Thursday, September 11, 2008

The competition is killing me.

My historical persona was a 2007 Golden Heart Finalist. For 2009, my Sci-Fi persona insists on trying.

My historical persona started a blog today for purely business purposes. My Sci-Fi persona insists she'll need a web presence sooner or later. Why not now?

Yes, I write in two genres---two genres that some think diametrically opposed. Not so. It is often the little known fact or odd mannerism I find in my historic research that sets off the "what if" questions that send me into the future.

What if:
. . . Napoleon was more than a short despot with a bantam rooster complex and a strange penchant for rubbing his own chest?
. . . a more advanced alien race had inserted him into history for their own purpose?
. . . he stuck his hand in his coat to activate a communications or recording device?

However, after an uncomfortable bout with tendinitis in my shoulder that tune changed.

What if:
. . . Napoleon had tendinitis and elevating his arm eased the constant ache?
. . . being a vain man, he didn't want to ruin the line of his coat with a sling?

Yeah, blew that story right out of the water without bothering the British fleet. However, there are always more "what ifs" to pursue.

What if:
. . . a society existed where people were genetically engineered to fulfill certain jobs?
. . . a product of that society found herself stranded among a people living in the equivalent of Earth's Dark Ages?
. . . the superstitious hero learned the truth about her?
. . . he wondered if she had a soul?

And, thus, Warrior's Woman was born--and spawned a the idea for an entire Earth Colony series. Two of the stories are well on their way to done. Several more are simple jottings, but are starting to coalesce.

Being young when James Tiberius Kirk started his mission to "boldly go where no man had gone before", the possibilities of Star Trek seemed as vast and endless as the universe. I found myself caught between my love of history and my fascination with the futuristic.

I'm still caught.

The framework of history often feels like a cage, confining my imagination, but that framework can't exist where history has yet to be written. No framework, no limitations.

Sounds like a plan, but there is--as always--a caveat.

Werewolves, vampires, witchcraft, trolls, and the like held no allure. Science fiction, however, always compelled a quest for answers to the "what if" question. Yet, unlike fantasy, science fiction imposed a limitation--plausibility. Scotty had "beamed" people hither and yon with impunity despite our knowing molecular decomposition and recomposition of anything, let alone living tissue, isn't possible--yet--but it is plausible. Gene Roddenberry made us believe it could happen, so why couldn't I?

Plausibility is one limitation I can handle.

So, I am writing science fiction romances. The history buff. The English geek. The literature nut. The library whiz and math catastrophe--who happened to love advanced biology.

Facets. Lots of facets. Humanity is a heck of a ride.

The biological sciences are intriguing. Chemistry--not so much. Physics--only the basics and those in small doses, thanks. BUT when they are integrated into a story, that's different.

Well, isn't it?

I mean, I'm not talking quantum physics here--yet--but what if your binary star system is in flux? Something happened to throw the largest planet in the solar system out of orbit? The moons of that rogue planet are now changing the tides, the weather, everything about an inhabited world? How are you going to fix it? What force will restore order? How can that force be created? How will it be administered? What happens if you miss?

Oops. Sorry. The "what ifs" can be difficult to control until they find life on the page. Giving them that page keeps me (barely) sane.





5 comments:

Tarot By Arwen said...

Grin as a professional tarot consultant AND writer, I love what if's. Great blog!

Lise said...

A delightfully provocative Blog! Congrats on the first of what I am sure will be many such intriguing posts. I think the most important thing to remember about sci-fi (being an original Star Trekkie myself) is the fact that much of what we know now seemed like magic before it was understood. The physics of Einstein is now the physics of Hawking - and he's being challenged and overthrown as well. So who's to say what we will learn about in the years to come? Why not suppose? We don't throw sticks at the moon any more, after all.

PJ von Detweiler said...

Well said, Lise. What was yesterday's fantasy is today's reality---which can be quite scary if we think about it too long!

Thanks to both you and Arwen for stopping by. I appreciate your kind words.

Write well.

Sapphire Phelan said...

Wonderful, thought-provoking blog. Enjoyed it, and yes, yesterday's fantasy is today's science.

lkmm said...

P-
You know that I live for the day I see a certain story come to fruition. If anyone can make it happen- you can!
You go, girl.
((hugs))
Your VERY tattered ex-editor