HeliKnow Services Pamphlet

I received this in the mail!

Basic nuclear genome sequencing: 30 credits – you provide the DNA, and we do the rest! HeliKnow will record your complete genome sequence, the unique pattern of A-T-C-G that makes you you. Our high-throughput DNA sequencing technology yields rapid, confident, and confidential results for less than zero-zero-zero-zero-zero-zero-zero-one credits per nucleotide. What a bargain!

Notice: to provide optimal service, HeliKnow only analyzes blood samples. Cheek swabs are unacceptable.

Gold package: 60 credits – our most popular package! Your genome is egregiously confusing. Luckily, we speak DNA-glish! Trained HeliKnow technicians will interpret your genes in a layman-friendly report that includes:

1)  Ancestry

2)  Major phenotypes

3)  Health risks

4)  Terminal genetic disorders

Remember, unlike our competitors, HeliKnow respects client confidentiality.

Notice: technicians are not prophets. Please purchase our fate package to foresee your death.

Fate package: 1000 creditspalm readers are charlatans. Only DNA can speak to fate. Deus Helix has hidden messages in every double helix that writhes inside your body. Using proprietary bioinformatics analyses and rituals, HeliKnow prophets will scry your destiny. Ask, and ye shall receive. Common questions include:

1)  Will I be powerful?

2)  Will I be rich?

3)  Will I fall in love?

4)  Will my lover betray me?

5)  What are my lucky numbers?

6)  Why do we suffer?

7)  Are you sure that’s the right answer?

8)  How horrible. It’s not fair. Why?  

Remember: your fate is confidential! At HeliKnow, data mismanagement is punishable by absolute termination.

Optional fate package “expiration” feature: 500 credits you are going to die, and we can tell you all about it during your session with our prophets. Learn where, when, how, and why you will perish.

Notice: a one liter blood tribute is necessary to scry your death.

Platinum package: 10,000 credits – defy fate. HeliKnow can improve your genome with proprietary mutagenic and viral vector technology. Erase the dark portends written in your genes and replace them with wealth or love. Stop aging; our technicians can lengthen telomeres, strengthening body and mind.

Notice: you cannot outrun death forever. Deus Helix is an author, and we are all imperfect drafts of Its masterpiece. With every generation, inheritance and mutations draw us closer to perfection. But countless speciation events separate Homo sapiens from immortality. No human will survive this universe.

Indeed, no human will survive this millennium.

Volunteer opportunities: stop being human. Our great prophet sings the sacred Deus Helix genome. Once she finishes reciting Its glorious sequence, we need volunteers. From egg donors to biochemists: come one, come all, and help clone Deus Helix. A lucky few will be transformed, their bodies enhanced with demigod genes. Your sacrifices ensure the betterment of humankind. Don’t miss out! The great prophet may complete her recitation this very hour!

Notice: volunteers work pro bono, but HeliKnow will compensate volunteer families for funeral expenses, when necessary.

Church of Deus Helix: free and priceless – join our congregation. Worship with us. Listen to the great prophet sing Its genome. Spill your helices upon the red altar. Evolve!

Notice: all congregants must sign a confidentiality agreement.

Thank you for choosing HeliKnow for your genome sequencing needs!

Maybe I should apply to HeliKnow after I graduate. Their benefits seem very cool.

((This is a piece of fiction.))

2016 Story Roundup!

Somehow, while writing my dissertation about phytoplankton genes, I had time to publish a few stories! BEHOLD! My precious fiction!

  • “Black, Their Regalia” – Apache and Navajo musicians save the world (or die trying). Published in Lightspeed Magazine’s POC Destroy Fantasy! Contains hope during the apocalypse and righteous friendship. 4100 words. Available free online 12/19/2016.

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  • “Né łe!” – an Apache veterinarian makes difficult decisions – and falls in love – during a puppy-tastic disaster en route to Mars. Also known as “that story with 40 Chihuahuas in space.” Published in Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time, an anthology of indigenous SF/F. 4200 words.
    • Goodreads (with plenty of reviews)
    • Né łe! was mentioned in reviews of Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time by Dr. Debbie Reese, Polenth Blake, and Bogi Takács.
    • Spotlight by LGBTQ Reads
    • For award consideration requests, please contact me via email (darcielittlebadger @ gmail . com) – I recommend reading the whole anthology, though, since it’s overflowing with wonderful stories by indigenous writers.

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  • “Our Laughing Gale” – High fantasy about horrifying secrets. Winner of the Spirit’s Tincture inaugural issue flash fiction contest. Free in Spirit’s Tincture #1 (digital) About 950 words.

Little Badger Talks Pow Wows, Regalia, and Other Things That Aren’t Magic

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From left to right: my uncle, my mother, and a child version of me.

Do y’all remember when dictionary.com described a pow wow as “(among North American Indians) a ceremony, especially one accompanied by magic …”? If not, here’s an article from ICTMN that describes the incident: Dictionary.com: A Pow Wow Is An Event Where Indians Practice ‘Magic’

Look, I’ve danced at countless pow wows, been dancing since I could walk, and we aren’t doing magic. To me, they’re about family and good times. Similarly, the outfits we wear during pow wows aren’t costumes. They’re regalia.

Cloth, beads, buckskin: my mother makes all my regalia, an act of love and sacrifice. Mom has a genetic form of generalized dystonia; it sends painful spasms through her body. Her legs, her arms, her fingers. Thousands of beads on my crown, thousands of sacrifices she made for me. When I wear my regalia, I honor my mother, my grandmother, my great-grandmother, all the women who fought, suffered, and triumphed so I could thrive.

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The glorious diatom crown! I wrote more about it here: A Mermaid’s Crown

Each time I had a growth spurt as a child, Mom made me a new jingle dress. First, I danced in blue, then turquoise, then blue, then pink, then iridescent rainbow (my personal favorite), then purple. Once I matured, Mom sewed my traditional camp dresses with ocean-themed patterns; she made me a fringed shawl lined by seashell ribbon. I wore my regalia – blue camp dress and beaded moccasins – when I graduated from Princeton. The vibrant blues hid under the black graduation robe. When the other students threw their caps into the air, I tore off my robe, as if shedding chains.

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Princeton graduation (2010). Can you find my *real* regalia? Look for blue and yellow fish. Don’t ask about the horror book.😛 I got bored. Photo by Diana Chien, my graduation buddy!

Our regalia aren’t costumes. Our pow wows aren’t magic shows.

This December 1st, my short story, “Black, Their Regalia,” will appear in Fantasy Magazine’s POC Destroy Fantasy! In fact, it’s the cover story! Loooook! Destroy ahoy! “Black, Their Regalia” is about three Apache/Navajo metalheads who either save the world or die trying! As you’re reading (and you WILL read it, right? right?), keep in mind that the story *is* fantasy – The Plague Eater is my invention – but pow wows are *not* fantasy. I’M TALKING TO YOU, DICTIONARY.COM!!!!!

Blog Reformatting in Progress!

Oh, wow! A post! It’s been a long time – what happened? Did I meet a cursed teapot again?

Naaaah, I just finished my dissertation and moved from Texas to Connecticut. New Year’s goal accomplished, just in time for the next one.

I’m cleaning up posts this week (checking links to make sure they work, adding more images if needed, including “update” sections, etc) so some posts may be turned private until 2017. Nothing to worry about, I’m not being hacked.

Expect a few writing-related posts in the near future!

My Blue Sargasso

When my mind is unoccupied with science, it becomes troubled. O, how I yearn for the depth and quiet of the Sargasso Sea. There, I fell in love with the ocean. On a research vessel battered by the mid-Atlantic gyre, beneath constellations without names. Landbound, I’d never seen a sky from horizon to horizon. It’s a remarkable thing, this bubble around us, this little skin against oblivion.

What can I do when the oblivion finds a home within me? Dream of ginseng tea, saltines, and a blue that could swallow me if I let it.

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View from the RV Atlantic Explorer

Nightmare 7/8/2016

I died during a nightmare. It’s never happened before.

One caveat: I almost never dream about myself. Likewise, 99% of my dreams unfold in imaginary places, made-up cities, ruins, worlds. However, last night was different. I dreamed about the A&M campus (where I work), and I was Darcie. So here’s the dream. FYI, this post is a diary entry, not a piece of creative fiction. Hard to tell with me sometimes …

Anyway, I’m about to describe a nightmare, so proceed with caution. No gore. Themes of death. Possibly boring. Bananas are bananas. Etc.

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