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Things to Enhance the Science Fiction Story
#1
I'm starting this thread, because it seems that every time I read a new story, there is always something that comes to me, which could be improved upon. But by the time I manage to remember posting it on the computer, it is always well past the point of the story, and it winds up being forgotten.

So here is my first suggestion. I've seen this applied numerous time, and even my favorite writer, H.Beam Piper was guilty of this very thing. And it has to do with natural resources. Here is the latest example, from William Zellmann's book "Death Ship Quest". At the beginning the main character is describing where he grew up, and states the following:

Quote:He didn’t know where he’d been born, but he’d grown up in the grimy, sterile corridors of Varner’s World.

Varner’s World is barely habitable. For the two hundred years since its discovery, Varner’s has been locked in a vicious ice age that will continue for centuries. The only reason man came to Varner’s was to mine the extremely rare metals far beneath the glaciers that cover more than three quarters of the surface.

-Now I'm not saying that mining would be 100% off planet, but it is obvious that the overwhelming majority of real mining operations would be conducted in space. If the planet possessed valuable, or heavy, metals to a great extent, the entire system would be metal rich. That's how star systems are born. All of the blown off material from second, or later, generation stars would naturally have large quantities of heavier metals. The more cycles stellar material goes through star formation, the greater the presence of valuable elements.

So, with that in mind, the asteroid belt, LaGrange Points, Kuiper Belt area, and even the Oort Cloud outer portion of the system, would be loaded with valuable assets. And they would be far easier to process and move to other locations than inside the habital planet's gravity well. And unless the mining was regulated enough to keep the planet's surface ecological clean, it would make life on that planet less than optimum.

-It's sort of like the other complaint I have with writers commentating about the horrible quality of synthetically processed foods. Almost universally, they are panned as bland, tasteless, and generally hated by everyone. Only in the ultimate Collectivist Utopia would this ever happen. The Supply-Demand equation would take care of that immediately.

It is a 99.99% guarantee that synthetic foods will be every bit as good tasting, appealing, and cheaper, than the real thing. There is no way in Hell that anyone would be willing to buy that manure, when some other manufacturer would compete with a better product. Its called competition.

-Furthermore, the placement of some large solar reflectors and the ice age could perhaps be dialed back and allow for more planetary development. Science would make this an easy accomplishment, since getting into high orbit is a cinch.

Hey, that's turned into three things I almost universally fault SciFi writers and their writing misconceptions. They should be 'no-brainers', but in their zeal to portrait things in a horrible light, they overlook the very advanced civilization they are writing about.
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"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#2
Generally agree, especially that these things keep intruding in our enjoyment of otherwise decent writing.

The mining doesn't bother me too much if the author uses the planetary connection as a gravity sink useful in long-term exploration; as in how Weber uses the orbital resources of planets as being necessary to their survival. The mining is mainly in space rather than on the planets themselves.

Climate nonsense of the present day contaminates all the climate discussions in many novels.

In general, I like to have my horizons stretched, rather than insisting that I already know everything. Edgar Rice Burroughs and his contemporaries made many great projections without much science to back them. Some seems stupid today.
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#3
JOhn, food is not bought and sold by and to individual persons. It's provided free of charge by the pan-galactical mining company. To increase profits, they cut on worker food cost.

Yeah... and showers and other bathrooms suck too: dark, ugly, designed to the least confortable, with metal everywhere, just to remind you that walking bare feet on a metal grid floor hurts...
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