>> Saturday, June 26, 2010
In the novel I’m working on, which is clearly percolating in the back of my mind because I keep bringing it up here, I started out with a space accident. Now, when it comes to science, I am mostly a dabbler in most of the heavier sciences: biology, chemistry, quantum physics, particle physics, electromagnetics, etc. I have an excellent grasp classical physics and orbital mechanics as well as a good understanding of most of the engineering fields. I don’t write really hard science fiction for the very good reason I’m not qualified to do more than try not to through the laws of physics, etc. out the window if I can help it. But, once in a while, something I write wanders into my bailiwick and I go to town.
Space accidents fit. I understand, as I mentioned, orbital mechanics and was kind of stoked about doing something really science-y after my sword and sorcery novel was completed.
I had a binary planet system (like Pluto and Charon, only larger, more earth sized), with some gravity fluctuations as a result and other wobbles and quirks. I played with a magnetic field and unusual radiation (which helped screw up the ship as it crash landed, solved some problems for me and accounted for missing on the landing by several km). Finally, a little candy for the geeks.
Only, when I had a few people read it in a forum, they all said the same thing: lose the prologue it sounds like Star Trek. Aside from the fact that my physics is better on any given day than Star Trek’s (OK, that hurt a little), I was using my mission control console as a guide, not a show. In fact, one reader decided to chastise me having the captain call out commands to positions not names (though this is standard practice for Mission Control and, according to my understanding the Navy, too). I still maintain, as much as I love Star Trek (not for its science), every space oriented story is not the same..
So, in the end, I had to excise it. Painfully. My geek moment, set aside. *Sigh*. I kept a quick blurb so people had some sense of what was happening and kept the original in a different file. I figured I could add it as an appendix for those wanting a geek fix.