The science keeps on rolling in at an incredible speed. The most interesting from my point of view as a science fiction writer is that Titan (the largest moon around Saturn) could harbour methane-based oxygen free life. See here for details.
This particular life can only really start out in liquid methane, which are what the seas on Titan comprise. So we would not expect to find life developing from the gaseous methane here on Earth.
But science fiction-wise, can you imagine two different races in the Solar System? So different that there won’t be any wars for resources? Think about all the other planets being discovered around nearby Stars. What happens if the methane-based life was the more predominant? Could we be the odd life-forms out? Or could we be looking at a kind of methane-based fish or dolphin? There are so many possibilities.
But what science fiction does is look at how things, aliens, whatever interact with people. Yes, there are exceptions, but that is exactly what they are – exceptions. Well, that is until about five years from now, when the science fiction publication industry will have caught up the science – after all, it takes time to write a novel, then time to edit it, then time to get the marketing plans in place, then time to print it and distribute it to the points of sale…
Short stories are another matter entirely. It can take as little as a few days from the writer typing in the final word on the story to in being on the internet at a well-know science fiction publishers.
Other interesting science includes the wave-particle duality of light being better understood – see here.
Then there’s all that water on Mars (yes I do mean that red planet). See here.
Yep… I can see the science fiction short story market having a field day with all these discoveries… I really don’t know how the novel publishers are going to cope under these circumstances.