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30 September 2015

It's Good When an Author Knows What He Writes Is Fiction

Heard a great interview with author Andy Weir about his book The Martian.
There really is so little modern science fiction being produced now.  Most of what we have in the Science Fiction/Alternative Reality/Fantasy section is paranormal (vampires, werewolves, demons, faery, goddesses, oh my!) or steampunk or alternative reality/post-apocalypse or some combination thereof.  While some can say that The Martian, too, is alternative reality (if we are using today's science), this has the two main ingredients --  science and fiction.

I love how the author talks about the incorrect scientific premises, because he knows!  So many of today's writers do not do the necessary research to write a proper story (probably why we have so much paranormal), which is plausible, believable and enlightening as well as entertaining.  Personally, I cannot enjoy any story with errors (which I know of but somehow seem unknown to the author and editor) in it and I get a little uncomfortable about errors I don't know about, especially easily verifiable facts like whether two named streets really cross in a real-life contemporaneous city or do ice cubes float or sink in a glass of iced tea or how to say, "shut up" in Korean or whether a certain brand motorbike with a certain horsepower and number of cylinders was actually made in 1979, or that very few if any cats really walk figure-8s around a human's ankles.  Knowing that the author knew about errors which he used anyway is somehow reassuring, because it is known fiction, not clueless, follow-the-leader fiction.

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