So on the one hand, you say I'm building on reality and you don't need explanation. On the other, you find the concept of alien seeds a bit far-fetched to the point where it breaks my argument of need for expositioinal detail upon which to found the story. What's an author to do?
There is a difference between my work and what most people are doing. I consider my contemporaries to be Crichton and Lincoln & Child. These authors try to take existing scientific knowledge, give it a little fictional nudge, and give you a story where a predominant thought in your mind is "I can see this happening." That's the benchmark of this style, a story that you could see happening. When done right, you should have your non-science-following readers wondering if what you wrote is, indeed, current science.
The Rookie is a fun story. It's a cake-walk, because I can take the liberties that most of the "hard scifi" guys take. It's a warp drive. It's a space elevator. You've heard of this stuff before, so just take my word for it that it works and enjoy your story, dammit. That's what most hard scifi is, a theoretical idea with a bunch of thin, unrealistic characters thrown in as a backdrop. I can get away with factual murder there because we've all been weened on "re-calibrating the phase array" to solve any number of plot holes.
It's a different ballgame when you are using the real stuff to justify your story. The science in NOCTURNAL, for example, is sound. We're using real-life examples of inheritence, genetic drift and mutation to create something that is believable.
As for the seeds, I'll quote my father to say "you're wrong, fishbreath." DNA is at it's essence a collection of building instructions, do you agree? It's a blueprint that builds itself. If you could read and understand this blueprint, you could see all of the things that DNA will become. Again, agreed? Hard to argue with it, really, because we grow from that tiny spec of DNA into a replicatable, predicatble form with statistically insignificant variation. So it is a blueprint, and it could be read to see what it would produce, if we only knew how. You could also modify those instructions to build something else -- or have you never heard of a virus? Hijacking biological processes is a common thing in nature, so I'm sticking to the fact there, just extending the technology to a higher level. The factual basis for biological modification of cell reproduction is inarguable. At one point the Tower of London was thought the world's tallest building, but now our technology lets us make things much larger. The basic process of making a building is the same, but modern tech lets us take it to an extreme they Tower builders could have never imagined.
Okay, so that's the seed. Let's move on. As for the atmospheric survival, do you know the delivery vehicle? No, I haven't shown that yet. So do me a favor and give me the benefit of the doubt. Third, looking at the structure of the hatchlings, what is the most fundamental self-supporting structure? A tripod. Not us, we take constant balance modifications to even remain standing. A tripod provides stable structure, and if you were to make that tripod a pyramid, and put an eye in each plane, you've now got 360-degree vision, the perfect fashion accessory for the alien invader on the go. Finally, if you're going to set up a Turing Machine that can travel infinite distances, detect a habitable planet, land and set up shop, wouldn't you want all that effort to succeed? Well I would, but I'm crazy that way. To me, that means finding a way to identify sentient life. Sentient life is the only thing that has collected a large amount of knowledge about the world. It knows culture, geography, available technology, and -- most important of all -- it knows which other sentient life forms would try to destroy it. In war, the most powerful weapon is information. Knowing your enemy is how you defeat your enemy. If the seeds just infect any animal in a haphazzard fashion, will they survive long enough to build what they were sent to build? Maybe, maybe not, depends on the level of technology available to the sentient life forms on that planet. If I'm in charge of this operation, I'm investing in stealth and intelligence gathering as opposed to brute-force and exponential replication. And do keep in mind, the hatchlings are NOT the life form behind all of this! They are a tool to connect two points, allowing their original builders to travel distances that, at least in this universe, could not be covered by biological life forms in conventional modes of travel.
An as for mind control, it happens every day on this planet in numbers we can't even calculate. For some easily digestible examples, please visit my YouTube page and look at the parasite movies:
In many of these examples, the parasites actually MAKE THE HOST COMMIT SUICIDE. If you don't think a parasite forcing an animal to abandon the basic tenant of survival is mind control, then I can't help you see basic logic in the first place.
So, good thing for me I make the rules. If you don't like the exposition, skip it. You seem like a savvy enough reader to see it coming and skip over it.
The blatant audacity of you asking to modify the text to fit your desires is pretty impressive. You want me to create a second podcast feed, RSS data, PDFs, whatever, to make the book "read better" as opposed to the individual readers who don't like those portions just breezing them over or skipping them altogether. This argument really doesn't even make sense.
Get yourself a bottle of white-out and go crazy, then re-read, and enjoy!