Wednesday, August 24, 2016

At the Heart of What If?

by Alex J. Cavanaugh 

Parallel universes explore the what if – what if one or more elements was different that our own world. But if you think about it, all speculative fiction is about the what if. It’s exploring a place unlike our own, transporting the reader to a world of possibilities.

This type of writing appeals to both writer and reader on many levels.

For the writer:

Fun to brainstorm. We can just start listing all sorts of crazy what ifs.

No limits. This is about things that aren’t real. Not yet and maybe never. We can go as far as we envision.

We become Creator. All writers do, but we can take it a step farther with a whole new world.

For the reader:

The chance to escape reality. When the news and troubles of the world overwhelm, nothing is more satisfying than retreating away from reality.

Struggles easier to handle. The troubles of this world can overwhelm us. But present those same struggles in a speculative fiction setting, and they are easier to handle and understand. We can process them better.

Encourages imagination. The same imagination that created the story flows into the reader and he envisions the world beyond the book. He’ll create his own stories.

What if takes us to a place beyond this world. And that’s a good thing. After all, all of the advancements and inventions of this world came from that simple question – what if?

Alex J. Cavanaugh
- Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design, graphics, and technical editing. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. He’s the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, CassaStorm, and Dragon of the Stars. The author lives in the Carolinas with his wife.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Science Fiction, Science Future

- by Sylvia Ney

One of my favorite stops this summer was at the Reuben H. Fleet museum in San Diego, California. I took my daughters to the traveling exhibit "Science Fiction, Science Future".

We spent the day learning about what has led to our current understanding of science, what humans are currently working to develop, and being teased with challenges for the future. Gallery stops included:

- understanding what we know of sound and light
- move this object with your mind challenge
- become invisible
- design your own cyborg
- interact with robots
- and more than I can write about in one post!

Here are just a few of our explorations:

A section honoring the history of science fiction development - its authors, artists, and innovators. Rare books from the Department of Special Collections & University Archives (SCUA), artwork from comic book publisher IDW, and even displays from the Star Trek franchise were available for perusal - including a very special challenge (see pics below).

Created by the renowned Scitech Discovery Centre in Perth, Australia this exhibit is a visually compelling way to share a deeper understanding of how science fiction concepts of today are becoming a reality: including holograms.

Visitors are completely immersed in possibilities for medical technology, communication, and even transportation. This exhibit includes many innovations, inventions, and challenges -  a taste of anything a science lover could be looking for, especially when sharing the concepts with family and friends.

Thanks to this trip, my daughters truly enjoyed a glimpse at the possibilities for themselves and their future. I can't wait to see how they will contribute.

How will you contribute to our science fiction, science future? Will you or someone you know want to compete in the tricorder challenge listed in the above picture?