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November 9, 2022 Guest Articlesci-fi0

Photo by Lina Kivaka

Science fiction is fantastic, made plausible through the backdrop of science. 

Sci-fi typically deals with themes such as futuristic science, contact with extraterrestrial beings, time travel, alternate universe, etc. Mysteries are usually solved scientifically or with scientific reasons. Familiar characters in a sci-fi novel include aliens, robots, a time traveler, a scientist, and so on.

Murder mysteries have so many moving pieces that have to fit together perfectly. There must be plausible clues, compelling suspects, and a satisfying but unexpected ending. Adding new technologies—like spaceships and time travel—and alien species who may have unusual abilities, science fiction murder mysteries take both genres to a new level.

Many readers like a mystery because life is mysterious, and story-telling exists to help us figure out how to live. Secrets help us figure out how to deal with the unending avalanche of unknowns in our lives (probably not directly, unless you deal with dead bodies a lot).

Some people say that mysteries are famous because people like puzzles. Well, I want a certain kind of mystery, but I’ve never been a puzzle person.

In science fiction especially, the “who has done it” can quickly become a “what has done it.”

Here is the list of the six science fiction murder mysteries everywhere, from the moon and cyberspace to outer space.

All Systems Red by Martha Wells. Murderbot wants to do is watch its favorite shows, keep its humans from killing themselves, and avoid uncomfortable social situations while surveying an unfamiliar planet. That last goal proves tricky because somebody else is out to destroy the survey team, and it’s up to the contracted robotic security guard, Murderbot, to stop them. 

Philip Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? This 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep pins on Rick Deckard. He is a bounty hunter tasked with killing a bunch of androids who have escaped to Earth. Despite the mission’s dangerousness, Deckard needs the bounty money to purchase a real-life animal, the status symbol, and replace his crappy electric sheep.

Leviathans Wake by James S.A. Corey. Humanity has colonized the solar system—the Moon, Mars, the Asteroid Belt, and beyond—however, the stars are still out of reach. Jim Holden is an officer on an ice miner. When he and his crew stumble upon The Scopuli, they find themselves possessing a secret they never wanted.

Kate Mascarenhas’ The Psychology of Time Travel. The world would know three of their names. Four women scientists made the first time travel machine, but when one of them has a nervous breakdown, she’s thrown off the team. Her contributions are lost, and history moves on. Ruby knows her grandmother, Barbara (or Granny Bee), was part of the team, but when Granny Bee receives a newspaper clipping about a murdered woman from the future, Ruby fears it’s her grandmother. She decides to figure out what will happen and how to stop it. The story is told from shifting perspectives, exploring how the possibility of meeting your old and future selves might impact your state of mind.

Richard Morgan’s Altered Carbon. It is hard to solve a murder mystery when humans can switch bodies. Like in a video game, some people can “reset” after being killed. Plot-wise, the book is different from the Netflix series based on it—despite its multi-episode length, the latter has less time for world-building.

 Moon Luck by Wayne Scott Harral. Over the years, more active stations will be located permanently on the moon. Will humans be prepared when the time comes? Harral’s Sci-Fi and mystery book, Moon Luck, is a great read! It is the story of thirty astronauts living on the moon for extended periods. The author generated an engaging story through thoughtful character development, in-depth research, and a creative storyline. Something truly unique to this book is because of its details in advanced technologies and makes some exciting leaps into the future. This is a genre that people would hesitate to read at first glance because of nowhere to be found: settings of the moon, cyberspace to outer space; however, as they read further, it would tickle their interest as it is combined with mysteries that touch on solving a puzzle or a crime. 

 


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October 19, 2022 Guest Article0

The link between a writer and traveling is essential. Going on a trip or exploring the world can do wonders for the person writing the words and their craft.  

 

 

There are many advantages to being a writer. First off, writers take control of their time. Their hours are theirs; they can write away at any time of the day and with how many hours they want. They can work in the comfort of their homes, hide away in a library, or spend hours and hours in a coffee shop. The day, time, and place are theirs to control. 

 

That’s why some writers would take time and effort to escape the city life’s hustle and bustle and find escape and haven out in the country, the mountains, or the sea. This freedom from the writing life provides that luxury of traveling and exploring. 

 

Then again, there are writers whose writing jobs are more demanding, such as news reporters or technical writers. They’re forced to confine strictly to a schedule or a deadline because they’re tied to their clientele’s requirements. 

 

But this type of pressure doesn’t prevent them from seeking a chance to escape into the world of traveling. This constraint only increases their urge to pack their bags and temporarily leave behind stress. 

 

Payoffs of Traveling to a Writer

 

People say the so-called “writer’s block” motivates writers to seek a different place to write or relax. Besides good vocabulary skills, writers are often required to have a good imagination and a wide range of exposure or experience. 

 

To these writers, traveling is one way to develop these character traits that would help them become better at their craft. Read on to find out other benefits writers seek when traveling. 

 

Seek Inspiration for New Ideas

When everything becomes all too much, that’s when writers face a block – writer’s block. Writer’s block is a situation in which the writer cannot come up with anything to write about or does not know how to proceed with writing. This is a good enough reason for writers to travel. 

 

Traveling provides opportunities for exposure to new sceneries, languages, and cultures, meeting new people, and even reconnecting with old acquaintances. A quick getaway can refresh the mind, yield inspired ideas, and motivate the writer to grab that pen (or laptop) and start writing again. 

 

Physical and Mental Health Fitness

Another benefit writers gain from traveling is the health aspect it brings them. Because of the nature of their work (and once inspiration sparked), writers are often confined to their desks for endless hours because of that limitless flow of creative juice. Most of them aren’t aware, but if not recognized at the earliest instance, some common health problems they’ll encounter include eye disorders, headaches, musculoskeletal disorders, stress, depression, and so on. 

 

The quickest remedy? Get out and seek new places to spend time. A nature hike into the wilderness would solve those muscle stiffness problems. An hour of sitting by the beach side and staring out into the ocean will refresh and reboot the mind – a good mental health exercise. Spending the whole day in the dewy, green countryside can do wonders for eyes and headaches. 

 

Authenticity in Writing

 Some writers travel for the learning experience, to gain knowledge, or for research purposes. So that their work will be legitimate and authentic, they go to meet people, visit places, or immerse in an experience that is the subject of their work. A plus benefit? They get to learn new languages and have the opportunity to expand their vocabulary. 

 

“Me” Time

Just like any other profession, writers also need that “me” time for themselves. Traveling is a chance for that much-needed time to relax and do anything besides work. It is a time to reboot a person’s system, get in touch with their wants and needs, and enjoy the time away doing the things they love. 

 

Call it a time to unplug and unwind, to relieve the brain from stress. After all, writers are humans too. 

 

Becoming a Travel Writer

 Some people travel to become travel writers or to have a travel blog. This interest may have stemmed from their existing love of visiting places, going on trips, exploring adventures, etc. 

 

Becoming a travel writer means having no boss! You’re in a career that you’re passionate about and doing something you highly love and are motivated. 

 

Author Wayne Scott Harral is a writer that has seen the world. With an extensive traveling experience to more than 40 countries, this writer’s journey proved to be an eye-opener and gave him the inspiration and the creativity to write his book, Moon Luck. 

 

So if you’re a writer and need a mind-refresher and reboot, pack up those bags, go out, travel, and see the world!


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Will life be the same without science? Can the world survive without technology’s advancement?

If there is one thing that is consistently progressing in this world, that is the constant progression of science and technology. The existence of science and technology and their impact on human life and this world are present and evident everywhere and anywhere. The cup of joe you have every morning results from scientific experimentation finely tuned by technology.

The shoes and clothes you wear result from what science and technology can do to dress up men. The food you eat, the books you’re reading, the vehicles you’re riding on, and almost anything that makes life convenient for an individual is products of science and technology.

This tells how essential are the function and use of science and technology.

Moon Luck by Harral is a book that exemplifies the benefits of science and technology. Author Scott Harral tells the story about 30 astronauts residing on the moon for purposes of carrying out experiments and research, with a twist of suspenseful plot in the form of a murder mystery. The book is a one-of-a-kind science fiction, using science and technology at the core of the uniquely created mystery plot.

Overview of Science & Technology

Although people often regard these two words as having the same meaning, there’s a distinction between what is science and what is technology.

Science has a practical definition. Science is commonly described as a structured study of the natural and physical world. The study involves a methodology of objective observation, measurement and data, investigation, and experimentation.

Science is a quest for knowledge. When people started getting curious, asking what, when, why, who, where, and how, that’s how science as a branch of study started to evolve. For this study to progress, it needs tools to support its research, findings, and conclusion.

This is when technology comes in – which leads next to the meaning of technology.

From the above understanding of what science is, anyone can say that technology is already the application of scientific knowledge.

Role in Life’s Progress

The book Moon Luck is a good case in point that depicts science and technology’s roles in people’s lives. People could go to the moon by combining these two pieces of knowledge. Individuals were able to calculate and plot how people would be able to survive life in outer space.

Even within just the Earth’s surface, miracles are already taking place because of the efficient utilization of these two studies. From the building infrastructures people inhabit to the meals and dishes they eat to the healing sustenance such as drugs and medicines that can overcome sickness and prolong life, this world is already a basketful brimming with science and technology.

Because these so-called “miracles” are the answers people have been seeking throughout their lives.

Technology can create those dream homes if people want to live in comfortable and convenient houses.

If people want to go from point A to point B in the shortest amount of time, science could help formulate a plan for it to come true, and technology can create fast-moving modes of transportation.

And if a person wants to communicate with someone on the other side of the Earth, it can be done so fast and efficiently – not to mention at a lower cost!

The role that science and technology play in life’s progress is a problem-solver. They make things easy and convenient for people. They provide the answers that are seemingly impossible to solve. They offer solutions to challenging problems.

In short, science and technology made this world a habitable place.

What would the world be without science and technology

Unimaginable. If famous Italian astronomer, physicist, and scientist Galileo Galilei didn’t insist back in the 1500s that the world is round, everyone would have been scared to travel the globe for fear of falling off from a “flat-surfaced earth.” Suppose Isaac Newton didn’t get hit (supposedly!) by an apple in the head; people would have no idea about the law of gravity or physics or the explanation why things fell coming from the top and not from the bottom.

Conversely, if Benjamin Franklin didn’t endeavor to fly a kite with a key attached to it during a thunderstorm, everyone would still be in the dark ages without electricity.

A world without science and technology is like getting lost in a jungle without a map or in the middle of a vast ocean with no compass or anything to guide you in the right direction. A world without science and technology is a life without meaning or purpose since no one has risked the chance to find answers to their questions.

Ultimately, the only way for life to progress and advance is through the push of science and technology.


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July 23, 2022 Guest Article0

The moon, one of our most appreciated celestial bodies, has been a part of our imagination and longing for more outside our world.

The mystery of the moon, planets, and space provides people with the wonder and excitement that fuels them to learn more about this subject. Generally, people love exploring the immense possibilities regarding their existence and those around them. And to partly satisfy this desire, people create stories and fiction focusing on exploring the boundaries of their imaginations. For instance, the book “Moon Luck” by Wayne Scott Harral, a Story of astronauts living on the Moon, presents the possibility of moon habitation, one of the many fascinating and spellbinding ideas people love to investigate.

Every time people gaze at the depths of the night sky, they imagine something beyond compare. They are fascinated by its illumination, taking as a centerpiece among the stars that shine in deep darkness. But what are the reasons for our fascination with the moon?

The Moon Illuminates a Time of Heightened Emotions and Potent Creativity

The moon’s arrival seems like an avenue for poets and writers to use as a muse for their poems and writings. It influences them to compose poetry, novels, nursery rhymes, and other folklore about it. Fiction writers are also fascinated with this majestic heavenly body. There is a long tradition of this fascination that has turned it into literary art.

The mystery, commanding power, energy, intuition, and presence of the moon have captivated their curiosity about this celestial body. People are fascinated by the moon for this simple reason: they see themselves in its image. Like the moon, they have mysteries in their bodies they don’t know about. The energy they give to other people by befriending or connecting with them is the same as the moon. The moon gives them the same energy by providing light and illuminating people with its poetry and life every night.

The moon is the only sole universal body that can be seen from the earth without needing the assistance of a telescope. It is the closest heavenly body to planet earth.

One of the fascinating things about the moon is its nearness and vividness to earth. With a distance of 238,900 miles from Earth, it’s the closest celestial body to it. Hence, it’s the most noticeable from the enduring crowd of heavenly bodies at night.

Also, the Moons Control Fertility

Many early civilizations believed that the moon determined when women could become pregnant. This could explain why female moon deities from the Chinese goddess Change to Mama Quilla of the Incas are so prominent worldwide in mythologies. According to some theories proposed, full moons cause an uptick in births, flooding maternity wards with mothers-to-be in labor. However, recent studies and most experts think otherwise and state that any lunar effect on procreation is imagined.

There is a Connection to Divine Creation and Wisdom with This Cosmic Sensation

The moon may be virginal and sterile, but it seems its own birth was highly dramatic. Creationism refers to creation myths or an unrelated concept about the soul’s origin. It is also a religious belief that nature and its aspects, such as the universe, earth, life, and humans, originated with supernatural acts of divine creation. In this respect, celestial bodies like the moon have often been linked to creationism.

It is a fact that people have always been fascinated by the moon. The deep lunar connections and powers between humans and the moon have existed since the beginning of time. This wondrous, white, pearly object we admire in the night sky impacts the world in more ways than one.

Whatever the fascination, the moon and its effect on humans is still somewhat mastery that needs to be explored, entangled, and solved for future generations to come. So now, all people can do is admire the moon from afar, write about it or make folktales about its origin and meaning for existence.

Why the Moon Means to People

The moon is always related to the human mind. It seems like the moon and man are part of something bigger. Maybe the universe, perhaps? We still don’t know. Man’s understanding of his environment is still limited, and these things need further investigation. How much the moon means to them is not entirely determined, and the compelling part is that there are a lot of endeavors trying to explain it. These efforts are growing every now and then, striving to fulfill the human’s thirst to make sense of his environment and all of what he sees and considers. The vital thing to know is that the fundamental knowledge humans have in the world will stand the test of time, and only time will tell what will happen in human efforts to explain his position in this brief but unforgettable time he has in the universe.


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April 13, 2022 Guest Article0

Science fiction has drastically changed over the decades. Much of this has to do with humankind’s technological advancements, which leads to multiple discoveries, doubts, and questions about the earth and the universe beyond it.

The genre of science fiction explores the different possibilities that center on the curiosities of the human mind. It reflects how people constantly change and challenge their perceptions of science and technology. Some of the most common themes in this genre aim to answer or make its audience ponder whether other intelligent forms exist outside the earth or if life can exist beyond it?

Science fiction thrives in debates – the divided sides people take regarding the questions of the unknown. But as the world progresses, many of these queries have begun to be proven truth or fallacy. How can science fiction grow as a genre when the curiosities it aims to satisfy are answered? Or will these advancements ultimately mean the extinction of science fiction?

The Subtle Alteration

Most of what people are curious about unknown territories in the world mostly revolve around whether life can survive on other plants or flourish on the moon. This is why most science fiction media are directed toward space travel or experiments to answer those questions. However, as this genre is generally aimed at continuous progression, perhaps it’s about time writers focus on the proceeding “what-ifs,” assuming that answers to these questions have been reached. For instance, instead of focusing on the voyage toward the moon, maybe it’s about high-time that science fiction takes people’s imaginations into how life would be like if people did stand a chance of living on the moon or other planets.

Sure, at this point, there’s still a lot of ongoing research and tests to prove if that’s possible or not, and it’s still an utterly unfeasible experience. But isn’t this also the primary goal of science fiction? To ignite people’s imagination and challenge the existing limits of modern technology? Besides, fiction is fiction. The more closely impossible it is, the more people can discuss it and the more traction it might receive.

Take, for example, Moon Luck by Harral. This book isn’t a narration of traveling toward the moon. Instead, it’s already showing its readers how life would flourish on the moon, following its author Scott Harral’s perception – what kind of machinery would help people live, what routines would they be doing there. And Harral depicts it not like how people would imagine it to be. There are no houses or malls like how it is on earth. Though the book isn’t about any normal life and is, in fact, a thriller, it still gives its readers a glimpse of how life can be on the moon.

Taking It from the Other’s Perspective

Mainstream media has ample content revolving around aliens, whether it be thrillers or actions about an alien invasion or the comedies about these creatures trying to blend in with humankind. But what writers haven’t explored much about are alien invasions from the aliens’ perspectives. People have seen and read about how humans were to react if aliens landed on the earth. But how about the aliens? How would they respond to the difference in appearance or their planets?

A Contrast to the Politics

Most of what people see in science fiction regarding the discussion of politics leans toward the negative end of its spectrum – military empires, feudalism, a government so unprincipled that it triggers a revolution amongst its people. But these are the overused type of politics in media that it’s become a familiar and expected trend – bad governance equals the need to revolt. How about taking this idea and putting it in reverse?

How will people react to highly decorous and conventional governance? Perhaps, one so good that it brings in new sets of politics and morality that it instead pushes its citizens to rebel or dissent against their goody authorities? How will people react and take advantage of it when given so much freedom and goodness?

Realistically, How will the World be Years from Now?

There’s almost always an exaggeration when it comes to the future in science fiction. When media talks about the future, there’s always the existence of flying cars or a broken-down society. But let’s face it, a couple of years from now, there might not be much of a difference nor any grandiose advancements in technology to how it is now. And perhaps it’s an exciting idea to explore that realistic side of the future. Rather than making everything excessively advanced, why not do something small and create conflict from that. This way, it will spark the most realism in the audience, giving them a sense of dread with the high possibility of it happening.

For as long as there are existing technological and scientific breakthroughs, science fiction won’t cease to exist. The only thing writers need to do isn’t think of entirely new topics to tackle. Instead, tweak existing ones. This is how science fiction can continue to be a place of discussion and debate about the world’s endless possibilities.


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March 23, 2022 Guest Article0

Throughout history until now, poets have admired the moon’s beauty. Looking at it for hours, they would not tire from cherishing and appreciating its beauty. Years later, scientific and technological advancements showed that its surface had a desolate beauty.

The Lunar Missions

The Lunar Mission or the Moon Mission started in the late 1950s when the Soviet Union was ahead of the United States of America in space explorations. Therefore in 1961, US President John F. Kennedy gave inspiration and hope to the American people; he affirmed the landing of man on the moon and his safe return to the Earth before the end of the decade.

The US accomplished this goal eight years later by sending Edwin Aldrin and Neil Armstrong on the moon. The first step was risky and complex. However, many steps followed naturally after the first step, including many exploratory missions to study the moon’s surface and the universe.

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong touched the lunar surface and said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” His mission included collecting samples of the moon’s surface for further studies. Little was known that they would be the base for building buildings one day.

How Mankind Lives on the Moon

Life on the moon would be more disparate for explorers than life on Earth. From its lack of air to lighter gravity, the moon is a harsh mistress, just like the late sci-fi author Robert Heinlein claimed. The moon has no weather, no atmosphere, and oceans of water. Its surface is in an eternal nihility. Astronauts in pairs have lived on its surface only up to three days at a time in the small Lunar Module of the Apollo program. 

Only twelve humans (the crews of Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17) have ever walked on the moon’s surface. Apollo astronauts had to tread carefully or risk stumbling or falling because the moon’s gravity is only one-sixth of Earth’s gravity. They ultimately perfected bunny hops and a bouncing gait to walk along the lunar surface.

The sci-fi novel entitled Moon Luck by Wayne Scott Harral conveyed that one or more active stations will be permanently located on the moon in the coming decades. And another will inevitably take a human life while people live in these moon colonies. Harral’s glimpse into the near future as we inhabit the Moon leads one to question if humans will ever be prepared for the first time it happens.

What NASA Planners Foresee 

NASA feels that traveling to the moon could help humans evaluate the mystery behind this vast universe. They believe that valuable resources on the moon can also be used for other space missions. Liquid oxygen is a significant component of the fuel needed for current space travel and other future missions. Also, the moon mission will lead scientists to the human-crewed mission to Mars by 2030. 

Some experts also perpetuate that suborbital tourism will take off, and over one thousand people will be reaching space by 2020. Such a tourist spot would cost millions or billions, possible only for the super-rich people. Further, it will be followed by mining on the moon to use its resources.

The tremendous speed with which pollution and population increase has forced humans to look for other planets to live on. But when one looks at the ground reality, they still cannot imagine living in a place which would be deserted, with hardly any people and vegetation around. One thinks about how it would be with having to move with oxygen masks all the time. Compared to Earth’s lush and lively life, going on a vacation for a few days to the moon seems like a good adventure. However, planning to reside there seems rather tricky, at least now.

Upshots

The time may come when leaving Earth becomes necessary for the survival of the human race. American ex-president George W. Bush had this in mind when he proposed in 2004 that people should return to the moon and this time to stay. Lunar outposts have created a considerable amount of debate. Some argue that robots can perform the necessary tasks on the moon, and people do not need to inhabit its surface. While the logistics of inhabiting the moon are not yet worked out, the settlement will become imperative for the survival of humanity.

Moreover, humans have been sharpening their space abilities so that when one decides to return to the moon, it will be to stay. 

 


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March 7, 2022 Guest Article0

The further you travel into outer space, the more you realize our most important relationships are down here on Earth. 

Astronauts have always looked back on their homeworld. They see the world as a fragile blue marble floating in the blackness of space when seen from the Moon. Astronauts can see the world with their own eyes flip through the pages of the book Story of astronauts living on the Moon, which holds all the people they love. That connection provides a sense of stability and reassurance that they will return after their mission.

Astronaut’s Life In Space

Astronauts feel the significance of open communication and teamwork while in space. They feel that getting along with their colleagues in space will ease their loneliness and focus on their mission. They must keep in mind that loneliness is not being alone physically but a state of mind.  

The core objective of their goal is to achieve success. The astronauts have to be jubilant to function well in their work, and you can not be in high spirits if you are not getting along with your fellow astronaut.   

The view they get to see out of the window is just breathtaking. You can appreciate the beauty of planet Earth. It looks like spinning in the black velvet of space with a bright blue halo surrounding it, which changes the astronaut’s perspective on life.”

Astronaut’s Depression In Space

Space is a unique solitary environment that complicates the associated changes on the astronaut’s brain. Microgravity affects the brain through vestibular deprivation, cephalic fluid shift, and weightlessness makes the brain perplexing.  

Depression in space refers to an astronaut’s cognitive, behavioral, and emotional well-being in space. It is how astronauts think, feel, and behave during the expedition in space. 

 

There are several psychiatric problems during space missions. Most common is their adjustment reactions to their new surroundings, and a new domain in space gives them symptoms of transient anxiety or depression.

Space adaptation syndrome or space sickness is a kind of motion sickness that can occur to an astronaut when his surroundings visually appear to be in motion but without his physical body in motion. This abnormal condition can occur during space travel when changes in g-forces compromise one’s spatial orientation.

The isolation in space contributes to anxiety and stress, ranging from neurocognitive changes, fatigue, sleep disorders, altered stress hormone levels, and immune-modulatory changes.

Astronauts experience sleeping problems due to natural light and anxiety problems or depression. Aside from loneliness, other factors create depression, such as microgravity or radiation. The carbon dioxide may also debilitate their neurobehavioral and performance.

Astronauts are given time to speak with their families virtually. There are stressful situations or traumatic events that sometimes occur in space, like when an astronaut breaks up with his girlfriend or divorce cases. A family member is sick, an accident of a family member, or the death of a friend or family member. These situations contribute to the depression of an astronaut in space. 

How Astronauts Maintain Their Mental Health

Space agencies know that the astronaut will be living in space for quite some time. They used studies on arctic bases to keep astronauts sane in their whole trip. Space agencies are very particular with their crew selection and compatibility.

Astronauts are given adequate sleep, healthy and good tasting food, exercise, substantial work, leisure time with other space crews, the availability of social and recreational events – music, movies, and virtual contact with family and friends.

Astronauts are expected to adjust to a new environment with reduced living quarters and limited hygiene facilities, build working relationships with crewmates, keep in touch with friends and family way back home, and balance tasks and rest and sleep. 

Good mental health is vital for the astronauts, so space agencies shouldn’t ignore mental health challenges and issues.

Truth Behind Astronauts

No astronaut has ever traveled farther away from Earth than our own Moon. Space agencies sent robotic probes to explore nearby planets and planets in the outer solar system. Still, no human has come even close to orbiting another planet.

Astronauts have always looked back on their homeworld. They see the world as a delicate blue marble floating in the obscurity of space. When astronauts see with their own eyes the beautiful world that holds the people they love, it gives them sort of a connection that provides a sense of stability and reassurance that they will return home after their mission is over. 

 


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February 16, 2022 Guest ArticleTips0

Every author starts with an idea. Afterward, people think it’s smooth sailing from there – authors sit down with their laptops and continuously type for days on end. But what happens for most authors is that after having the aha! moment, the thought of interpreting the idea isn’t as simple as it seems.

Writing a novel isn’t an easy task, especially in writing science fiction. Besides, sci-fi authors aren’t simply narrating their experiences or day-to-day events; they create a new world. And as a writer, it is your responsibility to give your readers a new experience. Something mind gripping that they can’t help but revisit bits and bits of your book from time to time. Here’s how you achieve that:

Brainstorm

For starters, your idea might not be enough to create a couple of chapters for a book. To have a solid foundation for your story, you need to consider more aspects – overall theme, fantasy world, characters – to make your idea more intriguing.

There are hundreds of sci-fi stories out there. This means one thing: competition is tough. For you to stand out, you need to experiment with new ideas. Don’t be afraid to write about something new. One way to do this is by finding inspiration from the real world and putting your twist over it.

Take Wayne Scott Harral’s sci-fi and mystery book, Moon Luck, for example. Its main plot is simple: in a group of scientists, somebody dies, and they need to find out who killed them. But Harral adds his twist to the seeming cliche plot – he made it happen on the moon. The unique setting thrusts the story to a new perspective, where the characters have a different and limited means of solving their problem than how they normally would have.

Know Your Audience

If you’re thinking of publishing your work, you’re writing for others and not only for yourself. To create a compelling story, you must first know who your audience is. Whom are you attracting? What are the possible expectations they might have?

Plan Your Plot

Your characters need to have a circular character arc to be effective. This means they transform, grow and change throughout your story, and this can only be achieved through an organized plot.

To help sort out your plot, you need to pinpoint the heart of your story. What is its core? Is it about a son’s revenge against his family’s killers, or is it a story of acceptance and healing? After you’ve decided on your story’s core, you can then build conflict, complications, climactic events, and resolution around it.

Do Your Research

Just because you’re writing fiction doesn’t mean you can just write everything as you go. While most of its element does revolve around fiction and the somewhat impossible, science fiction – as the name says – is still, in a way, based on science.

Make sure you’re writing the right things. If a detail in your story mismatches your audience’s expectation, this can affect their immersion, likewise, your story’s impact. But while having accurate information is essential, you shouldn’t overwhelm your audience with facts. You don’t want them to feel like they’re reading a science textbook instead.

Create an Interesting World

Besides creating your plot, world-building is one of the most critical elements that carry your work to perfection. After all, everything in your story takes place in your made-up world. Therefore, if you fail to design it clearly, your readers will also have difficulty imagining your story.

Besides the structures in your world, you also need to pay close attention to how you mold your characters. Enjoyable characters are those whom your readers can relate to. While it’s understandable that it’s difficult to relate to wizards or superheroes, besides, we can’t shoot lasers from our eyes; you can still make your characters relatable by giving them actual everyday conflicts and fears. Make them more human than fiction.

In Moon Luck, though not everyone can relate to being an astronaut or a scientist, there still existed a more mundane plot point which was all about finding out who killed their colleague.

Be consistent with how you present your world

The structure of your world is essential to plan out but so should be its mechanism – the laws and the overall logic governing it. A novel doesn’t just end after a couple of short chapters. It means there is more room for you to commit mistakes with the uniformity of your world. Remember, while your story is fictional, your world should appear believable. Having a consistent world creates credibility and makes your story more enjoyable.

Ultimately, writing any type of novel isn’t an easy task. It takes a lot of brainpower and creative juices to make your idea come true. 

 


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December 1, 2021 Guest Article2

Everyone knows that when writing science fiction, the sky’s the limit—but if you don’t plan on setting the story on Earth, then the sky isn’t your limit! Many readers pass over realist contemporary fiction and choose to read sci-fi instead. Why? Well, for one, they can find engaging plots and characters in this genre with no lack of adventure, suspense, conflict, and even romance. However, the main reason readers opt mainstream fiction is the imaginary setting that takes you on a world somewhat different from the one we live in.

These worlds may be basis of the sense of place in other genres, but it’s the very essence of any good science fiction. The setting is so much more than just a framing device in a way that may not be in a realist fiction. You can’t immediately assume that when someone grows plants that it’s going to be the same as it is on Earth. How do you grow plants on the moon? How does it thrive? Suddenly everything changes. Now, do a once over on Moon Luck by Harral. This book has a remarkable world which not only sets the stage for where the story revolves but also lays groundwork for the characters to interact and develop.

Thus, if you want a craft a compelling world like Scott Harral’s, then we recommend you follow the tips itemized below.

Pre-determine Every Detail

Although most writers prefer to build their world along the development of their stories, detailed plans are a science fiction writer’s best friend. And by detailed plan we mean every detail. From the environment of the world to the governing rules, down to the last features. Some writers juxtapose a real-world setting with fantastical elements, while others create an entirely imaginary universe with their own physical laws, logic, and populations of imagined races. This blueprint will be extremely helpful when you’re writing, you may decide to eliminate or change some of these details to your liking as you progress.

The downside of flying by the seat of one’s pants is that you may unintentionally forget characteristics that will be important to the overall plot. So identify all the features you want present on your world.

Take Charge of the Human Sensory

Get creative and go beyond simply describing the appearance to unlock the richness and depth of your fictional world. While there’s nothing wrong with relying heavily on visual descriptions, it can become too descriptive and less immersive for readers. Immersion is the one thing that any writer wants, and you should do, too. Using all five senses is a brilliant rule that helps make your fictional world come to life. Sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste. Each sense a powerful tool on its own way. And when combined, they don’t simply describe the world that events take place in offers a full, riveting experience.

There is no necessity to use them all, particularly in a single scene. However, being aware of them as you write, and learning to use them effectively will result in a rich and believable setting that readers are going to want to inhabit themselves.

Use Existing Works to Inspire You

If you’re not like Scott Harral with experience and in-depth knowledge of his setting—the moon, then we recommend you try to revisit the works of other science fiction writers for inspiration. This one is a given, and it’s probably something you’ve heard many times before, but the importance of this can’t be stressed enough. Additionally, never steal ideas rather review the work to see how they built their world.

Plan with Caution

Discovering a new world is a whole lot difficult than building it before you get too deep into the writing. Yes, it can be fun but it is so easy to get lost in the small details you want to include as you progress. Therefore, it’s especially important to have a blueprint. However, over planning can also be a problem. Many science fiction writers become so engrossed in world-building that they find themselves entangled in millions of details, which can be confusing and monotonous. World-building must not come at the expense of your story. You may feel like you have to follow the plans you’ve laid out for yourself but your story and other details will continuously change along the way, so it’s better not to get too hung up on the minor things.


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November 3, 2021 Guest Article0

As a fiction writer, the pressure to come up with a compelling narrative will always be there. That is why having inspiration firing throughout the process is a must. But how will this be possible? Even the world’s best artist or writer can feel creatively burned out along the way. And, when this happens, you will feel as though there aren’t many good ideas coming out of your head. The overwhelming feeling combined with stress and exhaustion is not something to look forward to.

Writing can be a demanding task alone, but it can go beyond that. Writer’s burnout is characterized by extreme tiredness and emptiness, which is not a pleasant feeling at all. Even if you are the most passionate writer, your enthusiasm will surely go down when burnout aggravates. A point will come when you start to doubt your own capabilities. Hence, you should never let it worsen or add up—you should do something about it.

Because of the pandemic, many people are affected mentally and emotionally. This proves that the number of people needing help to mitigate burnout is increasing— writers are no exception. Below are the ways to stay creatively inspired as a fiction writer:

Go Back to the Reasons Why You Started Writing

Every author has a story to tell behind their books, and this story always contains a good amount of motivation and inspiration. There is an excellent possibility that the reason why you are burned out is that you’ve lost that fire of spur and drive. So make sure to go back to your story, where you can find that very reason why you started writing in the first place. From there, you can get back on your feet in no time.

Touch on Your Interests

As a fiction writer, you may have your own reason for becoming one, but it never fails to touch on your interests. For example, science fiction novels are always driven by a writer’s fascination with science or the future. So, when you are writing science fiction, you can find your way back to your fascination with science. If it helps, you can also read literary works on science fiction to bring back the feeling of wanting to write one. Alluding to sci-fi, make sure that you get Scott Harral’s book, Moon Luck. Harral’s glimpse into the near future as we inhabit the Moon is a story that can surely give you the motivation to write your own. You can also learn some useful techniques in fiction writing as you read it.

Accept and Go Through It

Accepting that you are in that situation is the first thing that can help you mitigate it. Think of it as a valuable experience. In fact, you can always benefit from experiences—whether good or bad. Instead of feeling upset that you are experiencing it, be challenged. You can’t shy away from it. Because at the end of the day, you can learn lessons by going through it. It even adds up to who you become in the future, making you more robust than ever. To help you feel better, everybody with creative minds experiences burnout, just like you do.

Don’t Rush the Process

One trick that can help you not feel overwhelmed by the work is not to oversee things. Because when you do, you will end up feeling exhausted as you count the workload you have. Creating a list of long-term and short-term goals is what you can do to motivate you even more. Give time to take one goal at a time and not rush everything. Otherwise, choose to have a healthy relationship with the creativity that you have.

A Breather Will Be a Great Idea

You can’t be too hard on yourself by giving yourself some strict deadlines. If the only thing that keeps you working is just to finish something, your sense of passion will be gone. You can’t lose your passion as it is the element that pushes you through. If you feel like you need a slight pause, go ahead and take it. Take things in by meditating or going on a nature adventure. Refreshing the inner you will get you back on track.


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