Tag Archives: science books

Writing Science Fiction with Science Resources

7 Mar

Science fiction, by definition, has science weaved within the story, but as a science fiction writer, I often get asked where my inspiration comes from. Where do I learn about science? Do I have a science background? How does one get started when pursuing science fiction? All great questions!

There are many ways to find inspiration when tackling science fiction. First and foremost, you’re going to want to figure out whether you’re writing hard sci-fi or soft sci-fi. As the name suggests, hard science fiction typically requires more rigorous research; the science has to make sense and have strict, believable rules, whereas soft science fiction is a bit more lenient. After that, you’re going to want to study sub-genres, such as space opera—like Star Wars (though you could make the argument Star Wars is fantasy, not science fiction)—or cli-fi (climate-centered science fiction, such as The Day After Tomorrow).

Decisions aside, science will come into play, so where do you start?

Many get science fiction inspiration from, well, reading and watching science fiction. And that’s totally valid. But aside from reading the latest science fiction books, or watching that hit near-future TV show, there are more resources out there—and you’re going to want to expand your knowledge if you want your story to stand out from what’s already out there.

Magazines & Newsletters

I’m lucky enough to work in a library, but I’m especially lucky that my library provides free magazines. Subscriptions can get expensive; even the online versions can cost money. But I can pile up a collection of science journals and magazines on my desk every month for free. (Here is my plug, asking you—yes, you—to go get a library card.) I love flipping through magazines like Wired, Scientific American, and Discover, not to mention magazines covering topics I’m not so great at, i.e. fashion. (I mean, clothes have to exist in the future too, right? But I digress.)

If you don’t have access to magazines, there’s always the online sphere. One of my favorites is Futurism. Articles cover quick, trending topics, as well as some obscure, bizarre news. You will absolutely feel inspired by all the weird, possible, amazing tech out in the world. And who knows? Maybe you’ll dream up your own.  

Podcasts & Audiobooks

There are some awesome science podcasts out there, and most of them are free. Some also have Patreons where they offer additional content. My favorite is Flash Forward, a podcast that explores future tech as if it already existed. They start with a “play” in the time of the tech, and then talk to experts about all the nitty gritty details that go into it. An episode I recently enjoyed was CRIME: Moon Court. There’s also the Ologies podcast, a comedic science podcast that explores all the different “-ologists” of the world. Did you know there are experts in procrastination for instance? Listen to this episode of Volitional Psychology, and maybe you’ll find ways to stop procrastinating on your scientific research. 😉  

Similar to podcasts, there are always nonfiction audiobooks. Last year, I enjoyed Astrophysics for People on the Go by Neil DeGrasse Tyson and The Rise and Fall of Dinosaurs: A New History of Their Lost World by Steve Brusatte. Two starkly different topics. And yet, I learned so much—all while doing the laundry and dishes.

Channel your inner three-year-old: Ask why, why, why, why

Let’s pretend for a minute that audiobooks, magazines, and podcasts don’t exist. Do you know what you still have? The world! Science is happening all around you every day. I mean, how does your coffee pot heat up? How do those lights at work know when to turn on when you enter the building? Why do those clouds look purple and bumpy today?

Ask yourself why and how about anything and everything—and then, look it up. Read everything you can on it. Or dream up your own world’s explanation.

Science is often found in the little everyday things all around you.

Discover truths. Discover possibilities. Discover the future.

Discover science.

~SAT

P.S. Sandra Proudman and I started a new weekly hashtag on Twitter called #LiftABookUp. We announce themes on Tuesday and spend Wednesdays lifting up books we love. I hope you’ll join us to chat about science fiction books on March 11! Find Sandra Proudman @SandraProudman and I’m @AuthorSAT

You might also notice that I have a new headshot. I recently chopped off seven inches of hair. (YES, SEVEN INCHES.) So, I figured it was time. I managed to get my favorites in the pic: coffee, cats, and world domination (for cats).

If you’re new around here, I post a new article on the first Saturday of every month. Let me know what you want to hear about next in the comments below, then check back in on April 4. If I choose your idea, you get credit!

Website Wonders

28 Sep

Announcements: 

In the latest review, The Bookie Monster highly recommends Take Me Tomorrow, and you can read why by clicking here. But here is small quote: “Once this story gets rolling, which is right in chapter one, you have to just keep turning the pages. It wasn’t my plan, but I read it in an afternoon.” If you want to check out my latest novel, click here for Amazon.

Website Wonders: 

Every month, I share all of the websites I come across that I find helpful, humorous, or just awesome. Below, you’ll find all of September’s Website Wonders categorized as so: Reading, Writing, and Inspiration Art and Life. Between each category is a photo. If you enjoy these websites, be sure to like my Facebook page because I share even more websites and photos like this there.

Enjoy!

Reading:

23 Science Books That Are So Exciting They Read Like Genre Fiction:

List of Newspeak Words from Orwell’s 1984: I’m a huge George Orwell fan, so this was really neat to read.

Which of the All-Time Top 100 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Books is Right For You?: I love, love, love this. It is so much fun to explore from various answers.

A Clever Visual Representations of Famous Quotes

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Writing:

How to Structure a Story: The Eight-Point Arc: A very basic way to start off writing if you want to study the structure of writing.

Free Landing Page Images: This was sent to me by CEO of Users Think, John Tuner, and it includes 99 free images for authors to use as covers.

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Inspirational Art and Life:

37 Photographic Proofs That Iceland is a Miracle of Nature: I found these to be both beautiful and shocking!

28 Magical Paths Begging to be Walked: Sent to me by reader, Steven Sanchez. (If anyone ever finds articles like this, please send them to me! I love them.) I found these photos to be a wonderful, mid-day escape.

24 Unusual Beaches You’ve Never Heard of Before: I’m stuck in Kansas, so this is what I end up looking for when I want to be on a beach.

DNA tests ‘prove’ that Jack the Ripper was a Polish immigrant named Aaron Kosminski: How could you not find this article fascinating? It might not be true – it might never be 100% solved – but the new evidence is pretty neat to read about.

This Man Found A SECRET Tunnel in His House. And It Let to a MASSIVE Underground City! What would you do in his position?

Have fun internet diving!

~SAT

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