13 June 2012, Development - Science Fact, Soft and Hard Science Fiction
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.
I wrote yesterday about the difference between soft and hard science fiction. This is what I wrote: within all "real" science fiction, the author begins with the basis of scientific truth and extrapolates future science from there. This is where we begin to break science fiction into the "soft" and "hard" varieties. The soft variety does not break the known rules of science truth (fact), but it doesn't usually attempt to explain or detail the extrapolated future science. Hard science fiction, on the other hand, dives into the details of the extrapolated future science and provides some degree of explanation.
Simply hard science fiction explains and soft science fiction doesn't. Both begin with scientific truth. So, in scientific truth, space ships always use vector and orbital mechanics to move in space--they don't bank. An aircraft banks because of aerodynamic forces in an atmosphere. There is no sound in a vacuum--no sound in space. Objects have inertia and mass but not weight in space. A parsec is a measure of distance and not speed or time. Everything has to follow the rules of Newton, Heisenberg, and Einstein. Quite simply, if you want to write science fiction, you must know science, and it doesn't matter whether you are writing soft or hard science fiction.
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/.