The thing with writing science fiction is that you walk a fine line in believability. The further away from the present that you create the story the broader the line. The closer you are the narrower it becomes. The Third Age is set in 2023, so when I was writing it I had to be very careful about how much technology had advanced in the intervening 11 years. As a few examples there are self driving cars and all entertainment comes through the internet. Neither of which is all that great a leap from where things are now. For the space travel portions I stepped away from current practices and got a little more fantastical with some elements. Still nothing that would make you got “I just don’t believe that.”
John Scalzi on his blog coined the phrase “Flying Snowmen” to denote the incident that takes the reader out of the story and makes them say, ” I just can’t believe that.” I tried very hard to stay away from moments like that in The Third Age, but no matter how hard you try people still take issue. While in a critique group I had one woman become disbelieving in that Jake West (my main character) was controlling the his home through an app on his phone. She just could not believe it. Everyone else in the critique group then spent five minutes explaining that that was already existing technology. The morale is that no matter how close to reality you make it, some people will refuse to see the possible.
Keeping in mind that I wanted to make my world believable I also wanted to push the boundaries. I wanted to create a world where a billionaire with a vision could change the course of human destiny. That is why I get so excited when I read comments by Elon Musk (like I linked to yesterday) or this article by Buzz Aldrin about why we need to go to Mars. All of this plays directly into the world that I would like to live in, the one I wrote about. These types of articles make me feel as if I hit the nail on the head and that what I dreamed actually could be reality.
I feel that there is a growing momentum towards the future of human space flight, and I would love to be part of the dialouge through my writing.
Now, if I could just get an agent and get published…sigh…