You daren’t make it up
One of the things I’ve learnt from writing a novel is that it’s not a sufficient excuse to justify unconvincing aspects of a plot by saying that something like that happened in real life. It’s the job of the author to make the implausible sound, if not plausible, then at least not jarring or undermining to the narrative. I was repeatedly reminded of this when I received comments from editors, and later from readers and reviewers, on events and situations in The Sun and Moon Corrupted that I’d taken straight from life. But I would never have dared invent something apropos of the mysterious red mercury, on which parts of the plot hinge, that was as bizarre as this story, brought to my attention by Ivan Vince. Is nothing too strange to be associated with this stuff?