable, just within the realm of possibility if it's not that far in the future. Have him injected/infected with a virulent type of virus that was genetically modified to hide in a person's DNA so it is near undetectable (maybe prions or nanotech as opposed to a virus, but that'll be your call) and is able to affect rapid agin in whoever is infected.

That'll work.

Jayson Merryfield


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Marzo
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Poison hemlock, maybe? The conium genus grows in warm areas, and the effects of coniine poisoning are not so wildly different than something you might see in an old man.* Hemlock looks like fennel in the wild, so if it's something he accidentally ingested, that's explained. If it's something he was poisoned with, coniine is easily synthesized and could have been given to him.

*headache, unsteadiness, salivation, profuse sweating and a rapid heart rate (tachycardia). In severe cases the stimulation phase is later followed by a depressant phase characterized by slow heart rate, ascending motor paralysis, CNS depression and, ultimately, respiratory paralysis.

But I really have to say, I like Wolfe_boy's solution more. It's more interesting to me as a reader, and when you're creating your own probable solution, there's less chance some toxicology expert will pipe up with a beef about your story. Plus, less research time, and more leeway.


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AndrewR
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I also like Wolf's solution. The Writer's Guide book on poision mentions the one used in the story "DOA," about a man who solves his own murder. The incurable "phosphorous poision" he was given was made-up by the author. But that doesn't detract from the story.
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I am destiny
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I think I'll use White Oleander; it grows in Asia and looks like respiratory distress and cardiac arrest. It sets up a minor plot for book #3 and SO follows the story line. THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR HELP!! YOU GUYS ROCK!!!!!
~D

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HuntGod
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Use blue ring octopus poison it's nummy and good for you too!
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rstegman
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There is a genetic disease that children get that causes them to become old fast. I saw several of them on TV in the 80s and 90s.
If it is a naturally occuring genetic mutation, I am sure an engineered virus could have the same effect, making that change in the genes of the person.
This would not be a poison, but would have the same effect. These viruses can be engineered so as to not be contagious too.

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I am destiny
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Hemlock sounds good too, and it comes from northern Europe which would work too.

I love the ideas of engineered stuff; but the tribe that uses the poison just isnt that advanced. The guys that want him dead are, but the people they "hire" to do the job are just a "rival" tribe. So natural it is...

However I have 6 more books that could use a sub plot here or there. Thanks...
~D


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HuntGod
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The genetic disorder that causes "rapid" aging" is called Progeria.

[This message has been edited by HuntGod (edited June 19, 2007).]


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Matt Lust
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And (without seeming trite) Anti aging is technically called Antigeria


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Wolfe_boy
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I'll stick with good old fashioned geria then.

Jayson Merryfield


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debhoag
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in reading the previous postings (i.e. HuntGod) what about Protogeria as a poison that causes rapid aging? Something narrow spectrum radioactive that you swallow or are exposed to that stimulates the destructive free radicals exponentially, and then disappears without a trace. Microdoses over time could simulate natural aging. The only way to identify it? One of Darklight's ozone breathers kept in a cage in the same room (check out his ozone post).

[This message has been edited by debhoag (edited June 19, 2007).]

[This message has been edited by debhoag (edited June 19, 2007).]


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Sunshine
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There is more than one form of Progeria. In one form people usually die in their forties and in a more severe form they die as children (~12), both usually from heart attacks. With today's genetic research and a story set in the future, it wouldn't be difficult to manipulate a situation where an individual were "infected" with a severe form of this mutated gene (depending on your story needs).
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houstoncarr72
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I'd like the story more if you just invented the poison, instead of trying to find one. (Since you don't have to actually OBTAIN the poison, but only write about it, why does it need to be real?)


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Robert Nowall
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I think you might have to invent a poison. I remembered I do have a reference book: Deadly Doses: A Writer's Guide to Poisons. Appendix C: "Poisons By the Symptoms They Cause," lists a whole pile of symptoms---but I can't match any of them to symptoms of old age.

(I said I remembered I have this book. Actually I moved a pile of other books and there it was. Why I bought it, or even where, I can't say.)


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