It Wouldn’t Be That Way

But first, a quick update:

Writing is happening, but it’s mostly finishing up The Flip of a Coin instead of working on The Turn of a Phrase, which is my NaNoWriMo project. I am not going to win NaNoWriMo this year, but I’m not going to look at it as a failure. I’m going to finish the novel over the next few months, then polish it and maybe enter it into the Zebulon next year.

SciFi Q of the Day 2014One thing that often surprises me when I post a SciFi Question of the Day is how many people claim “It wouldn’t be that way…” on something that is postulated. One example is when I talk about a space station, many people assume it will be government run, small, and lacking in resources. At the moment, that kinda describes the ISS. It’s run by a co-op of governments, it’s small, and the resources are precious. However, it won’t always be that way. We’re a long way off from something like Elysium or Babylon Five, but a large-ish station with a significant civilian population is almost within our grasp. Many of the folks who comment on the #SFQotD postulate their own circumstances when they answer a question. “Well, if it’s in orbit around Venus…” or “If we’re talking about something size of DS9 with artificial gravity…” and that leads to some fantastic discussions! But every once in a while someone pops in with a “But it can’t be that way…” backed up by the fact that, at the moment, we don’t have the tech to do the thing.

I loved the Steampunkish idea in The Phantom that advanced communication would take place using a system of vacuum tubes threading throughout the city. They didn’t postulate today’s electronic communication. In any good Science Fiction, there are very few things that can be dismissed as “That couldn’t happen…” when talking about advances in technology. We never know when science will take a strange turn and open up new possibilities we never imagined!

As a SciFi author, it is my job to explore the what ifs in our existence. Although the 20th century prophets did predict many of the advances in science and tech we enjoy today, their intention was not to accurately foresee the future, but to postulate what could be. I want to postulate as widely as possible. That’s partly why The Cities of Luna is about not one  city, but many, and Tumbleweed is a conglomeration of modules. They all have quirks. Many of them have aspects that make some people say “But it wouldn’t be that way!”

You know… it could.

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About AmyBeth Inverness

A writer by birth, a redhead by choice.
This entry was posted in Commentary & Musing, NaNoWriMo, ROW80, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to It Wouldn’t Be That Way

  1. edslapdesk says:

    As a fellow Science Fiction writer I see the ‘it can’t be that way’ argument all the time. It drives me nuts.I think I’ve always tried to answer your SFQOTD with an open mind and some degree speculation. All those of us who write on the ‘softer’ side of Science Fiction can do is let it pass and keep on with what we are trying to accomplish.

  2. It’s not really even about the technology (what might be), not directly anyway. The best stories explore how individuals and societies *adapt* to the technology. What do they take for granted? What does that person do automatically without thought that would seem odd to us? How have interpersonal relationships evolved by the technology/environment/habitat?
    Do this right and it hardly matters if the technical science is that good or not (steam punk for example – not that I’m a fan).

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