Science Fiction can be categorised by how much science is in it. Some hard SF books are written by people who have science qualification and try really hard to have genuine science in their books, or a plausible extrapolation of what real science might achieve in the future. I'm currently reading a book with so much detailed science in it that it goes right over my head, but the book is so good that I'm still absorbed in it. The science lends authenticity, even though the story is set thousands of years in the future and a lot of it must be made up.
I write soft SF. There is very little science in my books because I'm more interested in the characters and how they deal with the problems they face. If you read a novel set in modern day, you don't expect the author to explain how a car works, just because the hero drives a car. In the same way, I don't see the need to explain how a space ship works.
Now my latest novel Alien Secrets is finished, my main focus shifts towards the launch. So I decided it was a good idea to do some science research before I get stuck into the new book, working title Crisis of Conscience. I love to write, and I love to read, but mostly science fiction. It’s easy to put off ‘serious’ reading, so I've decided to blog about what I learn to make sure I actually do the reading!
The first book is called Entering Space: Creating a Spacefaring Civilisation by Robert Zubrin. He is an internationally renowned astronautical engineer and the acclaimed author of The Case for Mars. NASA has actually adopted his humans-to-Mars mission plan. Part of the blurb says:
Zubrin delivers the most important and forward-looking work on space and the real possibilities of human exploration since Carl Sagan’s Cosmos.
The science in the book is quite detailed (equations!) but I’m managing to get the gist of it. I’ll be sharing my discoveries in the weeks to come.
Ann Marie Thomas is the author of four medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, is out now. Follow her at http://eepurl.com/bbOsyz