One of the things that is very important to me about my writing is that I can claim the sub-genre Hard Science Fiction. I have a few stories in my head that don’t fit the category, but The Warrior Chronicles are firmly there. What that means is that my technology, my science, my books have to be plausible, and I won’t just say, “The ship went to warp ten.”
In Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Mars books (No, I am not going to compare myself to Burroughs, I am just giving an example of what I am writing about), he uses ‘rays’, or parts of the light spectrum, like gases, to propel the craft used by the inhabitants of Barsoom (Mars). At the time he wrote it, the concept was reasonable. But we have since discredited many aspects of his tech and physics.
The same will happen with my books. In time, science will prove many of the theories I use for FTL travel, time travel, and FTL communication to be incorrect. But I want to hold that wolf at bay (Get it? Wolf? No? Have you even read my books?) for as long as possible. I even have a guy who helps me with that. A physicist who I run my science by, offers suggestions and opinions to help me keep the science as real as possible. Everything from destroying planets to creating anchor points in our local space-time.
I spend a lot of time reading physics papers, weapons research, etc. I talked about it a bit in my Jack of all Trades post. This morning, I came across a white paper about a theory that, if confirmed, will throw my FTL drive system out of the black hole, so to speak. It is about event horizons, particle walls, and extreme gravity.
I took two things away from the article and its two supporting pieces.
The second thing I took from the physics headache I got today, is that my science may be disproven within a decade. Dammit!
Someday, I know aspects of my science will fall to the side as drivel. But until then, I want my hard sci-fi fans to enjoy my work. After my science fails, at least I will be in good company. I mean, I’ve already seen my name next to Edgar’s on a Kindle list, so I can at least claim that, right? Right?