6 Signs You're A Science Fiction Writer

6 Signs You're A Science Fiction Writer

#1. You're a giant nerd.
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Science fiction has a pretty good grip on current entertainment culture. Not so much on the book culture as of late (even according to my favorite scifi author, Orson Scott Card), but that certainly hasn't dampened my love for writing it. If you're a scifi writer, this list is composed of things that you've probably done, or almost more likely, things other people have seen you do.

Here are 6 signs you are definitely a science fiction writer.

1. You're a giant nerd.

This is kind of the baseline given. If you're like me, you are pretty obsessed with a lot of the sci-fi fandoms, e.g. Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel films, Firefly, etc. You probably also love RPG-based games, complex board games, sci-fi video games (Portal!) and geeky podcasts.

Double points if you actually enjoy science. Which leads to the next point...

2. Science has become of great importance to you.

Before I started writing scifi, I was not into science. It was too closely related to math with its strict and confusing rules, it can cause huge divisions between people groups and it portrays scientists in a boring/irresponsible way, even in scifi media.

But then I started writing the stuff, and I realized just how cool science really is.

My first real science foray started with my Astronomy class in freshman year of college. Studying the stars was by no means easy (cough parallax equations cough) but I found myself really enjoying it as the semester went on. I got to stand outside at night and chart constellations, our class took a trip to the local observatory and I saw Saturn's rings and Jupiter's storm spot for the first time - not to mention I learned all about the Moon cycles, which is perfect for today's SOLAR ECLIPSE!

But please, don't mistake my enthusiasm for expertise.

3. But you are NOT a scientist.

I'll be honest. In high school, I skipped chemistry and physics. Instead I took biology, Earth science and marine biology because I was much more interested in ecosystems and the functions of life than the nitty-gritty bits we can't even see. There was also way less math, and as a high-schooler applying to colleges for Communications, it was perfect.

It wasn't until I started writing scifi that I started doing tons of science research. My latest novel drove me to research electricity and brain functions, especially newer versions of electroshock therapy. I've looked into the real logistics of cryo-freezing, cloning and mind control. There's some pretty crazy stuff out there, and realer than you'd think.

Most of the time I dive into a scientific article, consume all the new knowledge I possibly can... and then maybe mention something vaguely related to that one or two times in my books.

4. Your Google history is worrisome.

"Stages of vacuum asphyxiation"

"Do bodies decay in space"

"Do astronauts get cabin fever"

"What happens to a human body at the speed of light"

Etc.

5. You stress over finding ways to be unique.

Hearkening back to Orson Scott Card's article, science fiction has become much more difficult to navigate in recent years because most of it feels regurgitated. As a scifi author, this is a BURDEN. Sometimes it can feel like every idea for a new story has already been done, and worse, it's probably been done better. Science isn't as innovative as it once was, and publishers certainly know it.

But Card also stresses the existence of stories that are done well, even when dealing with concepts that have already been explored. If we all stopped writing sciifi because it's already been done, the entire genre would die out. So even if I feel like I have nothing worthwhile to offer, I write anyway. I love science fiction too much not to.

6. Book questions are really hard to answer.

Example:

Person: Oh, what's your book about?

Me: *mind racing through every subplot and technological concept in my book*

Me: It's complicated.

Example 2:

Person: Okay then... what about THIS book?

Me: Actually they're connected, so....


If any of these sound familiar, you are probably a science fiction writer. Love science? Love writing? Googled some gruesome questions about the absence of gravity?

Congrats, you're a scifi writer.

Cover Image Credit: Linda Xu

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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Escape Maybe The Scariest Option

Curiosity can quickly turn to terror.

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Where Angels Come In, part of the Before You Sleep story collection by Adam Nevill completely strikes you as a 'situation' based plot. An in your face supernatural Horror that leaves you wondering what the heck was happening. Lots of things go missing in the town, pets, kids, objects. The constant curiosity is lingering as to what is in the large White House on the hill and what it once was, or even is. Three young children make their way to the front gate. Two are drawn in, Pickering and the main character, overwhelmed with curiosity. But, curiosity quickly turns to terror as once they are on the first terrace, a ghoulishly pale and tattered cloth covered figure appears on the floor below them. Panic sets in as more of these strange creatures appear. Hiding, they make a choice to run for it. They run up to the next terrace as the creatures begin pursuit. Hearts pounding the make for the stairs at the end of the hallway and to a potential escape. More and more of the strange figures are revealing themselves out of every passing room. One is that of a little girl who begs them to hide in her room. Pickering kept running and descended the stairs while our main character ducked into the room. He could hear the horde of ghostly creatures pass by the room as the ghoulish little girl shows off her dolls. One can't help but think these so-called dolls, and stuffed animals may, in fact, be the decayed remains of the missing children and animals, though this isn't exactly confirmed by any means. One of the before seen ghost-like entities bursts into the room. The little ghost girl disappears. But before our main character could be discovered a shriek is heard off in the distance. Likely Pickering who has been caught. The creature runs out of the room as an open window is seen. Our main character makes a break for the window and works to pry it open further to escape, narrowly doing so as he is grabbed by a ghoulishly pale hand. Just barely breaking free and running away from the house.

This story is rich with something useful, but of what I am not sure yet. I feel I would have to read it a few more times to really understand all of it and pick up on any subtle hints that maybe presented throughout. The story happens very quickly, it is only three pages long, and you are just thrown into it. WHAM. BAM. You're there, and the story just goes. I feel there is some subtext to this tale, but it is extremely subtle. This adds to the mystery and intrigue of the overall plot. What's happening? What is all this? Who are these creatures like things? The story leaves you with more questions than answers.

Goodreads' fans give this story a 4 out of 5 stars; while Amazon also gives this story a 4 out of 5 stars. I myself would lean toward a 3.5 out of 5 stars. I still would recommend it as a pretty decent, quick, read that will leave you on edge with more questions.

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