Eric James Stone joins us for a discussion of hard science fiction. We begin with a discussion of definitions, and then we take care not to spend the whole episode just talking about that. We talk about what we like about hard science fiction (with examples) and of course we address the crux of the matter: can you write hard science fiction without having a degree in the hard sciences?
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 17:57 — 12.3MB)
Think of a way to combine two technologies that are currently not combined, and weave them into a story.
Bowl of Heaven, by Gregory Benford and Larry Niven, narrated by Zach Villa
Joel Shepherd joined Brandon, Mary, and Howard before a live audience at GenCon Indy to talk about writing hard science fiction where the science in question is social science. He’s studied international relations, interned on Capitol Hill, and is working a PhD in the field. His books reflect this background.
If hard science fiction is an exploration of what is technically, physically possible given a set of circumstances, hard social science fiction is no different. Further than that, however, good research in the social sciences will allow an author to build complex and realistic plots, stories in which character motivations go much further than picking a side.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 16:06 — 11.1MB)
Pick two people on the same side of a conflict, but give them completely different motivations for fighting on that side.