Friday, January 21, 2011

Science Fiction needs good science

I bought the book "The Writer's Digest Guide to Science Fiction & Fantasy" before Christmas.  I think it's a must have for new writers in this genre.  Orsen Scott Card does a complete section on how to write SF and Fantasy and he's a pretty good teacher!  One of the points he makes is that good SF writing requires strong science.  Readers of today's SF demand this or they won't read you twice.

I'm currently working on a novel about the International Space Station.  I plan on it being a series of 4 or 5 books.  I have been a SF fan since I was in Jr High and cut my teeth on Arthur C. Clarke and his contemporaries. I have always had an interest in science and the ISS has been a favorite subject of mine since I first read about it 30 years ago.  After all, haven't we all wanted to live in a space station?

I've been working on research on this novel, while finishing up another.  I came across an article in the Globe and Mail yesterday that I clipped and put in the ISS research file. It is too cool to believe, actually.  A company in Texas, Joule Unlimited, has patented a genetically modified E. Coli bacteria that can produce fuel on demand.  They claim to be able to use this bacteria, plus sunlight and water - it doesn't need to be fresh, potable or clean - to produce liquid hydrocarbons.  No foodstock is needed what so ever.  On a commercial scale, they think they can produce 800 barrels of oil per acre of production whereas you can only get about 350 barrels from an acre of corn. So, not only is this pretty cool technology to help us produce oil, it will be a great system to use on my ficticous ISS.  Good science tweeked to make a good story.

No comments:

Post a Comment