Writing science fiction – more free tools for the trade

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In my latest post (here) I’ve suggested a couple free MOOC in order to acquire more knowledge about selected matters, the idea is to keep myself in touch with the latest development of science and to suggest the same to my fellow writers.

This concept may apply in many different fields of writing, like thriller or mystery, and it’s not only about what will happen tomorrow but it’s also about what is going on today – in order to get the feeling of what will happen tomorrow.

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Writing science fiction – free tools for the trade

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One of the biggest challenges for a writer who wants to write science fiction is to be up-to-date with the most recent developments of real world science, not to mention the constant upgrade of the speculations about the nature of our universe. We all know that a science fiction novel (or whatever format) is not an essay about some peculiar field of science. We also know that without enough scientific (or para-scientific) elements in the story we’re not writing science fiction but some kind of fantasy (that’s not a problem, of course, but we’re talking about sci-fi right now).

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Three little probes and the writing universe

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No, it’s not a fairy tale. What? No, it’s not about some weird experiment in fringe science. It’s a summary of my first serious try to enter in the English-speaking fiction market, with a few things that I’ve learned in the process.

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Travel in Space – approaching a Solar system

classic spaceship

In the science fiction genre, spacefaring is a common trait. We see every kind of spaceships going thru and forth a wide variety of worlds, usually using two kinds of propulsion systems: one for travelling between systems (FTL or dimensional) and another for travelling inside the destination system (sub C velocities).

But what happens when a spaceship approach a Solar system?

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Ghost in the Shell, the return of cyberpunk

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Back in the ’90s, the Cyberpunk genre was the place to be for sci-fi lovers like me. Every fan got his/her own favorites and there was a lot of debate about the works of writers like Bruce Gibson and Pat Cadigan (not to mention a thousand others!). Dystopia was the name of the game and some sort of post-apocalyptic world was accepted as the most likely perspective of our near future.

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Planetary romance – the Hero and the romance

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Here we are, finally to discuss the main drive of this subgenre. The romance, the ever-complicated love story between the hero and some inhabitant of the new planet. It was and it is a pivotal key to the main plot and the source of too many similar subplots, usually motivated by the presence one or more rival. It is also the main factor directed to a larger audience, usually not attracted by sci-fi stories. In the canon, we have the hero, his/her love interest (usually an important member of a local society) and an antagonist (again, some local VIP); can we do anything against the canon? Or this part of the plot simply couldn’t be modified?

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Planetary romance – the journey of the Hero

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One of the key moments in the genre is the arrival of the hero in the new planet; it’s a well-oiled plot device and gives way to a number of actions that will set the pace for the novel. After the arrival, our hero will need to quickly adapt to the new world and discover his/her role in the local society (start of the main quest). In the classic works of the genre, the journey is usually something worth a few lines of description and, optionally, some mumbo-jumbo in a pseudoscientific tone. The same happens for the return of the hero, where the mysterious phenomenon that connects Earth and the new planet is set to work backward – usually after a secondary quest dedicated to retrieving one or more useful objects to make it work.

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