I have always wanted to publish an anthology where each science fiction story covered a planet of our Solar System. Whilst I’m some way from doing so, I have made notable progress as you see from the table below.
But as I write these stories I’m noticing some very interesting things. Apart from each story using a unique fact from the planet concerned… oh all right, here are the facts to date for the published stories:
- Mercury can have two sunrises in one day on some parts of the planet because of the orbital dynamics
- Earth has the mysterious methane bubbles that sink ships – think Bermuda Triangle or closer to home, some parts of the North Sea!
- Jupiter – Callisto, one of its moons, can be inhabited on the surface without the need to build radiation shielding
- Neptune – you can fly through the very top of its atmosphere whilst experiencing normal Earth gravity.
You’ll have to wait for the oddball facts about Mars, Saturn and Uranus until the stories are published! I’m still working on Venus! As to where I find these crazy facts? I’m just one of those people that keeps on stumbling across such things!
Now back to the main thread of this blog…
Each planet is vastly different and I’m having to do my homework, to check not only what the planets and their moons look like, but also what properties the substances in the environment have. The deeper I look into a planet the more fascinating it becomes. It’s almost as if the history of the planet is written on its surface, in its atmosphere, by its moon systems. But in going from one planet to another like this, I getting a better understanding of how the physics and chemistry changes as we move from the Sun outwards into the cold reaches of the Oort cloud. You already know the BIG facts like you have the rocky planets with thin atmospheric shells closer to the Sun and the gas giants well away from the Sun. There are plenty of others.
With settings so different, the stories are also so different. It’s as if the setting tells me what story to write… the environment makes the characters that lead onto the plot… well it’s one way of writing science fiction. In fact it’s a natural way of writing science fiction (natural in both senses of the word). This in turn is what makes the stories so different from anything written before.
So why isn’t there more interest in these short stories? It’s almost as if people don’t want to explore the Solar System and its byways. As far as a lot of science fiction publications are concerned it has the ‘No Entry’ sign attached to it. Well I can speculate ad tedium on this, and so can you! All I’m going to say is that there have been a spate of novels by famous authors that deal with buzzing around the Solar System lately, which probably means the market is saturated for us lesser known writers. But of those novels I’ve read, I haven’t seen these interesting facts used… I told you I could speculate ad tedium!
But I will make one prediction about the future… if we ever populate the Solar System, you can bet your bottom dollar that each colony will develop so differently that the interactions will be different from the novels being published now.
… and this makes me wonder if this kind or argument has something to do with us not being contacted by ET? I mean they’ll be so different from us that they just won’t have an interest in us.
If this post hasn’t given any science fiction writer an idea to write a story, then I’ll be very surprised to say the least…