Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Sci-Fi

To Write Well, One Must Be As Healthy As Possible…

After an operation (was it 3 or 4 years ago?) I got very serious about my health.

Recent events have made me focus on that issue from a new perspective.

I should be back to my normal blogging habits soon, perhaps even tomorrow…

To give this post a bit of substance, I’ll recommend you explore the left side-bar—many resources and gifts await……… :-)
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Using Science in Fiction ~ Tread Carefully . . .

I used the words “Science in Fiction” not “Science Fiction” in the title of this post… 

Cat's Eye Nebula

Image Courtesy of Hubble Space Telescope Image Site

Most fiction that isn’t science fiction doesn’t use much science.

And, much science fiction doesn’t use real science.

There’s a breed of “science fiction” that goes into imaginary worlds that have no support or anchor in true science—many of these stories are fun to read.

There’s also a substantial amount of what folks like to call “hard” sci-fi that stays as close as it can to what is thought to be true science.

But, there’s a problem here

Much of the science (especially astrophysics) that is used to create science fiction is purely imaginary and has little to do with knowledge generated through the scientific method.

I’ve probably lost many of my readers by now; but, if you’re still there, I may have something yet to say that might benefit anyone—even those who don’t care much about science.

Let’s talk about fiction itself.

Should fiction be based on truth?

I have two past posts that approach the issue:

Does Fiction Always Tell The Truth?

How Much Truth Should Be In Fiction Stories?

A few excerpts:

“Truth” can be a slippery topic—it can have “layers”—it can change over time…

Then, there’s the word “fiction”—sometimes used to mean, “an untruth”; sometimes to mean, “an invented statement or narrative”.

And, being “invented” doesn’t automatically make something untrue…

Certainly, any story that resonates with most readers must have a heap of truth in the fiction…

Many fiction writers expend great effort in their research to learn “facts” that will lend some “truth” to the “lies” they tell.

One particular genre (among many) where this can be important is Science Fiction.

What I say next can easily be applied to many other genres…

Imagine a science fiction writer who wants to add science facts to their story.

They conduct research and, usually, adapt whatever they find that is given by “experts”.

One problem with this method:

“Experts” are not necessarily Experts.

That last excerpt is from the post, How Much Truth Should Be in Fiction Stories?, and that post has two fascinating videos from a scientist who talks about “unscientific” science

But, the writer of any genre of fiction must still balance the “truth” they want to convey with the “facts” that are true

There’s another past post that I feel any writer could profit from reading (it also has a profound video)—Setting A Few Things Straight About The Universe . . .

Here’s an excerpt from that post:

Ultimately, because psychology shows that the deepest, not-conscious information and motivation have profound effects on conscious action, the closer I can get to the Truth about the Universe and my place in it, the better I should be able to write works that relate well with my readers.

Naturally, there are writers who skim the surface of life, write about it, and sell thousands of books to readers who gobble up the result…

So, I’ve been loudly hinting that much of science is bogus.

But, even though I’ve spent many years doing the research, no one should believe me without checking things out on their own

Perhaps I can help you begin that trek by sharing a few brief excerpts from an article from New Scientist, “In Science, is Honesty Really Always the Best Policy”?

“…one-third of scientists confessed to ‘questionable research practices’ such as cooking data…”

“…researchers see plagiarism as more heinous than making results up. They are more likely to report a colleague they catch in an act of plagiarism than one fabricating or falsifying data.”

And, if those don’t make you start wondering about the “truth” of “science”, this one should:

“…teaching research ethics made students more likely, not less, to misbehave.”

Also, in case you’ve seen the hoopla about scientists finally detecting gravity waves (from two merging black holes), you might want to perform a reality check by visiting the Thunderbolts Project Forum

The following video, with a real scientist (which was banned by TED), could also help you begin a search for truth in science; and, if you can find a way to judge truth in science, you’re well on your way to finding truth anywhere

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Author Interview ~ Raphyel M Jordan

There were already 62 Author Interviews on this blog; and, included in those, 2 Wattpad Author interviews.

Today’s interview will make it 3 Wattpad Author interviews.

I’ve read what Mr. Jordan has on Wattpad and can heartily recommend the series we’ll be talking about :-)

~~~ Prossia

Raphyel, tell us about your “Prossia” science fiction series. 

Prossia is a coming-of-age adventure that follows a seventeen-year-old alien girl named Aly whose first encounter to the world beyond her home comes in the form of her getting drafted into a galactic war. A lot of people claim it to be like ‘Star Wars with Space Elves’.

Space Elves… Hmm… Somehow they seemed more “real” to me; but, what actually inspired you to write “Prossia”?

Blame it on my stubbornness of being young. I started writing Prossia when I was 19. I was subject to hearing this common notion about ALL Millennials as being lazy, spoiled, and having a foolish sense of entitlement without the lack of work. I was going to school with young people working two jobs just to make ends meet along with young single mothers who got better grades than many other students who only had to worry about school work and nothing else.

The surprising thing is, however, not once did I ever hear these people complain out loud about how obviously hard things were for them. Oh, not to mention I had tons of friends doing tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Are those people lazy ? I doubt that. So, in short, Prossia was written for the young people getting the job done despite people saying they couldn’t.

Inspiring motivation, for sure! So, where did the idea for Alytchai, the series protagonist, come from?

I started writing the Prossia series before the Katniss Evergreens, Supergirl TV Shows, or the more-recent Rey from Star Wars introduced a newer take on female protagonists to the general public. I thought seeing a young man rise to the occasion was getting a little redundant too, which is why Prossia‘s protagonist is a female teenager who can handle her own. And while the above-mentioned characters are still regarded as “strong female protagonists”, it’s my hope that we’ll get to the point where we’ll just see these capable characters as “strong protagonists” and look beyond the gender.

Here, here… The sooner the better, I say. So, what can you tell us about your heroine and her struggle? 

Aly comes from a background many people are familiar with, which is covered in the prequel, Evaluations of the Tribe. She had a tough childhood because she wasn’t like the other kids. Bullying, self-esteem—she had to struggle with finding her self-worth at an early age. This challenge is taken to higher levels later in the series, where she has to face life-or-death situations and make decisions that may not be popular with those closest to her. 

You have a theme song for your books—how did that come about?

Oh, that! LOL! The theme song, called The Moment, came from April Reaux, who did some editing for Prossia. However, it turned out that Reaux’s main passion is music. So, after hearing some samples of what she could do, I just had to have her compose a song for Prossia. I knew since she’d read the entire book in finer detail than most, she could provide something original and well defining to the feel of the story.

I told her what I thought the most powerful scene was in the book, and how it would be the defining moment that would carry the story throughout its entirety. She used that scene as inspiration, and I guess you could say “the rest is history”. Take a listen :-)

That is one Ultra-Compelling piece of music………

Raphyel, where did the word “Prossia” come from?

Oi, now that wasn’t easy. I needed something that sounded foreign but logical, all at once. In the story, it’s explained that Prossia means “for peace” or “unity within diversity” in one of the numerous alien languages in the story’s galaxy. So I took “pro”, which is the prefix that means “in favor of” or “for”. Then, I needed something simple and pleasant to the ear, so I finished it with “sia”. So, I had the word, “Prosia”.

However, when I wanted to make sure that this wasn’t a real word, I quickly found out that there is actually a Prosia in Romania. Yikes! By that point, however, I was really attached to the sound of the word, so I added an extra “s” so I could keep it.

Have your fans been impressed so far?

The general reception has been VERY positive, to my relief! I was concerned readers wouldn’t feel connected to the characters since they aren’t human. However, people have been very fond of the universe I made, and all the back-story I’ve developed. On top of that, I’m always getting told how surprisingly relatable the characters are, even though they’re aliens. That tends to be the most rewarding compliment I get.

I completely agree that the characters are relatable, even though obviously alien…  Are there hidden messages in the books?

There are numerous hidden messages in the Prossia series, actually. Still, if I needed to sum them all up, I would say it’s not to let anyone choose your life for you, especially when you’re at a vital period when you’re starting to make core decisions that will define the person you will be for the rest of your days. If there is a conflict in the heart that’s telling you the path you are currently on is wrong, then it is your obligation to get on the other path, even when everyone else around you is giving you odd looks for your decision.

How many books will be in the series?

All good things must come to an end, and I will be completing the Prossia series this September, bringing it to a total of four. I’m finishing the third and final act of the final book as we speak, which has been one of the biggest challenges so far. See, I want to make sure every arch that’s been built throughout the series is given its well-deserved closure, but these stubborn characters of mine refuse to follow my outline. I’ve had to go back to “formula” four times already! ^_^

I certainly understand—had a character in my novel—just for the first scene… Nope—whole book and last line of the text :-)

So, Raphyel, do you have a newsletter?

You betcha! See, I didn’t want to spam people’s email inbox’s with too much stuff every day, so my assistant and I made it a rule to only send 2-3 posts a month. If I’m doing anything Prossia-related, you’ll be sure to get some info on that as well.

Any other morsels of interest you can share with us?

. . . >_>. Uhhhh, well. . . My favorite color is green. I’m an Aquarius. I used vacation hours at work so I could play Mass Effect 2 and 3 because it’s the best video game series…EVER. My favorite radio station is NPR, which I got a lot of beef about since when I was still in my 20s, and . . .

. . .

Ohhhhhh, you meant things pertaining to the book! Doh! >_<

People can read the first book in the series for FREE, either by reading it on Wattpad (final Act will be posted soon) or downloading it on any major online book retailer.

Subscribers in my newsletter get awesome exclusive deals like giveaways and book discounts. I’m also on these various social networks:            

My Blog

Well, Raphyel, thanks for the ride :-)


He never mentioned it; but, Raphyel is also a fine artist, designer, and illustrator…

So, Folks, looks like it’s time to ask Mr. Jordan a few questions in the comments…

Read Some Strange Fantasies
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How a Movie Made Me Read Three Books and What That Has to Do with Self-Publishing

The movie was Solaris (starring Natascha McElhone and George Clooney) and I thought that it could be the weirdest example of cinema I may ever have seen and liked… 

Semi-Spoiler Short Description: A man flies to a space station very far from home and has to deal with meeting a woman he thought was dead

The story had been done before on film in Poland.

Both films were inspired by the novel Solaris by Stanislaw Lem.

Being an avid reader of Sci-Fi (and, according to some folks, having written some Sci-Fi myself…), I’d heard of Mr. Lem but not read him.

I hadn’t gotten very far into the book when I knew it was going to be much better than the movie.

In fact, later research uncovered Mr. Lem’s appraisal of both Solaris films:

They departed “…far from his original intentions by focusing almost exclusively on the psychological relationship between the two main characters, while reducing the vast and alien ocean to a mere ‘mirror’ of humanity.”

Yes, the “main character” could be said to have been the Ocean; though, Hollywood was incapable of casting a star in that role—Mr. Lem, however, did give the Lead to the Ocean

Most interestingly, to me, was an ocean I created in my novel (the one some folks think is Sci-Fi) that could have been a distant cousin to Mr. Lem’s ocean—actually, in both cases, it’s probably more “technically” accurate to talk about the self-consciousness of the Planet rather than just the ocean

The book Solaris was so good I went on and read The Invincible by Mr. Lem—also a good read.

Basing my next decision on the “proven” scientific maxim, Third Time’s A Charm, I read Lem’s book His Master’s Voice

Actually, I started to read the book and almost stopped reading it—then, after reading more, I did stop reading it—then, I gave the book a reprieve and finished it.

I don’t think I’d recommend His Master’s Voice to very many people but I did “appreciate” it

If you’ve spent years reading mainstream science and philosophy and you can “appreciate” books that have next to no action for the characters except thinking and talking, then I might recommend it to you

I’ve certainly read multiple books by other authors and noticed differences in treatment from book to book (sometimes, great difference…); but, His Master’s Voice, compared to Solaris and The Invincible, was a Huge Departure in voice, tone, diction, plot, characterization, and story arc

But, buried in this book, that I sacrificed time and thought and feeling for, was a quote that made me write this blog post.

The following is dedicated to all authors who self-publish then face the tasks of book promotion:

“In the childhood of our civilization only select, well-educated individuals were able to read and write, and much the same criterion held after the invention of printing; and even if the works of imbeciles were published (which, I suppose, is impossible to avoid completely), their total number was not astronomical, as it is today. Today, in the flood of garbage, valuable publications must go under, because it is easier to find one worthwhile book among ten worthless than a thousand among a million. Moreover, the phenomenon of pseudo plagiarism becomes inevitable—the unintentional repetition of the ideas of others who are unknown.”

His Master’s Voice was published in 1968, well before the Explosion called “Self-Publishing”………

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A Topic Guide to My Very Strange Book…

Since I’m only committing to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday blog posts, I’m allowed to post more often if I just can’t help myself :-) Notes from An Alien

About 20 minutes ago, I was sitting here watching the news and something made me think about my book—the one I decided I won’t write

And, in case you missed it, my prime reason for not writing a book I’d done massive research on was that my last novel essentially said it all

All what?

Well, first, imagine three planets in a different Star-system—one completely corporate, one completely religious, and one inhabited by a True Alien

You can grab a free copy of the novel; or, if you really have to, you can buy a copy :-)

So, since I just reassured myself that a book I’d already written has everything I need to say about certain topics (at least in fictional form…), I thought I’d share what those topics are

The numbers in the following list are the chapters where the topic is predominant:

Notes from An Alien

Corporate Greed – 1, 2

Corporate Control of Populace – 1, 2, 4

Religious Wars – 1, 2, 3

Prophetic Predictions – 1, 3, 5

War-Just/Unjust – 1, 10

Constant Expansion As A Solution – 1, 2, 11

Non-Religious Religions – 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 13

Military Control of Populations – 2

Rational Religion – 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 11

Corporate Ecological Damage – 2, 4, 5

Material Realm/Spiritual Realm – 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 19

Science and Faith – 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 15

Spiritual Practice – 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11

Costs of War – 3, 4, 5, 10, 11

Governance – 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14

Oneness of All People – 6, 7, 8, 14, 16, 19

Economic Issues – 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13

Altruism and Sacrifice – 7, 9, 11, 17

True Peace – 11, 12, 17, 18, 19

If you’ve already read the book, perhaps you’d like to put a very short “review” in the Comments?
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