14 June 2012, Development - Science Fact vs. Whatever in 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.
So, what is science fact? You don't have to go too far to read or see (movies) those who are capturing marginal science for the purpose of making money. The idea of global warming (or cooling) is passe. It's been written about in numerous science fiction books and shorts as far back as the 1930s. It is an extrapolation of the ice ages and the earth's warming periods. I read a more astute work from the 1980s (I believe by John Brunner) that described a planet with a warming problem due to industrialization. So science fiction authors have already pursued (too much in my opinion) the idea of global climate change. By the way, scientists don't usually refer to climate change (the definition of climate already includes change).
You can write all the books you want and congratulate yourself on being timely and you will be writing trite science fiction. The purpose of science fiction (in my opinion, but we'll get to that) is not to tell the world a message of doom, gloom, and future catastrophe. The purpose of science fiction is the same as all fiction--it is to entertain. Science fiction does its entertaining via a little different means than normal or historical fiction.
In normal or historical fiction, you are stuck with the world as it is (unless you are making up crap--like too many authors). In science fiction, you are working in the future as if it is today. This is what gives science fiction its power and its unique ability to entertain.
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/.