22 June 2012, Development - Extrapolated Science in Science Fiction, even more Accuracy
Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.
I'm using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I'll keep you informed along the way.
I wrote in detail about how to study history and culture to write historical fiction. That moved to how to write about culture in science fiction, and now, I am exploring how to study to write science fiction.
Third, look at the sample size. This is related to the statistical evaluation of the data. For example, a sample size of 10 is worthless for most scientific studies--that is, unless the confidence is high. If I have a statistical confidence that lies within a 95% confidence interval with 10 samples that means the data are very good and the system proves the study conclusions. For many large scale tests of end systems, this kind of confidence and sampling is reliable. For instance in the flight test of an aircraft.
On the other hand, if I am talking about a clinical study for medicine, typically a 51% confidence interval is used with a sample size of XXX. You hope the sample size is at least in the 1,000s or 10,000s. Sadly, with many medical studies, you are lucky to see sample sizes in the 100s. Statistically, a 51% confidence interval doesn't even tell you if you asked the right question in your study--especially without a very large sample size. That doesn't mean that many or all medical studies are flawed--it just means you have to look closely at them. The same goes for cumulative studies--that is studies of studies. If the results of the studies are bogus, a study of study that includes them will be doubly bogus.
The next thing to look at is who wrote the study and accomplished the research.
I'll write more about science in science fiction tomorrow.
I'll repeat my published novel websites so you can see more examples: http://www.ldalford.com/, and the individual novel websites: http://www.aegyptnovel.com/, http://www.centurionnovel.com/, http://www.thesecondmission.com/, http://www.theendofhonor.com/, http://www.thefoxshonor.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.