Weird and wonderful landscapes are an important part of science fiction and fantasy stories. As a geologist, I sometimes wonder, is that landscape even possible within the laws of nature as we know them?
Please comment on your favorite landscape and whether it makes sense taking into account the concepts of base level, erosion, and deposition and various river, shoreline, glacial, karst, wind, and other processes on landscape formation.
For my online class students, the specific story we’re looking at is ‘Boneyards’ by Kristine Kathryn Rusch and the landscape on the planet Treffet.
One doesn’t have to look far in popular science fiction to discover earth science processes whose energy balance simply doesn’t work in the real world. Impossible storms, instantaneous climate change, volcanos spurred by ‘magnetic forces’, and many other forms of complete nonsense.
So, find one! Post your thoughts about it.
Part of the Online Course “Earth Science Essentials for the Science Fiction Writer.”
Writer’s Corner is a place to consider Earth and Space Science topics of particular interest to writers, like what real Earth Science looks like in a story, what’s in the news, how movies and books get it wrong (that’s always fun),or what distinguishes science fiction from fantasy (always a favorite debate). Feel free to participate in the discussion!
Your friendly Chief Blogger is Russ Colson (Dr. C). Russ has taught college geology, planetary science and meteorology for over 20 years. He has been a science fiction fan since his introduction to Andre Norton, Isaac Asimov, and Edgar Rice Burroughs as a teenager, and even dables in writing some of his own stories. He’s author of over nineteen published science fiction stories and articles including an article in Clarkesworld Magazine that addresses the tragic misuse of Earth Science in science fiction.
Guest Blogger is Mary Colson. Mary has taught 8th grade Earth Science for over twenty years in Tennessee, Texas, and Minnesota. Mary reads a lot of non-fiction science for middle schoolers and also plenty of science fiction, mystery, and thrillers. She was a member of the writing team for the current Next Generation Science Standards.
The artwork at the top of the blog is by artist Steven Stalboerger–a portion of his work “Expedition on Enceladus.”
This blog is hosted on http//earthscienceissues.net, a resource for writers and teachers interested in discussing Earth Science issues.