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  1. #16
    http://rob-sanders.blogsp Rob Sanders's Avatar
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    So there seems to be two contradictory messages coming through the different comments. What do we think? Are science fiction publishers / readers looking for known quantities in terms of sub-genre and setting etc or on are they on the look out for something fresh and new?

  2. #17
    I like SF. SF is cool. Steven L Jordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Sanders View Post
    So there seems to be two contradictory messages coming through the different comments. What do we think? Are science fiction publishers / readers looking for known quantities in terms of sub-genre and setting etc or on are they on the look out for something fresh and new?
    I think publishers are definitely hunkering down and avoiding new literary ideas that will rock the boat. The fact that the staid literary conventions still sell well would indicate that most readers agree, and want the same thing they've always had. This leaves readers looking for something new, but at present, I think they are in the minority.

  3. #18
    I like SF. SF is cool. Steven L Jordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Sanders View Post
    Lots of great discussion on here about what is being written in the Science Fiction genre. As a writer I'm also interested in what isn't being addressed. In general terms, rather than specifics, what isn't being explored in the Science Fiction genre that you feel should be? : )
    (I realized I've never directly responded to the original post.)

    I'd like to see more realistic depictions of life on Earth as time passes and alters the ecosystem beyond our present comfort-range. Stories of this nature tend to go to the overly-extreme, and therefore not very realistic.

    I've struggled myself to create what I consider realistic space-based stories: IMO, FTL is unworkable, generation ships are impractical, and going to space (beyond our solar system) seems pointless unless we have a reasonable way to get there. I finally developed a workable concept and wrote two novels around it, but I have yet to see many other novels that take the same tack.

    And, of course, I'd like to see more stories that seriously investigate the likely physical and social changes to humans who continue to develop their technology, go to space (if possible) or find other ways to live and work.
    Last edited by Steven L Jordan; July 17th, 2012 at 04:21 PM.

  4. #19
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven L Jordan View Post
    I finally developed a workable concept and wrote two novels around it,
    What concept in which stories?

    I think 20% of light speed with life spans of 300 years and a hibernation method slowing biological function by 5 to 1 or more.

    psik

  5. #20
    From Steven L jordan: MIO, FTL is unworkable, generation ships are impractical, and going to space (beyond our solar system) seems pointless unless we have a reasonable way to get there.

    There is a third way and psikeyhackr is half way there in his suggestion. I touched on the method in my short story 'Life Sentence' that was published in Jupiter 2005! Admittedly I have significantly improved my writing craft since then.

    But I did start to write a novel about the follow-on from this idea. But with not getting much by way of positive feedback for the short story, I left off writing the novel half way through and it is still gathering dust. Yes, the half-a-novel as it stood could have done with some severe editing, but without positive feedback I didn't see the point of continuing...

    Which goes to show that publishing is a two-way street between the readers and writers... with writers reacting to what readers say and readers reacting to what writers produce! And I suspect we now have a feedback loop in existence that reinforces the production of standard themes in science fiction...

  6. #21
    I like SF. SF is cool. Steven L Jordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psikeyhackr View Post
    What concept in which stories?
    A method of utilizing quantum tunneling and quantum entanglement to travel from one point in the universe to another. The theory is based on documented scientific experiments and theories explored in multiple articles I've researched over the years, and at least reads as more plausible than FTL travel (because it doesn't need nigh-unlimited power) and sleeper ships (which the human body hasn't demonstrated its ability to tolerate).

    I developed the method for the Verdant series (use the link in my name to see my website for details... probably as close to a "plug" I can get without this post being yanked).

  7. #22
    Registered User Seli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Sanders View Post
    So there seems to be two contradictory messages coming through the different comments. What do we think? Are science fiction publishers / readers looking for known quantities in terms of sub-genre and setting etc or on are they on the look out for something fresh and new?
    That is probably because both are true simultaneously. People are looking for more of the same, which can be a style of book or the joy and challenge of the new.

    In addition, because people are risk-averse I would guess they often start from a place of comfort in their quest. The same style of book, but with a new concept. A radically different style, but telling a familiar story. A 'simple' merge of different styles of book.

    edit:
    And on the question on where the new and exiting stuff is: everywhere and nowhere. There is new and exiting material free online, in short stories, in books by major publishers, and in self-published work.

    The problem is 'what is new', the idea of self-learning AI probably goes back to Asimov at the latest, but it has been used again and in new ways. Data in star trek was a self-learning AI to some extent, as are the robots in the Freefall web-comic, as are the complex systems of economy 2.0 in Stross' Accelerando, as was the braincheese in Watts' Rifters trilogy. But they are all examining that idea in different ways and new for that reason.

    Or (stealing from Rosies blog) the examination of photosynthesising humans, which Adam Roberts explores, Walter Jon Williams used as a backdrop (green leopard plague), and most likely is older than either. Is the new idea the photosynthesising human, or the exploration of class and wealth and power structures, or is it the combination of the parts into a new, different and exiting way?
    Last edited by Seli; July 18th, 2012 at 07:20 AM.

  8. #23
    Ok, I know this will start the fruit flying, but a major crutch in most science fiction right now is the reliance on Einstein's theories...which are bogus. So that's how we end up with warp drive and hyperspace to avoid the 'light speed limitation.'
    This, I believe, is going to make obsolete a lot of current scifi when Einstein's theories are eventually debunked. I liken it to George Lucas's decision to use classical music scores instead of the ultra popular Disco at the time. Had he gone with that trend, I don't think SW would be quite so popular now.
    Exploration of other means of interstellar tranportation is something that is currently lacking, imo.

  9. #24
    I like SF. SF is cool. Steven L Jordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aer-ki Jyr View Post
    Ok, I know this will start the fruit flying, but a major crutch in most science fiction right now is the reliance on Einstein's theories...which are bogus.
    Color me intrigued. On what basis do you make that claim?

  10. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven L Jordan View Post
    Color me intrigued. On what basis do you make that claim?
    I could go into a long spiel on that, but I'll try to simplify. Einstein's lightspeed limitation is elementarily flawed because it necessitates speed being an absolute measurement. Speed is a relative measurement, therefore debunking any limit. Einstein may have been a mathematical genius, but as far as basic logic is concerned he was a moron.

    And before you start quoting frames of reference and exponential energy curves let me say that instantaneous acceleration does appear to be limited to lightspeed (assuming magnetism and other unknown forces can't push faster than that), but thrust-based acceleration occurs in a mathematically even fashion tied only to fuel capacity. People confuse the two often.

    There. Now if you're going to throw fruit, I prefer apples.

  11. #26
    A very succinct explanation... yes light speed is the limiter in the maths equations for electromagnetism. It is through electromagnetism (mainly visual light) that we see things. If light is limited, we can only see things limited by how the light can behave. And when this limiter is applied to the objects from which the light is transmitted / reflected, then the equations given us the apparent effects we see / deduce. Hope this helps a little more...

    The question I have is why is the speed of light limited to a constant speed in vacuum?

    PS Light slows when it goes through materials.

  12. #27
    A chuffing heffalump Chuffalump's Avatar
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    As far as I am aware the speed of light is a function of the structure of the universe itself. It's not a case of the speed of light being prevented from getting any higher. It is the speed it is, due to the fundamental structure of the medium it is passing through. It's inevitable in the same way that DNA inevitably forms a double helix due to it's molecular structure and the molecules form their shapes due to electromagnetic forces etc etc etc.

    I'm sure there are a few members who can correct me if I'm too far out of the ball park.

  13. #28
    I like SF. SF is cool. Steven L Jordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aer-ki Jyr View Post
    Speed is a relative measurement, therefore debunking any limit.
    So... you're saying that if we just push hard enough, we can exceed light speed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aer-ki Jyr View Post
    Einstein may have been a mathematical genius, but as far as basic logic is concerned he was a moron.
    Mm-hm.

  14. #29
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuffalump View Post
    As far as I am aware the speed of light is a function of the structure of the universe itself. It's not a case of the speed of light being prevented from getting any higher. It is the speed it is, due to the fundamental structure of the medium it is passing through.
    This is the "ether" business and goes back to the Michaelson-Morley experiment. I was taught that the MM experiment disproved the ether theory but I heard years ago that the idea was becoming popular among physicists again.

    I decided there were aspects of physics that were unknown but of little practical value to me regardless of what the truth was. I would pay attention if I happened to be in the mood but it was a quasi-philosophical discussion really.

    psik

  15. #30
    Couch Commander Danogzilla's Avatar
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    Light speed is achieved when 100% of your motion is through space and 0% of it is through time. That's a pretty hard wall. Can't do much better than 100%. Timespace is pretty well tapped out at that point. Until we can rip through the fabric of timespace (and deal with whatever consequences come from that action) and enter hyperspace (if such a thing exists) we are at the speed limit.
    Last edited by Danogzilla; July 21st, 2012 at 12:24 PM.

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