IMG_1378 Kenneth Mark Hoover, Bill Frank, and Bob Mahoney
on an Armadillocon Convention panel on writing hard science fiction. Why base a story on science fact? Well, for one thing, if you base story on scientific facts, you disarm people who say that "it" -- e.g., surveillance society -- will never happen. Also, the panelists shared this thought about how much scientific or technical detail to put in a SF story. You can mention how a headset works, but don't go into the wiring, unless it plays part in electrocuting your character's brain.
Another thing reading and writing hard SF can teach you, is to think through what-if scenarios. It's a great life skill, says Bill Frank -- both at work and in personal life. Before you start a project, you can learn to identify potential points of failure, and come up with alternative plans.
Read more about ArmadilloCon in my blog posts, especially about the ever-popular What You Should Have Read panel, where our well-read panelists recommend the year's best science fiction, fantasy, and horror books.