Cutting edge science in science fiction

IMG_0174I have now reached a timeline in my Alysian series where I have to peer into the future for what tech might be current in my stories.

This is fun.

At best, it’s a guess…but an informed guess, as I investigate a lot of the interesting science research going on currently.

Check out Ray Kurzweil’s newsletter for what scientists and researcher are now working on. http://www.kurzweilai.net

In my current novel, Touching Crystal, out in November, (fingers crossed),  I use micro robotics to enable a rescue of two kidnap victims that are being held on one of Alysia’s moons.

This was a fun scene to write. So, imagine my delight when last week the newsletter came out with an article on current research in this field.

http://bit.ly/17K5epK  Check it out.Microrobotics

There’s also been a lot of talk about discovering Earth-like planets with the recent Kepler Mission that wants to find “Goldilock” planets habitable for humans.

This was a theme in the most recent novel by Ben Bova called Farside.  I had not read much Ben Bova, and especially not recently, so this struck my fancy.

Ben Bova is a six time Hugo award winner, former editor of analog, editorial director of Omni and past president of Science Fiction Writers of America.

So, worth a mention.

How could I lose?

FarsideFarside is located on the side of the moon that never faces Earth and therefore is an ideal location for building an astronomical observatory. Telescopes on Earth have detected an Earth sized planet circling a star that is less than ten light years away…but is it habitable? Is there an atmosphere? Can it support life?

But building on Farside is a dangerous undertaking. An airless surface, constant bombardment by radiation, 270 degree temperatures, incoming micrometers…

And those are the easy challenges…

Competing jealousy, a chief researcher who is hell bent on winning a Nobel prize, tangled politics, love and murder all up the ante.

Someone lets loose dangerous nanomachines that used in the body can make one immortal and protect against radiation and disease, but if configured another way they eat through certain metal.

And on the moon that can be extremely dangerous.

Say murder.

I found this particular story one that I really wanted to enjoy. It had all the elements in it, but I had a hard time believing some of the characters or getting involved. I did find myself rooting for the plodding Grant Simpson, the construction engineer who does most of the work, but is considered just another “grunt” by those he serves.

I found it hard to believe the chief of research and leader of the project could be so obsessed with winning a Nobel prize that he was willing to jeopardize his project.

And I found the writer and editor in me trying to analyze the writing. Bova writes smoothly, describes adequately, but somehow the characters felt like they were being moved around on a game board that had an obvious ending.

Still, I do want to introduce Ben Bova because he is so prolific and has won numerous awards for his writing.

The Exiles TrilogyTwo other novels that got higher reviews were The Exiles Trilogy and Star Conquerors.Star Conquerors

I might give him another chance and read one of these…and report back. Anyone else out there have an opinion here?

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2 Comments

Filed under Ben Bova, Best selling science fiction, Classic science fiction, Cutting Edge Science ideas, Discovering new a Earth, Hard science fiction, Hugo winners, Microbots in science fiction, Novels that take place in the moon, Political Science Fiction, science news, The moon in science fiction

2 responses to “Cutting edge science in science fiction

  1. At least it’s not just me who finds that some of the most prolific and acclaimed (i.e. awarded) science-fiction dinosaurs write rather bad fiction. I’ve come to be skeptical about Hugo award winning novels.

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    • And rightly so. Perhaps politics involved?

      However, I’m getting discouraged by what I’m finding in the Indie community. Everyone touts his or her own book as the next great thing, and I am finding them less so.
      Where’s the great science fiction?…aside from our own, of course.

      Like

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