Science in Science Fiction

There are people out there who will pick apart every little science factoid included in your story.  They do it with Star Wars and Star Trek, they’ll do it with anything.

I was on a panel titled “Putting real science in your science fiction.”  Surrounded by engineers and scientists, all I had to hide behind was a 30 year old degree in computer science.  Sure, when we spoke about artificial intelligence and the future of computing I felt comfortable in adding my 2 cents.  Also, I could point out examples of where some writers got it wrong.

Near the end of the panel we were asked to give references to find useful science facts for fiction.  My panel-mates listed off magazines, books, and technical documents.  When my turn came around my first thought was Popular Science, which I do read.  But then I added YouTube.  I assumed this would be looked down at by the others, but when I mentioned: One Minute Physics, another panelist responded with,

“I love One Minute Physics.”

We exchanged a knowing smile.  Another added in,

“And, Space Time from the Goddard space center.

It was my turn to respond, “I love Space time.”

Finally I felt a bond with the rest of the Panel.

If you are going to write science fiction, these are two resources are wonderful and real scientists love them.  I especially like the Space time video on why we should colonize Venus instead of Mars.  If that sounds crazy then you should watch the video.

Happy Learning,

Timothy O. Goyette

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1 Comment

  1. Timothy,
    In sci-fi, hard science isn’t necessary but a vivid imagination is. A lot of today’s science fact was once considered impossible. When Jules Verne wrote “Around the World in Eighty Days,” it was considered impossible. How long does it take now? “From Earth to Moon” back then was believed impossible. Now we’ve been there more than once.
    David of Dogpatch

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