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Shiny_Penguin
04-12-2005, 11:52 PM
Anyone know much about poisons? I need to have one character poison another. I would like something that works a little slower (like a day or two with symptoms) and could be mistaken for someother natural cause. This is a fantasy novel, so it could be a completely fictional substance, but I would like it to seem realistic. Anyone have a good resource?

T42
04-12-2005, 11:58 PM
Anyone know much about poisons? I need to have one character poison another. I would like something that works a little slower (like a day or two with symptoms) and could be mistaken for someother natural cause. This is a fantasy novel, so it could be a completely fictional substance, but I would like it to seem realistic. Anyone have a good resource?Laura, the seed inside the hard pit of the peach is like cyanide. It has actually been used in some cases for people with cancer in small portions. It can kill if you take too much!

T42
04-13-2005, 12:00 AM
You could always make homemade peach icecream with lot's of seed:)

MadScientistMatt
04-13-2005, 12:04 AM
Here's an interesting web site on traditional poisons.

http://www.portfolio.mvm.ed.ac.uk/studentwebs/session2/group12/contents.htm

Shiny_Penguin
04-13-2005, 12:18 AM
Dang you guys are fast! Thanks!

mdin
04-13-2005, 02:16 AM
I own the world's coolest book on this subject.

Deadly Doses: A Writer's Guide to Poison (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0898793718). It's easily the best book in that series, and I highly recommend it.

Shiny_Penguin
04-13-2005, 05:57 PM
Just searched my library's database and they have it. I love being able to search the catalog and reserve books online!

Liam Jackson
04-14-2005, 01:04 AM
I also own the book mentioned by Navigator. Highly recommend it.

Maryn
04-14-2005, 07:02 PM
I own the world's coolest book on this subject.

Deadly Doses: A Writer's Guide to Poison (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0898793718). It's easily the best book in that series, and I highly recommend it.I've heard from multiple sources that while Deadly Doses is good, it contains several mistakes (which you could sidestep by confirming that the facts are as stated with the poison you've chosen). Worse news: every writer who uses poison has the same book, simply because it is good, so that agents and editors have seen its material many times.

Of course, it's what you do with it that matters. Poison away! (Okay if we use your child as my food taster?)

Maryn, ever so suspicious!

Liam Jackson
04-14-2005, 09:27 PM
The same poisons do pop up in numerous materials/books but if you started today and wrote a scene containing just one compound from just one of several well-known books you'd likely be writing on that book for decades. Or, you'd have a tech manual instead of a novel.

Posions/firearms/explosives...it's not so much what you use in the story, it's how you use it. One of my "specialites" is improvished explosive devices. I will never accurately describe the methodolgy of manufacture or identify the correct measurements/components. I will, however, mention some of the common elements if the story calls for it.

Most common example of a popular book full of errors is probably the first edition of "Anarchist Cookbook" ...full of recipes for all sorts of nasty compounds and devices, and I would suspect at least a quarter of them, if not more, are in error. Close, but no cigar. (Thankfully)

As a fiction writer who may use that book as a resource, I don't have trouble with the inaccuracies, provided the mistake isn't glaring. RE: someone describes a culture methodology for salmonella when it's actually a process for another well-known pathogen. By the same token, I don 't want to read a passge in which the hero "drops the magazine from a .357 model 66 S&W revolver and fires off another 15 rounds."

Of course, this again begs the question, "How techincal do we really want to be, anyway?"

Maryn
04-14-2005, 11:50 PM
One of my "specialites" is improvished explosive devices. Dammit, Liam, how many times do we have to tell you? No bomb-making when you've been drinking!

Maryn, who couldn't resist

soloset
04-15-2005, 01:47 AM
What about ethylene glycol? It's found in antifreeze, photographic developing solutions, etc. It's odorless and tastes sweet.

http://www.embbs.com/cr/alc/alc7.html

Apparently, it's a poisonous cousin of another substance which serves all the same purposes but isn't poisonous and is used in food. So the poisoner could claim it was an accident, that is, if the poison is even detected -- the initial symptoms are apparently somewhat flu-like, followed by congestive heart problems a day or two later, then the kidneys go.

Liam Jackson
04-15-2005, 06:45 AM
Dammit, Liam, how many times do we have to tell you? No bomb-making when you've been drinking!

Maryn, who couldn't resist

*Hic...What was that, Maryn? :Cheers:

Shiny_Penguin
04-15-2005, 05:34 PM
Well, again this is for a fantasy book, so I may just make up my own fictional poison. BUT I wanted to find out how different poisons affect the body and what symptoms they have so it will be more realistic.

Anaparenna
04-22-2005, 06:11 AM
For a medieval fantasy setting you might try the mushroom family. Lots of insidious little interlopers there that look just like their harmless cousins. :) Of course, if that's too cliche for you, read up on the Medicis. Here's a website for ideas (http://www.portfolio.mvm.ed.ac.uk/studentwebs/session2/group12/16th.htm), but I'd check references on it. My favorite (and one I used in a medieval fantasy story once) are poisons on coins or other hand-held objects that seep into the skin. If your character-to-be-poisoned handles something in particular every day, you might consider putting a poison on it. (Something akin to The Name of the Rose (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0151446474/qid=1114135631/sr=2-3/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_3/002-9904413-4187265), perhaps.)



I wanted to find out how different poisons affect the body and what symptoms they have so it will be more realistic.

I have Deadly Doses as well, and use it every now and then for just this reason: to create fictional poisons by using a guide for real poisons and how they act on a body.

ScottAJohnson
04-22-2005, 06:56 AM
Remind me never to make any of you folks mad...:faint:

soloset
04-22-2005, 07:03 AM
Remind me never to make any of you folks mad...:faint:

Given that I have an entire shelf devoted to forensic sciences (including a book or two on poison) and a book case filled with mysteries... if anyone ever died suspiciously in my general area I'd probably be sent up the river on general principles.

What about a poisonous plant, by the way? Hellebore or bog laurel spring to mind. It's amazing how many plants in the home are poisonous. From now on, whenever I kill a houseplant, I'll call it a preemptive strike.

ScottAJohnson
04-22-2005, 08:01 PM
From now on, whenever I kill a houseplant, I'll call it a preemptive strike.


:roll:

Shiny_Penguin
04-25-2005, 05:30 PM
What about a poisonous plant, by the way? Hellebore or bog laurel spring to mind. It's amazing how many plants in the home are poisonous. From now on, whenever I kill a houseplant, I'll call it a preemptive strike.

I knew there was a reason I kept killing every plant I got!

I thought about plants and I think that's where I'll go. It can't be anything that would get in the system through the skin. See, the guy's son unknowingly poisons him. He is told the substance is a magic potion to bend his father's will to his own, when it is really poison.

ScottAJohnson
04-25-2005, 05:49 PM
What about a poisonous plant, by the way?

I know a little about this...
Oleander (yes, the pretty tree) leaves, when steeped in a tea, creates a powerful seditive that, when taken in large amounts, will kill. Other common household plands that'll send you off to the pearly gates include Mountain Laurel, which will make you hallucinate toward the ending stages of death, and Datura, commonly called Angel's Trumpet. Datura itself isn't deadly, but is a powerful hallucinigen that can cause you to do some bad things to yourself. Fun times to be had by all. Also, there's the old standby that many people don't even realize they have growing in their yard...Belladonna. POWERFUL seditive from a beautiful flower. My dad grows it...

Shiny_Penguin
04-26-2005, 12:02 AM
What about ethylene glycol? It's found in antifreeze, photographic developing solutions, etc. It's odorless and tastes sweet.

http://www.embbs.com/cr/alc/alc7.html

Apparently, it's a poisonous cousin of another substance which serves all the same purposes but isn't poisonous and is used in food. So the poisoner could claim it was an accident, that is, if the poison is even detected -- the initial symptoms are apparently somewhat flu-like, followed by congestive heart problems a day or two later, then the kidneys go.

Oh, I overlooked this one somehow. This would be perfect, except there's no antifreeze, etc in this fantasy world. But those are the symptoms I wanted-- something that would mimic another cause, like the flu. I guess I could use the symptoms and not name the poison. The poisoner will not know what they heck he's giving his father anyway, just some magical potion.

soloset
04-29-2005, 03:09 AM
Oh, I overlooked this one somehow. This would be perfect, except there's no antifreeze, etc in this fantasy world. But those are the symptoms I wanted-- something that would mimic another cause, like the flu. I guess I could use the symptoms and not name the poison. The poisoner will not know what they heck he's giving his father anyway, just some magical potion.

That's what I was thinking -- it could originate just about anywhere. A frog that hibernates under ice that secretes a powerful toxin to protect itself -- or just from a simple flower or leaf.

The symptoms are what really jumped out at me for it, well, that and the fact that it's apparently sweet.

Susan Gable
04-29-2005, 04:52 AM
I own the world's coolest book on this subject.

Deadly Doses: A Writer's Guide to Poison (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0898793718). It's easily the best book in that series, and I highly recommend it.

I have to second this. What an excellent book!

Susan G.

jdkiggins
04-29-2005, 06:58 AM
Originally Posted by XThe NavigatorX
I own the world's coolest book on this subject.

Deadly Doses: A Writer's Guide to Poison (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0898793718). It's easily the best book in that series, and I highly recommend it.




I'll third or fourth that. I have this on my reference bookshelf.
:D Used it just today as a matter of fact. Great, great information.

Fern
05-03-2005, 04:23 PM
You might do a little research on blowfish. I watched a movie just yesterday where poison from a blowfish was used to inject into the victim and it is supposed to cause symptoms like a heart attack. All that info from the movie. . .I'm supposing they did their research!

BradyH1861
05-03-2005, 07:43 PM
Dammit, Liam, how many times do we have to tell you? No bomb-making when you've been drinking!


That's why I always thought it would be fun to be an ATF agent. My three favorite things....Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms! But wait, they don't let you use them all on the job though do they.....

Oh well, I think I'll keep the job I have.

Brady H.

ScottAJohnson
05-03-2005, 08:40 PM
You might do a little research on blowfish. I watched a movie just yesterday where poison from a blowfish was used to inject into the victim and it is supposed to cause symptoms like a heart attack. All that info from the movie. . .I'm supposing they did their research!

True enough. Also, blowfish (also called the pufferfish and the Fugu, depending on where you are) is one of the primary ingrediants in Hatian zombification powder.

Ara
12-28-2005, 12:02 AM
I know a little about this...
Oleander (yes, the pretty tree) leaves, when steeped in a tea, creates a powerful seditive that, when taken in large amounts, will kill.


I could be wrong, but isn't only the white variety of Oleander?

pdr
12-28-2005, 06:08 AM
If you're looking for natural type poison that the son could accept as typical of the things a mage would use how about something like yew or hemlock?

You could use the bark or leaves of yew and the leaves of hemlock. Have it dried and shredded in a herbal tea! I believe the yew berries are not poisonous (Sorry, can't check as I'm on a deadline and shouldn't be here!) but you could invent a tree with poisonous berries that look like something harmless. (Eg Indian bead tree berries and olives.)

Hemlock looks very like angelica and you could perhaps invent two plants that look similar and only one of which is poisonous.

Both yew and hemlock have the victim slowly fading away but you can increase the dose and have a more sudden death!

Ara
12-28-2005, 06:16 AM
I like the last suggestion! It definately sounds like it would fit perfectly in a fantasy novel.

waylander
12-29-2005, 02:02 AM
Laburnum seeds. Look like pea pods and are poisonous though it would probably take repeated dosings to kill an adult.

Elijah Phoenix
01-02-2006, 09:53 AM
Good thread. I'm invitin the ex over for dinner tonite.

smallthunder
01-02-2006, 05:15 PM
Good thread. I'm invitin the ex over for dinner tonite.

Uh-oh.

"Honey, please pass your father the fugu -- "