Beam me up, Scotty!

hard sci-fiWhat is it about Science-Fiction that bothers you? What just drives you insane? For some, it might be the technicalities. For others, the idea that you have to have aliens. What is the biggest thing that gets under your skin? If you’re not a sci-fi junkie, what’s preventing you from really getting into it? If you’re already addicted, what’s one thing that wears on you about the genre?

For me personally, it’s the old-school science-fiction. You know, the alien invasions where Earth is en route to being destroyed and suddenly a hero appears and beats off the invasion. Some stories can pull it off, but…it’s annoying to me. The reality is that Earth would almost always be taken over. I guess the impracticality of the situation prevents me from really getting into some of the old-school material, the traditional forms of science-fiction. On top of that, it annoys me when writers make up words that sound like gibberish. If I can’t wrap my mind around it, I don’t like to read about it, and so many old-school authors liked to create this strange weapons or weird warp speeds that just…don’t sound real. If you have a nanolaserwarp gun that can stun from 57 millijoules worth of power, I don’t wanna read your book.  I try to keep things simple, and if it’s something that isn’t readily explainable or automatically understood, I try to explain it. Now, if it’s a language, I’m cool with made-up words. 🙂

Some names are definitely real, like cryotanks and nanobots. Before, those would have sounded so strange, but they’re real. It’s when things like cybertoniolite or sub-zero grafterbeam guns pop up that I begin to question an author’s legitimacy. They sound cool, definitely, but what are they? If I can’t relate it to something in this world, I won’t write it. My readers wouldn’t understand. Now, something like a wire travelling from the surface of a planet to a space station above: believable. Or, cryotanks, to use an above example. It’s explainable. As long as it’s something that can be written in terms an everyday reader, like me, can understand, I’m cool with it.


Other than that little quirk, I’m a total junkie. What about you?


About S. G. Ricketts

I am a dreamer. This page holds all of the dreams and desires and hopes and wishes of the first of my two dreams: to share my imagination with the world. For those of you who have read a book or written a book, these stories are not merely words on a page. They are living, breathing creatures, worlds so compellingly real that you can smell the sweat and feel the rain. This is what I want to share ...with all of you. Yes, becoming rich and famous would be fabulous. I won't deny that. However, it would be so much more satisfying to see my book in the hands of someone on the bus, hear my book talked about at a restaurant, see a cluster of fan-art. I want to inspire the mind to imagine different worlds and different situations. If I can achieve that, I will have achieved my dream.

Posted on September 21, 2011, in Musing, writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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