All things probed

ProbesThe essential guide to space probes for Sci-Fi writers.  I love this site.

Remember the 1979 Star Trek: The Motion Picture where V’Ger, the alien entity, is identified and later revealed as the legendary Voyager 6?



Well, thanks to Ariel Waldman and Lisa Ballard of, this can serve any Sci-Fi Writer wanting to incorporate past probes into their works, here is a great reference.

Write about what you know – Bending the rules of invisibility (

cloakAs a reader of Sci-Fi, I want to know the author has some working knowledge of the subject and technology they are writing about.   Typically, readers of Sci-Fi are former technologists, biologists, mathematicians, chemists, etc. and have held Life Sciences positions in their career.  As a writer, trust me, your readers will get distracted from the story if the subject matter and technology is wrong and they are saying to themselves,

‘This is such BS and lame–it would never happen like that.’

What you want your readers to be thinking are thoughts like,

Yeah, that’s farfetched, but plausible…’ or ‘Wow!  It could happen like that…’ or ‘Very clever, I hadn’t thought of it that way.’ or the ultimate complement, ‘Man this author knows their stuff and must have been a rocket scientist in their previous life.’

Case in point.  I am currently working on a Sci-Fi novel called, Silversides and in the opening draft, I referenced a starship that had been traveling through space for fifty-six years, undetected:  The easy way out is this:

If visible, the object would appear rectangular and windowless. If scanned, it would not appear to have mass; light simply passed around it, like a razorblade moving silently through the vacuum of interstellar space.”

I came across a great post on, by Kyle Pollard, on invisibility, cloaking and the rules for bending light to serve authors of Sci-Fi, a referencing starting point.  A more appropriate use of my above example, having watched the video clip from Kyle’s post, by the University of Rochester, could be something more attuned to this:

“The ship known as KC-B-581 was cocooned in a holographic lens; bending light around it like a razorblade moving silently through the vacuum of interstellar space.”

So write about what you know and if you do not know it, know where to look.  OffWorlders will be a great reference for me.

To read more and follow other great posts on, click here.


Binaural Audio

When my novella November Seed  reaches the large screen, I am going to insist it gets recorded in binaural audio.  I think the close proximity of the characters and scene tightness, especially in my favorite scene where Dan and Matt are in the woods of the Adirondacks, would work very well with this tech, without looking or sounding like The Blair Witch Project.


When writing about space travel, seeing is believing

This is such an excellent video for a writer to get an idea of what traveling through space, at the speed of light, might be like.   However, there is a paradox here. If you were traveling at the speed of light, you would not have a concept of time or speed; but as a writer, you are trying to describe it.

What put things in perspective for me, was at the 8:23 mark, when Earth and the Moon come into play. That, you can write about. The rest is so abstract, but gives you an idea of just how vast the universe is. Light seems slow in comparison.

Click here to read the full article

Click here to learn more about the artist, Alphonse Swinehart

Click on the image below to play the video and sit back for 45 minutes.