Monday, May 29, 2017

From mighty oak trees, little acorns grow

And, on occasion, vice versa.

Faster than a speeding photon
Early in my blogging career, I did several posts about tropes in SF, collectively "Trope-ing the Light Fantastic." These posts were quite popular; more than seven years later, one of them (Trope-ing the light fantastic (life-sign detectors) ranks #5 in all-time popularity on this blog.

From those humble beginnings there developed ... a lot. The outcomes overlap, and they include:
  • An expanded series of treatments of SF tropes for Analog (collectively, "The Science Behind the Fiction") on topics as varied as time travel, AI, and ESP. 
  • A lecture on world-building at the U. S. Naval Academy.
  • A writers workshop on aliens and their societies.
  • Countless influences on my fiction self-inspired while I thought about tropes, and
  • The immediate reason for this post: my first all-nonfiction book.
Alien worlds
My "The Science Behind the Fiction" articles eventually encompassed twelve broad topics, some of those explorations expansive enough to require splitting across two zine issues. Each article examined the science and technology that might underpin a common SF trope; each article offered scads of examples of SF in short and long written form, on TV, and on the big screen, that (for my taste, anyway) well illustrated the trope. In every year the series scored at least one finalist position in the zine's annual readers poll (winning for 2012 with "Faster than a speeding photon," on the topic of FTL technology). In due course, the notion struck me: these articles could be the basis for a book.

And now they are. My working title for the book in which I have updated, integrated, and expanded my Analog trope articles is ... wait for it ...

Trope-ing the Light Fantastic: The Science Behind the Fiction.

I'm delighted to make the first announcement here that Phoenix Pick will be publishing the book. More news (such as a release date) when publication gets closer ...

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