Monday, October 15, 2012

Let's Take A Ride

Galaxy w/in galaxy. Courtesy of Flicker Commons.
Azura Ice here reporting from the cockpit of my ship [No, I don’t know what kind of a ship. It’s a sleek model with heated seats]. Radar, my feline companion, rides on the back of my command chair, but he’s a bit miffed at me right now. I forgot to put the shields up, so when a meteorite whizzed by, he sort his fur singed. He looks ridiculous with a  char-coaled tail, but don’t tell him I said that. I’ll deny it.

Anyway, let's take a ride through space and chat.

[Glides in to Elatia's nearby space station and waits for D.L. Jackson and Jessica E. Subject to board.]

Once we’re on our way, I broach the subject of sci-fi.

Science-fiction is, after all, based on science. However, without imagination, there is no new science. Many tools and ideas written in sci-fi years ago have come to pass. Take Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon published in 1865. It was considered pure imagination, but 1969, a 104 years after the book was published, man actually landed on the moon. Consider today’s weaponry ranging from the splitting of the atom to sound and laser technology.

BOOM! Sizzle...poof! [Anyone know where I put the robotic broom? There’s moon dust in the cockpit and ashes in the mess hall.]

As sci-fi authors, the very hint of conspiracy opens dozens of doors we can step through with our plots. Then, if you add incredible technology, you have a recipe for new inventions, new medicine and even new weapons and doorways to alternate dimensions. What, in your opinions, is the next thing in science-fiction to burst into reality or do you believe our governments withhold new technology from us?

DL Jackson: Bionics. Actually the science has already started to emerge. What's really neat is that scientists and doctors have designed the prosthetic limbs to function based on the electrical impulses that travel down nerves. The phantom limb syndrome that you often hear amputees talk about is actually the disconnected nerves still getting signals from the brain. Scientists apply pads that sense these electrical impulses from the brain and a mini-computer inside the artificial limb takes that data and converts the signal to motion. So the wearer of the bionic limb thinks and the electrical impulse travels down the nerve all the way to where it is severed and then viola, it is carried the rest of the way by technology. What happens if they build a full body suit with built-in sensors. Would those with spinal injuries be able to walk again, using the same technology? I know the blind are able to see with it, the deaf can hear, and fingers open and close, wrists turn all by natural thought. 

Here's a fascinating article in National Geographic about this very subject.
I actually have a heroine with a spinal injury in one of my stories that uses such a suit. I think the next decade will have some amazing advances in medical science.

Wow, D.L.! Bionics certainly tantalizes the mind with possibilities, doesn’t it? I wonder if this particular science will one day lead the way to cyborgs as they’re known in science-fiction. However, placing a human mind in a synthetic body could also create chaos in religious worlds. Would it be ethical? What lengths would some people go to in order to live longer or even forever?

So, Jessica...what’s you’re viewpoint on conspiracy and sci-fi technology?

Jessica E Subject: I've believed for a long time that the government withholds information and new technologies from the people. Why? To prevent pandemonium and for our own safety. 

As for headlines in the scientific community that are of interest to me right now, well, the whole idea of dark energy and dark matter is truly fascinating. And right now, labs all over the world are trying to figure out what dark energy is and prove whether or not dark matter exists. Two years ago when visiting Science North with my family, I watched a film at the Between the Stars Object Theatre about what the universe is made of. Scientists have only been able to measure 5% of the universe, and as it continues to expand at an increasing rate, they are starting to question their theories based on the information they know, including as Einstein’s Theory of Gravity.

And the empty space in outer space is no longer considered empty, consisting of dark energy and dark matter. But what is this stuff? Scientists have many hypotheses, and I wait anxiously to find out more about all the unknowns of space.

Here is a cool link:   

Cassiopeia A courtesy of Flicker Commons
Dark matter is something that has always frightened me. I can only imagine what people are dabbling in it who should be behind bars. And even those with good intentions often go astray and use something for their own benefit. Science, even in science fiction, is a power of epic proportions. Although science opens doors in a writer’s mind, what about the cold, hard facts and know-how landing in the wrong hands? Scary stuff.

Thanks for taking a ride through the galaxy to chat with me, ladies.

Well, dear readers, weigh in with your thoughts on today’s topic!

Check out Elatia’s science-fiction romance titles. And if you'd like to write for Decadent's Elatia series, click on the world building and submissions tabs at the top of this page.


  1. What really scares me is how scientifically illiterate most of the public is, and how little they care about that fact. If you can't even begin to understand what's being discovered or invented, how can you hope to make appropriate decisions when it comes time for you to vote on which candidate's policies reflect your opinions? I think everyone should have to pass logic and ethics classes to get a high school diploma...certainly to get any kind of college degree. Scientists never seem to ask themselves, "Just because we CAN do this, SHOULD we?" I'm all for continuing the forward momentum of space exploration due to the countless benefits those of us still on the planet have gained, and I'm also for synthesizing a proper response to what scientists discover. But when the average person would rather watch reality TV than read about what is being done in so many fascinating fields, I begin to despair.

  2. Wonderful points, Fiona. What is going on out there in science is amazing. We're bending electromagnetic energies and making objects invisible, wiring people to computers to allow them to walk again, or use robotic hands. Drone technology is quickly being developed to replace soldiers on the battlefield. Every day new creatures are being discovered on Earth's last frontier, the bottom of the ocean. So much out there still to explore and people are hung up on Honey Boo Boo and Jersey Shore. I say to those reality show addicts, step out into real life and see what's going on, it might just shock the heck out of you. This is one of the aspects of I love about writing science fiction, it's reaching out and grasping the unknown and making worlds with it. It's creating imaginable futures from the unimaginable.

  3. Fiona and D.L. I couldn't agree more with you both! The human race is very arrogant, so asking "should we do this?" is immensely important.

    D.L. don't even get me started on Honey Boo Boo. I could just scream when that show comes on let alone most reality shows. Give me something where I learn something not stupidity in the guise of people trying to be something they're not for a few bucks.

  4. As I was helping a friend with her humanities homework regarding the rising detrimental social effects the ME generation has experienced because she just 'didn't get it'; the whole time my friend was insisting I watch that show as well as some Amish thing. To me, that is a perfect indication of the problem. From a young age, those shows are influencing our society's young minds. They have 'drama island' cartoons for kids that parody reality shows like Survivor! Now, I will admit that one of my favorite shows is Grimm, but that's not some reality show with no purpose other than to showcase some fool. I'm a fantasy writer that loves to blend the fanciful with modern settings; to me, Grimm is like research. (That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it)

    Truly great authors use kernels of the truth. Science fiction authors are not all fanciful dreamers; they're analytical minds that latch on to an idea and expand upon it. They often perceive of the possible before it is probable to the masses. That's what makes them a breed apart from authors of other genre.

  5. Do I believe our government is keeping things from us, of course they are. All you have to do is listen to other countries news and you hear things our government does not want us to hear. One day we will wake up and see the advances when someone mess up and it explodes all around us. Am I scared about what is out there, no. Curious yes, who wouldn't be. :)Have you seen the Mermaid show? Interesting isn't it?

  6. CIA, you make excellent points!

    Trinity, I love that mermaid program! Awesome ideas and what-ifs involved in that story. Wee Man, however, is terrified of it. Lol. He won't re-watch it with me.