Posts Tagged ‘NASA’

#RandomNovelResearch – Cryovolcano

February 28, 2013

Over on Twitter, I post an occasional topic with the hashtag #RandomNovelResearch. (Okay, just searched the hashtag and my old tweets and discovered that I haven’t posted a #RandomNovelResearch item in a couple of months – but that doesn’t mean they’re not pretty cool! I’ll post more, promise!)

Anyway, my point was that as I’m writing along, happily making stuff up, I occasionally find myself wanting to know if what I’m making up has the slightest chance of being believable. So I do a quick search on keywords that come close to what I’m writing about – and in the process, sometimes find some pretty cool *real* stuff!

Sotra Facula Ice Volcano, Titan (NASA image)For example, w-a-a-y back in December, I just read about a possible cryovolcano on Saturn’s moon Titan. A cryovolcano, if you didn’t already know, is a volcano that spews a mixture of slushy ice and minerals, rather than ash and lava. Personally, I think that’s pretty cool! (pun intended)

Is there a cryovolcano in the novel I just finished writing (yay!) and am in the process of editing? Sadly, no. But you can bet one is likely to show up in a future story – and if not a story of mine, probably one by another writer. And that’s the point of the #RandomNovelResearch hashtag: sharing ideas with anyone who might find them interesting.

If you stumble on a cool bit of info, use the #RandomNovelResearch tag to share the link with other readers and writers. Let’s grow this topic as a idea bank. ‘Cause you know that no two of us are going to write the same story, even if we use the same shiny topic as our jumping-off point.

What’cha think?

#RandomNovelResearch – Dark Fireworks

November 11, 2012

NASA Science News - frame from ultraviolet movie of the explosion shows a 'solar tsunami' wave

You have to visit this NASA Science News page – and watch the videos.

They’re awesome, just awesome.

Trust me on this. Have I ever led you astray?



This is going into a story… not sure when or how, but wow, how could I not use it?



End of an Era

July 8, 2011

The last space shuttle blasted off today.

I’m sad about that, and not just because I’m a science fiction writer. I know there are those who complain about the cost of sending people out into space, and who will argue about the overall ROI until the sun goes nova, but I see our reach for the stars as something more than just a scientific/economic/military/political venture.

In ancient days, we looked up at the night sky and created stories to explain those pinpricks of light; today we still look into the sky, only now we’re trying to understand the stars, to go out and learn more about what they’re about, discover who or what else might be out there, grasp our role in an ever-changing universe.

The space shuttle program is ending. I hope something equally filled with the hope and wonder of that program will soon take its place.

Shuttle launch banner - KUED.ORG

To The Stars: Utah and the Space Shuttle -