Monday, February 4, 2013

What I love most about writing science fiction.

*Enjoy this cool post from Elatia author, D.L. Jackson.*

I’ve said time and time again that all science is fantasy until it’s proven fact. For instance, two hundred years ago you would have been tried as a witch for flying or communicating with someone half way around the world. Today we have cell phones, planes and computers, and even though we may not know every little detail behind the science that makes these objects work, they certainly make sense, and we’d never blame it on ye olde witchcraft. You don’t see anyone getting pressed, burned at the stake, or hung for it these days.

I love that I can take situations that might seem impossible, apply a little science and make them plausible. One of the sciences I’ve toyed with in several novels, is electromagnetic waves. EM waves make great defensive weapons  and shields. They can also be bent to make objects invisible to the naked eye. The invisible woman of our comic books is no longer fiction.

Another is bionics. I love the science of helping people to function normally, and though bionics was a fictional technology we based shows on in the 70s, today it has given back independence to  those who have lost limbs, or are blind, deaf, even paralyzed. The future is happening now, before our eyes, unfolding like a science fiction novel from our past.

One of my favorite scenes, where I take technology and give it a possible futuristic use that is plausible science fiction, is in Courtesan Boot Camp, where Dayne’s tattoo moves. And though we think science fiction applies mostly to ships and space, here’s an example of the future of cosmetic enhancements on a microscopic level.

Here’s an excerpt:

On his chest, he bore a tattoo of a Ruellan military insignia from a spec-ops unit made up of Toric soldiers—for-hire mercenaries. The tattoo, a dragon-like creature known an avenger, whipped its tail around, moving across the surface of his skin through a nanite-infusing technology. The nanites were housed in microscopic beads that made up the ink used by the artist. They were programmed to change the color inside each bead, going from clear to any hue in the spectrum within a micro-second, creating a moving picture that could travel from head to toe on its host, if the person had been tattooed in that manner. A lengthy and painful process, Shay had only ever seen pictures of it before.

The avenger opened its mouth as though it were roaring and slipped down his chest, across his abs in a serpent-like, undulating motion, sliding back up onto the opposite shoulder, where it wrapped its tail around his arm before freezing in place.

Ah, moving tattoos. And Dayne’s doesn’t just move on his chest. When it disappears under his clothing, my heroine begins to wonder where it went. Who wouldn’t?

What other roles could science play in cosmetics? Could a person change their eye color? Perhaps their hair with a shake of the head? Maybe cells could be manipulated to reverse aging? The thing I love about science, knowing that it at one time was fiction, means that I can create my own science, plausible theories and perhaps in the future, it could be proven fact. We certainly use nanite technology today. What’s to stop us from using it for cosmetic purposes? There’s big money to be made in the industry.

Now, who wants to know where exactly on Dayne’s body his tattoo can move???

I’m giving away a signed tee-shirt to one commenter on this post. Tell me what science fiction elements you’ve read or watched in a movie or on television, are your favorites. Is it warp drive, or perhaps teleportation? How about enhanced eyesight, or maybe cyborg technology. What science fiction flips your switch? What made you sit up and say, I want that, or I’d love to do that?

At the end of the week, I’ll draw a winner.

*Visit the Elatia Series.*


  1. Thanks, Faith. I love writing science fiction that encompasses more than ships in space. I heard about micro-beads that they do tattoos with that they can use a special frequency to break the capsual and erase it, and it got me to thinking, what if you computerized them, make them like pixels in a television set. So much you could do with that.

  2. Oh, I remember that tat of Dane's. *grin* From my Star Trek: TNG watching days, I've always love the idea of teleportation. I also like the science of cloning and all of the social ramifications it creates.

  3. Coool tat! Love worldbuilding! Great excerpt!

  4. Your world building is always fantastic, Dawn, and the attention to detail without overwhelming the reader to sci-fi elements fascinating. So glad you're sharing your worlds with us.

  5. Love the tat idea, DL. I write science fiction, too, and one of the coolest things I found during researching was tattoos on people's eyes. It was really weird, in that kind of awesome way.

    One of my favorite things to tinker with is genetic recombination, usually taking DNA from animals and splicing it into humans (a la Dr. Moreau). Easily used for cosmetic purposes too, once the technology is developed enough.

  6. Dreamer that I am, I have to bow to Gene Roddenberry's imagining in TNG, a universe where humanity has learned that money isn't important. People do work they enjoy in order to feel fulfilled. When the Enterprise picks up some cryonic capsules, that's the hardest part of the new way of life for the rich businessman to understand. Without money to measure his achievement with, to show he's better than everyone else, he feels lost. I know it won't happen in my lifetime, but I'd sure like to think we could outgrow the need for some to have more than they need, while others have nothing.

    And female equality, of course. Men need to learn that civilization means them too.

  7. Faith You're the winner of the tee-shirt. I'll be contacting you shortly.
    Thanks to everyone for stopping by and leaving your thoughts.
    D L