6 thoughts on “Guest post: Science Fiction? Or Science Fact? by Paul Lell

    • morgenbailey says:

      Me too, Yvonne. Although I love technology, I was never science-orientated at school. In fact my physics teacher told my parents (at the first parents evening) that I should give up physics. I gladly did at the first opportunity! Favourites were English language and art class so I ended up in the right field.

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  1. Ian Miller says:

    I am a scientist, so the science comes a little easier. I think one important rule is not to go too far outside your comfort zone. As Paul says, readers do not complain if you postulate a new motor that allows you to travel at hitherto unknown velocities, but they will grumble if you do it by some obviously impossible way. I personally think that readers may be interested if your explanations are based on real science, with a little vague arm-waving for the extensions. There are also rules to how science develops, and it helps if your extensions look as if you are obeying them. That takes a little more explaining than I can put in a comment, but the thought might be a guideline for those who can see what I mean. If anyone is interested, I could post a blog on it sometime.

    One of the weirdest things happens when you realize that your postulated extension might just be right. I have done that twice. One went totally outside the fictional use, but ended up in a published scientific paper, and the other is in my e-novel, Red Gold. In this case I thought it desirable not to put the explanation in the novel itself, because you do not want to bore those who are not interested, but I simply stated the conclusion in the novel, and put the explanation in an appendix for the benefit of those interested.

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  2. jjalleson says:

    Yes, more dilithium crystals please!

    Sci-fi was my first love as a child, and it’s never left me. I’m always scribbling odd theoretical comments, especially those that discuss quantum mechanics, but I feel a little closer with these tips to producing a feasible sounding story.

    Thanks for sharing this info Paul; and to Ian for that useful input.

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    • Ian Miller says:

      Dilithium crystals are an interesting example. Dilithium (Li2) is a real molecule, and it occurs in the gas phase. Unfortunately, if you try to crystallize it, it spontaneously forms, er, ordinary lithium metal. However, that did nothing to quench enthusiasm for Star Trek, although by itself it probably raised a few groans from those who knew, so the take-home message is, good stories will overcome such blunders!

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