Space News and World Building Discovery

Sorry I’ve been away for so long. I’ve been working through a mess of ideas.

First off, here are some news articles I’ve been collecting this week that are sure to spark some creativity. I’ve been on a real Science Fiction – Space and Science bent so that’s what these links will be about:

Planet Could Harbor Water and Life (Apr 2007)

Trickle of Planet Discoveries Becomes a Flood (Nov 2007)

Future of Commercial Spaceflight Uncertain, but Promising (Dec 2008)

Space Flight Driving Evolution (Jan 2009)

3D Modeling Shakes Up Planet-Formation Theory (Jan 2009)

Dramatic heating of ‘eccentric’ planet (Jan 2009)

Kepler Spacecraft to Hunt Earth-Like Worlds (Jan 2009)

Becoming Homo-Evolutis (Feb 2009)

Not a news article, but rather a website that will: Turn your Computer into a high powered Telescope.

Second, I think not blogging is the side effect of having your brain re-wired.

I’ve heard other authors talking about how to build worlds before. The kind of worlds that draw your reader in and make them crave for more. These authors spoke of backstory; the stuff you need to know about your world/characters/etc but that doesn’t get explained to your reader within the first 30 pages. They also spoke of how you must make your world real – real in the sense that you know how all the little things work together in your ecology and that your government system is Feudalism and not a Monarchy (and what the difference is).

For my novel “Ice Debt” I understood the political structures and history of the opposing force and how that influenced the other parties in my novel. I knew who was trying to kill who and why. And I understood what principles kept the two main groups against the opposition from fighting along side each other. You would think that I knew my world.

However I read a book last weekend that made me see I didn’t. At least not completely.

“Mistborn; the Final Empire” by Brandon Sanderson is the first book in a three book fantasy series. It’s a really fun book to read, and by that I don’t mean that it’s necessarily happy only that the writing was very good and make it enjoyable. The magic system in this world was detailed with rules of what you can and can not do that it felt more like science than magic. While the writing and the story are good, they are not what changed my mind. It was a small simple detail.

This book spoke directly of the economy the world, its ups and downs and how it affected the characters. This was something I’d never seen in a fantasy book and rarely in a science fiction (or perhaps just not the ones I’ve read). This detail wasn’t a prominent part of the story but it was factored into the discussions that the characters had. And why would they? Almost all societies as we understand them must contain some sort of payment system and this system would be affected by the ebb and flow of economics just like our world just different (Example: good times – money flows into the coffers of the king, bad times – the king banishes more people).

Economics was what I had missed in my book. Nature has a cycle and chain reactions, politics/ societal structures and personal relationships do too, but I had missed a cycle that affects us just as much.

Funny how one little thing can make you see things in a different light.

So what will I be changing in my novel to incorporate this new lens? Actually, not much. When I assessed my world I realized that the main characters and their people worked on a trade and barter system. The opposition however would have an economy similar to the one we use today in the real world, but my book doesn’t present an opportunity to showcase that.

My book may have been just fine without coming to the realization that I hadn’t included Economics, but I feel better knowing that I’ve covered as many things as I can think of to make my world as real as possible.

That’s all for now. I promise to post more often. Cheers.

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