2016-05-08

Rambling

Update
My wife is making fair progress on her proofing pass of Dragonverse Origins. Although she does not have a lot of spare time, she's been doing an average of one chapter every day. In the meantime, I've started Peacekeeper 3. So far, the growing novel has 2,600 words. Not a huge number, but at least I've started it.

Last weekend, myself and 3 other local authors rented a spot at the Oddmall event in Akron - about an hour's drive from us. There were a lot of people, we handed out a huge number of business cards, and we even sold a few books. I sold a total of 7 during the 2-day event. A few days later, I noticed a small jump in sales. It is possible that some of the people we met and gave cards to followed through and purchased a book online. Was the event worthwhile? Depends. It was fun, I met some interesting people and put my name out there. I even got some writing done. But from a business point of view, it was not cost effective. Figuring in the cost of the books to myself, food at the event, my share of the space, and the money earned from books sold (even figuring in the spike in ebook sales), it cost me more than I made. This was an experiment and I doubt I will repeat it.

Rambling
I sat down to write this post with nothing in particular in mind. That's really not a good thing. The truth is, I've been quite busy and haven't had time to actually think about what I might be writing about. So, just now, a moment after I typed the first sentence in this section, I've found my topic. I'm leaving the heading though because that would be cheating.

I try to write science fiction that contains as much factual information as possible. The science is stretched but it is believable because it is based on what we know today. Take metallic hydrogen for example. As far as I know, we've never been able to produce it in our labs. Even the characteristics of such a bizarre material are speculation. But it's speculation based on science. Metallic hydrogen is believed to be a room temperature superconductor - the Holy Grail of superconductor research. I use it in my stories because even though it's impossible to make today, it might be possible to make in the future.

Peacekeeper 3 begins with an extraction of an Omel biomaster from deep inside the Bluespring caverns. I've never been there. To give the book some reality, I've fired off an email to the cavern's information center and I hope to have a reply back that's detailed enough for me to make sure that what I write is accurate. The Omel are from a planet that orbits a very small red dwarf star. I will be enlisting the help of fellow Launch Pad alumni to come up with a detailed description of the Omel homeworld. Accuracy here will require some knowledge of astrophysics.

To write believable futuristic novels, a writer must take what is known today and expand upon it to build the future. Sometimes we are wrong. Sometimes we nail it. Take Star Trek as an example. They had portable computers, warp drive, transporters, and communicators. Today we have computers that fit into your pocket. They started out as a flip-phone which, in essence, functions like the communicator on Star Trek. These devices are much smaller and far more powerful than the original Star Trek devices predicted but Gene Roddenberry nailed that technology.

Transporters are actually being worked on today but I feel such technology has too many issues and will never be used as portrayed in Star Trek. Warp drive, however, is a different story. We are constantly learning more about extra dimensions and how spacetime can be altered. There are a few scientists who are actively working on the math behind a functional warp drive. The stardrive in my novels has been heavily influenced by Star Trek's warp drive only because I believe it is a viable method of allowing us to exceed the velocity of light. I am confident that the human race will one day be traveling the stars - provided we don't kill ourselves off before then.

To be a science fiction writer you need to keep current with advancing technology. This is not easy because there are few sources of information available that combine it all together. Many years ago, there was a magazine named High Technology. I read every single issue because it talked about the advances being made across all areas of human knowledge. It was a wonderful source of information. Then, the editors decided to try to focus on the business aspects of the science instead of the science itself. After the second issue, I canceled my subscription. The magazine went out of business shortly thereafter. Now, I get my information from several internet sources. If High Technology were available in print today as it originally came out, I would sign up in a heartbeat.

Time to post this and get back to working on Peacekeeper 3.