Why do I write? Part 2.

Since the publication of my science fiction adventure, The Arasmith Certainty Principle, by Double Dragon Publishing in Oct 2018, I’ve had several of my college students share with me that they, too, hope to write novels someday.

I tell them to “Go for it!”, but I warn them that it is not an endeavor for the faint of heart—rejection is the norm in the publishing world and even the best books often leave a majority of people unmoved.  I myself am often unmoved by books others consider superb.  Nor is writing novels a sure way to make a living—out of the thousands, perhaps millions, of authors hoping to get their stories heard, only a few make enough money to even cover expenses, let alone make a decent living.

Why, then, do so many people want to write?

For me, writing novels began during a dark time of life when writing became an opportunity to explore my own soul, to leave behind the troubling world of hard realities and to find myself in the imaginary worlds of what could be.  Writing became a rejuvenating contemplation of life and spirit.

How did that rejuvenation arise from The Arasmith Certainty Principle?

At the time I began writing Arasmith, I’d had some hard knocks with friendships.  In exploring the evolution of my protagonist Jen Hewitt’s relationships, I reminded myself that, although relationships can be complex and sometimes disappointing, they have the potential to become the whole meaning and purpose for living.  Jen gave me an example of someone ready to love and be loved even when love was not her first inclination and when relationship carried substantial risk.

My difficult experiences with friendships had left me less willing than before to take a public stand.  Although Arasmith is intended as fun excursion into an unexpected adventure, it still brings its characters face to face with difficult choices.  In those characters and their choices, I found people ready to stand for what was right, even when they realized that they may not fully understand what is right or what the unforeseen costs of taking a stand might be.

When I read, I lose myself in other worlds.  But when I write, I find myself, by taking a different sort of journey entirely. For me, writing is an inner journey akin to journaling that helps me hold on not only to the person I have been in the past but to the person I hope to become in the future.

Read my previous essay on why I write at http://earthscienceissues.net/earthwriteblog/2018/10/20/why-do-i-write/

The Arasmith Certainty Principle is available at the publishers website http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/single.php?ISBN=1-77115-431-4


Dr. C  (Russ Colson)

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A Couple of Guest Blogs

Since the publication of my science fiction adventure, The Arasmith Certainty Principle, by Double Dragon Publishing in Oct 2018, I’ve had the opportunity to write a couple of guest blogs. The first addresses some of my thoughts on what good science fiction should be about and the second offers a “page 69 excerpt challenge”. You can check them out below!

The Best of What We Might be Rather Than the Worst of What We Are

Good science fiction exposes human foibles!

Some science fiction writers have the ability to explore the problems and challenges in our present society, defusing our inherent tendency to take ideological sides by placing the story in a galaxy far, far away, or perhaps in another time or situation. For example, right now I’m reading the book The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal, a science fiction book that explores issues of racism, sexism, and religious prejudices within the context of a global catastrophe taking place in a revisioned past. I am finding the insights into our present social challenges to be sensitive to the complexity of real-life.

Read more at World of My Imagination!


An Excerpt from The Arasmith Certainty Principle

It’s always hard for an author to get a ‘feel’ for his or her own writing, so, in an effort to measure my own story, I recently played the Marshall McLuhan Page 69 game. Marshall McLuhan was a Canadian intellectual who supposedly said that if you want to find out what a book is like before you read it, turn to page 69 and read that page. I was somewhat surprised to find that page 69 (from the print version of The Arasmith Certainty Principle) faithfully captures some of the story’s juxtaposition of ordinary and extraordinary. Check out the excerpt below and see if you agree!

Read more at Tympest Books!

The Arasmith Certainty Principle is available at the publishers website http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/single.php?ISBN=1-77115-431-4

Dr. C (Russ Colson)

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Landscape and Science Fiction

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.

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Energy imbalances in popular SF

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.”

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About Writer’s Corner

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.



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