When sci-if meets science (Silversides)

Real Science inspires SciFi

This is exactly what I have been looking for in a the mask that my characters in the novel, Silversides, wear when they first land on Gliese 581 g to protect themselves against biologicals they yet do not have immunities for. It is so awesome to finally have a clear image, which makes writing a bit easier. The real science fiction is behind the concept of this mask, an artist’s rendition, of the research coming out of Denmark for a new material synthesized from cobalt to extract and store oxygen eliminating the need of oxygen tanks.   Now back to editing….

Excerpt from Silversides: Chapter Five

Kulcn stepped out from the shuttle with the bleed of oxygen rushing past him, the last of Earth’s oxygen as it diffused into the atmosphere. He paused to read the input on the lens before descending the ramp, and by the time his boots touched the ground the white microtiles of his suit and mask had turned a charcoal black to match the color of the sand. The other Silversides followed, their suits fluxing from the bottom up as if they had walked into a pool of black ink.

Alien sound coming from Mariana Trench

trenchOriginally reported by The Sun, Researches picked up an alien sound while their hydrophone was over the Mariana Trench.  Although whale like in nature, it does not quite fit the patterns of what researchers already know. To listen to this sound,  Click here.  Initially, they thought it might be a mating call from whales, but they are thrown off by hearing this sound year round.

There was a follow-up piece on Wired,

The mystery of the ‘alien call’ deep in the Mariana Trench is solved

which seems to indicate it is a Baleen Whale…. but the article does end with… “more data needed….. ”

It does make for good Sci-Fi, especially now that I have been working on a treatment called HUM, which is about an alien life-form that was attracted to Earth by its sound.   Yes, yes, I know… sound does not travel through space… but other signals do and who is to say what wavelengths aliens can hear.

Where ideas for Sci-Fi come from

My guess is that every writer of sci-fi has his or her special picking fields for ideas.  One that I often go to is, ZME Science with their tag line: not exactly rocket science.  I love this site for the richness of articles that cover everything from social to biological to astronomical and every thing between.   There are so many great ideas out on the Internet to seed the mind of a sci-fi writer.

silkworm

Here is an example and one that is quite interesting and quite resourceful on the part of the researchers; why make the machine that spins the thread, when it already exits.   My hat is off to Yingying Zhang and her colleagues at Tsinghua University on this one.

Silkworms spin super silk after eating carbon nanotubes and graphene

 

So it got me thinking.  I will use this concept in one of my works in progress titled, HUM

It’s about a former nuclear physicist who was fired from the Los Alamos Labs and is now on a federal watch list.  He appeases a local barfly by following him to a cave where the barfly claims to have discovered a new species of bat.  But what the barfly has discovered is not from Earth, setting the physicist on a crazy plan to save the planet from a hostile alien invasion, a plan no one is willing to listen to and one that will surely get him killed by the FBI, if he’s lucky….  for dying at the hands of the aliens would be ever lasting.

As hideous as I have already imagined my aliens, adding in the concept that they now have access to new materials has spurred my imagination to make my aliens even more horrifying.

Are micro black holes the next-gen nuke, business opportunity or transport system?

Miniature_black_holes13.8 billion years ago, at the onset of the Bing-Bang, primordial micro black holes the size of the period at the end of this sentence, may have formed.  Assuming that is true, then they are like cosmic bullets boring a hole through the fabric of time, passing through anything and everything in their path.  It’s a game of Galactic Roulette.

 

The original article can be found here:  Miniature black holes may be hitting Earth once every 1,000 years

But stop, here.  This is where it turns into Science Fiction.  So as a writer of Sci-Fi, I look for articles like this and think about how to form a storyline from it and came up with a few possibilities.

  • DoomsDayNow or Never: The new doomsday weapon that no one has ever used and the protagonists/antagonists are locked in a political battle at a time when they actually need to use one. I will leave the outcome to you.
  • BTrainB train:  Luke Killian was on his way to work, traveling downtown on the B Train in NYC when a micro black hole rode the track, taking the car and his fellow passengers with him. Where they were dropped off I will leave it up to you.
  • whirlpoolWhirl: (Hands off everyone…. this one I’m keeping for my own) A stubborn, slow-moving micro-black hole gets lodged in the ocean, just off of Atlantic City.  A permanent whirlpool becomes an attraction and business opportunity for those with foresight that not even the Donald thought of.  Blinded by greed, the consequences were not taken into account… the whirlpool is moving slowly toward shore.
  • FlushFlush:  Escaping from a maximum security colony on Xylon, through a micro black hole, the alien was deposited on Earth.

Now get writing everyone…….

Are you an Aspiring Writer? Read This.


When I left Corporate America to become a writer, I had received some excellent advice from a partner at the firm I was employed by. He had shared with me his most guarded resource for good writing, one that he kept closely by his side, one that he often referred to while writing a legal brief – Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses, by Mark Twain.

Upon leaving his corner office that day, he warned me.  “Download it.  Read it on your commute,” he said with a thin smile.  “But be warned,” he added, “you will laugh out loud.”

He was right on both accounts.  This is a brilliant piece of writing. Not only is this laugh out loud reading, it delivers so many important rules for a writer to follow.   One of my favorite things to do is pump this piece through the persona of my IVONA text-to-speech engine, Amy–in her stoic British accent–who gets me to laugh while serving as my muse.

Below is an excerpt from Mark Twain’s observations of Fenimore Cooper’s work.

“There are nineteen rules governing literary art in domain of romantic fiction — some say twenty-two. In “Deerslayer,” Cooper violated eighteen of them. These eighteen require:”
Here is my favorite from that list:

10. They require that the author shall make the reader feel a deep interest in the personages of his tale and in their fate; and that he shall make the reader love the good people in the tale and hate the bad ones. But the reader of the “Deerslayer” tale dislikes the good people in it, is indifferent to the others, and wishes they would all get drowned together.

Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offences, by Mark Twain

The Great Filter

What a perfect title for a Sci-fi… “The Great Filter”

TheGreatFilterOn a research note, this topic is what drives us to explore.    Has any species of the universe ever punched a hole through The Great Filter?  Is the Great Filter a stopgap for us… for any species preventing us/them from infecting the cosmos?    I recently read a novelette by Rann Murray called, Ascension.  In this hard sci-fi, Murray hits upon this exact topic; that maybe the stopgap is in of itself a living entity.

 

Here is a good TED Talk about The Great Filter.

More on this topic of The Great Filter

 

Immersion – The action of immersing someone or something in a liquid.

I am always looking for ways to become a better writer, through immersion, and this is a perfect example. I have been surfing my entire life, so I have first-hand experience with this feeling, but I can see this tech being used in so many ways, for so many things that I have no experience with.  How cool would it be to space-walk?

The Future was and can be.

ford-gyronThis was a two wheel Gyro car. A 1954 Ford Gyron, dreamed up by futurist Sydney Mead, who later went on to work with major studios on such films as: as Star Trek: The Motion Picture, followed by Blade Runner, Tron, 2010, Short Circuit, Aliens, Timecop, Johnny Mnemonic and Mission: Impossible III. (wiki)

 

I have said this often, but the 1950’s was a time of forward thinking, people looking out through the windshield instead of the rear view mirror.

So get out there and write, writer’s of Sci-Fi! Let’s lay off the dystopian past and get back to designing for the future…. But please don’t cancel the Walking Dead series…… LOL

Where do I get my ideas for writing sci-fi

GroveBar

I was chill’n at one of my favorite places tucked away in Port Salerno, FL called the Grove Dock Bar & Cafe.  In fact, this exact longitude and latitude was the inspiration of my upcoming sci-fi (Silversides) and where Chapter one starts in the year 2026.  This place is a BYOF (bring your own Food)… You provide the food, they provide the drinks.  Kind of tells ya how local and tucked away it is.GroveBar_2

A place where the view and ambiance normalizes the playing field for people of all social and economic circles– where at the end of the day we’re just people of the same planet all enjoying the same thing… a great conversation surrounded by simplest of things.

GroveBar_3I had brought an artist friend here for the first time last year and he fell in love with it, although, he sat down right in front of the mermaid holding up the roof and when he looked up he laughed, then said, “Kind of intimidating.”  He was 80 at the time but still managed to jump over the door into my ’62 Austin Healey Sprite when I picked him up. He scared the shit out of me, “Guy! Whoa… what are you doing?  I can’t even do that.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I always wanted to do that,” he smiled.  “Promise we can come back.”    When this el Niño takes a break and it warms up in southern FL, I will fulfill that promise to Guy.

So what inspires me for a story line?  I suppose the simplest of things.  For Silversides, it was this bar.  I came home one day and pounded out a complete chapter of what I thought it would be like here in 2026 with not a clue of what would follow. Five hundred pages later and 20 light years away, the first draft is done and editing is moving along nicely.  For November Seed, it was a common reed called Phragmites that launches all their seeds during the first cold snap in November. A private holiday for me.  Writing From Europa With Love, the inspiration was from a stunning image I saw on the internet of Jupiter’s moon Europa and a contest dare to write about it.  Inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere, you just need to look deep enough for it and not skim the surface.  When I hear writers say, ‘don’t know what to write about’, that drives me crazy.  I have five novels started with five more ideas waiting after that.

Here is a perfect example of something anyone can write about.  Watch this fantastic mini-documentary and learn what inspired the creator.  Then transport yourself to some remote outpost on a dust-blown rock of a moon where intra-stellar wars were fought and the moon was declared too dangerous for humans to colonize because of undocumented arsenals left behind.   And your protagonist finds herself here, clearing a plot for she and her fusion powered robotic dog to spend the only remaining time she has left.  In a place no one will come looking for her, and if they do, only she knows where all the nasty stuff lies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The difference between G+ and other social sites.

20160110_110557-1Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of questions from people, who do not know what G+ is about, asking me, “So what’s the difference between G+ and say Facebook or Twitter?”
I tell them, “Well, on G+ I would post this image and my caption would say something like, ‘What better way to start a full day of editing than to have a little protein for my mind in the form of a soft-boiled egg, a little toast for the carbs to keep my fingers on the keyboard and a little coffee for the caffeine to kickstart the process.’  and then I would end my post with a curiosity to the field, “What rituals do my fellow writers have?”
After that, I pause and let that sink in…
“Yeah, but you haven’t told me what the difference is?” they ask.
“Oh… yeah… On Facebook or Twitter, I would most likely split this up into two posts.
 
The First caption would say, 9:00 AM.  Cook egg.
The second post would then say, 9:03 AM.  Eat egg.”
 
…  Sarcasm aside, I feel the main difference is that G+ is a two-way conduit, whereas the other sites are social billboards for you to drive by, read, and choose to hit a Like button or not. This is not to say other sites are inferior to G+, it’s just that they serve a different purpose and I rely on all of them for what they are.
All that said, what rituals do my fellow writers take up to start their marathon writing/editing sessions”