Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: SyFy

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 a fascinating video 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 friend 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:            

Twitter
Facebook
DeviantArt
Pinterest
GoodReads
My Blog
Wattpad

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…

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Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Is Science Fiction Always Prophetic?


While science fiction can seem to always be predicting possible futures, some of it fails miserably, some nails it, and some is written so far in the future we can’t judge

I’ll quote two famous Sci-Fi writers from an article in livescience:

Ray Bradbury—“Science fiction is any idea that occurs in the head and doesn’t exist yet, but soon will, and will change everything for everybody, and nothing will ever be the same again…It is always the art of the possible, never the impossible.”

Kim Stanley Robinson—“All sci-fi put together gives you a feel for the future that is fuzzy…taken together, they give you a kind of weather forecast…”

And, even though I put my short novel in the documentary/family history “genre”, some folks, with reason, call it Science Fiction.

I’ve tried to show what a “future” world (in some other time-stream) would be like if the current rift between the secular and the religious were widened even more than it is.

For my “predictions” about religion you can check out some of my Behind The Scenes posts

For a peek at a Corporate World, read Can Corporations Actually Take Total Control of Our World?

When I was preparing to write my book, I did massive studies of past and current trends in religious and corporate power.

I attempted, in the novel, to paint a picture (some would say an allegory) of what might be possible in our future

You might want to grab a free copy of Notes from An Alien to see if we’re headed where I think we are

As far as corporations taking over, it certainly seems they already have tremendous control over many realms of human life

To see an aspect of their interference in the governmental domain (which wreaks havoc in the lives of honest working folk), look into The New York Times article, Under My Thumb.

And, I’ll quote a bit of that post I linked to, Can Corporations Actually Take Total Control of Our World?, to give yet more information about the intentions of current corporate power structures:

I want to give you a few links that might show you what some of our World’s corporations are up to and how they seem to be trying to do away with what most of us conceive of as governments

“First, an article about who the President of the United States turned to for help with the political emergency he faced: Obama banks on big business to help end deadlock.

“Next, an article about the Trans-Pacific Partnership from the Electronic Frontier Foundation about Corporate takeover of trade.

“And, last, a video about the current governmental crisis in the U. S. A. that brings up the role of the Koch BrothersGovernment Close Down – Another Grand Betrayal in the Works?

And, since the Trans-Pacific Partnership folks are trying to keep their plans secret, you might find this video Interesting


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