Why do I love Science Fiction?

Lots of reasons actually. I love being able to stretch my imagination and explore interesting and esoteric concepts. I like extrapolating political and scientific developments into the future. I like the fact that we can take things from history and manipulate them into a story idea for a different colonial world. I like the idea of starflight and starships and maybe even faster than light travel. I know that last one is a stretch, but I love the idea. I am constantly watching the scientific circles for someone to come up with an idea that will allow for faster than light travel. I like the idea of a future for mankind, spread out among the stars, not just trapped on one world. I like that some of the concepts I’ve seen writer’s come up actually blow my mind!

Don’t get me wrong, I like other genres, but there is something that resonates with me in science fiction. Maybe it’s the science. Cosmology has always been fascinating to me. The funny thing is I think science fiction is what fueled my interest in science which went full circle and now the science fuels my interest in science fiction. I was in junior high when Star Wars came out and it changed my view of the world. I wouldn’t be in the job I am now if not for that movie.

However, I have issues with the current state of affairs in the scientific community. I see all over television and the internet how man has solved the problem with explaining why our universe seems to be flying apart faster and faster. Or that they are very close to understanding most of the fundamental laws of physics. Okay, you caught me, this is actually going to be a rant on physics. I have issues specifically with Dark Matter and Dark Energy. I think it’s lackadaisical physics. We can’t see it or actually find any of something that makes up 70% of our universe? I honestly think there are some fundamental mistakes being made by a lot of really smart people that seem to be jumping onto a bandwagon. It couldn’t be that they screwed up the way they measured the bending of light from stuff that is really, really far away. It couldn’t be that they have under valuated the gravitation force.

I saw someone post a list of different scientific theories that are the current hot topics a few weeks ago and ran a poll on how likely people thought each one was. The results of their unscientific poll were interesting. The views varied as much as the topics, and physicists and engineers and really smart people are far apart on their opinions. Stuff like Supersymmetry, Inflation, String Theory, Dark Matter, Higgs Bosons, and a couple of other things made the list. It just goes to show how far we are from really understanding a lot of these issues. These are hard issues that they are grappling with, no doubt, but what gets me is how they are being presented to the public as solved, when not one single thing on that list was solved to any degree of certainty.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2011/02/07/do-you-think-inflation-probably-happened/

I’m going on the record to say I don’t believe in Dark Matter or Dark Energy, at least not in the way it is being represented. I’m not saying we know every type of matter in the universe, but I don’t think we are missing 70% of something. I think it’s more likely that we are missing something in how we are measuring gravity. I think the red shifting of some of the black hole distance measurements are wrong. They are basing their entire theory off of a handful of extremely long measurements. These measurements are telling them we are missing an enormous portion of our universe somewhere. It seems much more plausible that they measurements are wrong. I’ve always been a science geek, and still love it, but come on folks!

OK, rant over. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. We now return you to your normal blog.

 

Clear Ether!

 

It’s much easier to edit someone else’s work!

This week I had something nice happen. I connected with a new writing partner! I’m very excited about it. She is a little farther along in the writer metamorphosis, she has two novels completed already, but has agreed to work with me. We shared some of our chapters and did line edits for each other and it was very eye-opening. I met her over on Natalie Whipple’s blog: http://betweenfactandfiction.blogspot.com/

She set up a Writing Buddy matching thing, which seems to have really taken off and is no longer on her sight. I feel very fortunate to have wandered over there at the right time.

I learned that it is much easier to edit someone else’s work than your own. This is likely for at least two reasons I can think of off the top of my head. First, it is material you aren’t familiar with. I can tell you my first chapter has been edited so many times I’ve lost count. I’ve rearranged it half a dozen times also. I’m intimately familiar with the story, so much so that I have a hard time seeing it clearly now. It really pays to have a fresh set of eyes on it.

The second reason it a little more esoteric. It’s not my story, and I have nothing emotionally invested in it. I haven’t spent 3 years toiling over it and stroking it and coaxing it to life. I can see sentences and structure and see things that are slightly confusing because I don’t know what the writer had in mind when they created it. As the creator you know the entire story of every character, at least as far as you care to. You know what they are thinking when you’re in their head, but the reader only sees the words and sometimes as writers we can get a little lost in there. It helps to have someone able to show us where the dots aren’t connecting properly.

I hope you have a writing buddy, if you don’t I am highly encouraging you to get one. We’ve just started working together and I am already reaping the rewards of that contact.

Good luck in your writing!

Clear Ether!

 

Valentine’s Day Tribute – How I turned my Military SF into a PR Space Opera

When I started planning the current WIP, I didn’t have any romance in mind at all. It was going to be straight up Military SF. I don’t think I even had any major female characters. As the ideas percolated I changed the sex of one of my major characters to a female, and then hit on the idea for my MC as a vampire and the entire scope of the book changed completely as did the POV. I had in mind to do a first person story from the vampires POV.

A lot of time passed in the real world while all these gyrations were going on and in the midst of it my wife started reading again. When I say she started reading again I mean she started reading voraciously. It all happened more or less simultaneously with me trying to develop my story arc. She started really getting into the paranormal romance books.

Twilight started it all. It was like an entry level drug, which leads to stronger stuff. Then she got me to read some of the stuff she was reading and I found that I actually enjoyed a lot of it. I’m particularly fond of Patty Briggs’ Mercy Thompson books, and Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series, and I even read most of the Archeron books by Sherrilyn Kenyon. At some point in there I realized that if I could develop a story arc with some romance in it the appeal would widen and it would also allow me to bring in an entirely new POV that would let me explore more of the universe I was creating. That was when the current outline materialized.

I have two main characters, one male and one female. I had the idea of a Y shaped story arc, chasing both POVs until they intermingle to form a single plot line, allowing me to bring in some romantic elements and defining the course of my sequels. I had never written a female perspective before so it was challenging to make her feminine but not a caricature. I really started studying the personalities of some of the woman I work with. I work with female pilots and my female lead is a pilot. What I discovered over the course of the last couple of years is that men and women can have similar personalities and similar interests. I can find a woman that if I just described her likes and dislikes you might think it was a guy. I have also met men that were the opposite. This was a bit of a relief, but on the other hand I have to keep the reader in mind and what their expectation might be. It’s not completely defining, if I write her well enough I should be able to sell her regardless of the things she’s interested in, but it freed me to take her some places I might not have otherwise.

Doing the romance part and not rushing it is not as easy as you might think. I think most of us can remember those first moments when we knew we liked someone or the big moments like when we got engaged or married, but how well do you remember all the intervening steps. It’s like a dance and you need to draw it out and make it last a bit, tantalizing the reader and delaying the gratification as much as you dare. I’m still in the middle of that part and I’m working hard to get it right. The nice part is I think about my wife a lot, since I know I did some things right in our courtship.

Think about your significant other this week and try to do something special to remind them how much they mean to you. I hope you all have a great Valentine’s Day!

 

Clear Ether!