Edward M. Lerner Quotes.
Too much detail can bog down any story. Enough with the history of gunpowder, the geology of Hawaii, the processes of whaling, and cactus and tumbleweed.
I want to believe humanity has not forgotten how to explore.
History buffs expect historical background in historical fiction. Mystery readers expect forensics and police procedure in crime fiction. Westerns – gasp – describe the West. Techno-thriller readers expect to learn something about technology from their fiction.
Science works as a way to make sense of life and the universe. Hard SF as my preferred fictional genre just feels natural.
I like to think readers appreciate a well-drawn near-future as well as a well-drawn far-future.
The biggest fatal flaw in most fictional portrayals of nanotech – what sends those books arcing across the room – is ignoring that the nanobots need energy to do… anything.
Many a fine SF story uses science or technology merely as backdrop. Many a fine SF story presumes a technological breakthrough and explores its implications without attempting to predict how the thing might actual work.
Readers and viewers will differ about what’s totally standalone, what’s totally serially dependent, and what’s merely enriched by reading/viewing in a particular order.
Collaboration is a nice change of pace from the often solitary nature of the writer’s craft.
The scope of what I have to say determines the length of what I write.
I was only eight when Sputnik was launched, and at that age the boundary between science and fiction is pretty blurry. Whichever way the process ran, I’ve been a fan of science and SF ever since.
In mainstream literature, a trope is a figure of speech: metaphor, simile, irony, or the like. Words used other than literally. In SF, a trope – at least as I understand the usage – is more: science used other than literally.
I’m a physicist and computer scientist by training. I worked in high tech for thirty years as everything from engineer to senior vice president – for many of those years, writing SF as a hobby – until, in 2004, I began writing full time.
The distinguishing characteristic of the techno-thriller is technical detail.
A funny thing about near-future stories: the future catches up to them. If the author is unlucky, the future catches up faster than the book can get out the door.
The challenge – and much of the fun – of writing in an established future history lies in incorporating new knowledge while remaining true to what has gone before. Expanding and enriching, not contradicting.
Anything that can unambiguously represent two values – while resisting, just a wee bit, randomly flipping from the state you want retained into the opposite state – can encode binary data.
Happily, researchphilia is not the problem it once was. The Internet makes just-in-time research very practical.
Authors like reading. Go figure. So it’s not surprising that we sometimes bog down in the research stage of new writing projects.
The medical nanobots in my novel ‘Small Miracles’ tap the energy sources that the patient’s own body provides. That is, they can metabolize glycerol and glucose, just as the cells in our bodies do.
One doesn’t just wander unvetted into someone else’s epic interstellar future history.
I have to believe SF writers will continue to inspire the public to have faith in – to demand! – a future that is at least as big and bold as the past.
One of the bedrock principles of physics is the conservation of energy. In this universe, energy can be neither created nor destroyed.
Some books are serials, not to be mistaken for anything else. ‘The Two Towers,’ for example, ought never to be read in isolation.
It would help if human experts agreed on the meaning of such basic terms as intelligence, consciousness, or awareness. They don’t. It’s hard to build something that’s incompletely defined.
Lots of science fiction deals with distant times and places. Intrepid prospectors in the Asteroid Belt. Interstellar epics. Galactic empires. Trips to the remote past or future.
Time travel offends our sense of cause and effect – but maybe the universe doesn’t insist on cause and effect.