Idea sleet ahoy!
Ages ago I had the idea for a detective-esque story set in Prehistory. Oetzi, the ice mummy discovered in the Alps, seems to have been killed by a blow to the back of his head with a blunt object. Otherwise he was alone. It would appear that we are dealing with a murder. Some form of murder mystery in such a time is therefore not totally improbable given the enormous level of societal sophistication we can find evidence for. However, I have steered away from indulging it because of the immense amounts of research such a thing would require.
I mean, I would first have to read the Clan of the Cave Bear series by Jean Auel before even knowing where to look to find the sort of things I would need to actually write anything of merit. Then there's the issues of language, of pan-European movement and climate to consider. It gets complicated fast.
I have been doing quite a good job of avoiding thinking about it as a viable idea in the run up to this year's madness. Then Radio 4, yes I am officially that old now, decided to do a number on me. There was this show on whilst I was waiting in the supermarket carpark and there was someone on talking about the possibility that homo-sapiens and Neanderthal Man may well have interbred and inter-mingled as separate species. They came from a common ancestor and were cut off by an elongated glacial period when some got trapped in Europe and some got trapped in Africa. This meant that the original homo sapiens would almost certainly have been black whilst the Neanderthals would have been stockier, stronger, whiter and likely red-haired and green-eyed according to the studies done on their genome. It would appear as though red-hair in homo sapiens was brought, perhaps, by interbreeding with Neanderthals, though studies have been entirely inconclusive - not even correllation!
It would therefore be fascinating to write about that period and to postulate on the interaction between two such different species as they met. The lady on the show did a fine job of setting up a scene whereby they would spy members of the opposite species for the first time, separated by a couple of thousand years of development and having similar size brains and capacity for speech the difference would not have been insurmountable. Furthermore, given the relatively short separation in evolutionary terms, they would have been able to interbreed and may even have shared linguistic roots!
Exciting. But not possible for NaNo?