Researching Science Fiction

The fun part about Science Fiction is that it’s based on science. Real science. The world now. Then it’s imagined, invented, and takes several logical leaps.  Then scientists leap along with these imaginings, and those things become real.  Life imitates art imitates life.

I freaking love it.

One requirement of being a science fiction author is keeping up with the newest innovations in the real world.

Another requirement is knowing how the real world already works.  For Salvaged, I did a lot of research about the WHO and CDC processes for dealing with epidemics. I did research about specific viruses and bacteria, and I studied vaccines and how serums are created.   I looked at research on emerging viruses, superbugs, as well as the day to day stuff like e. coli.

Technologically, I made the assumption that tech would only advance as far as it would need to. Necessity would drive invention. Because of a widespread loss of utilities, I don’t use a lot of gadgets.

I’ve got several things on my list to learn in 2014, all in the name of research.

  • Krav Maga. This is the closest fighting style to the way the Corps would actually do hand-to-hand combat. It gets bonus points of making me more able to defend myself on sketchy commutes after dark, and I kind of like the idea of being a bonafide badass.
  • Firearms. This is something I’ve been wanting to learn for a long time. I’ve fired guns before, but I’ve never really learned how to do it. I want some training so that my books are realistic.
Lana uses Krav Maga wristlock

Lana uses Krav Maga – image from

If you haven’t figured it out, the Crash world is a teensy bit violent.  Here are a few of the –ologies I need to keep boning up on:

  • Entomology. If I tell you why, it spoils the surprise.
  • Epidemiology.  Duh.
  • Psychology.  I don’t think any writer can ever know enough Psych. Same goes for anthropology and sociology.

For Quarantined, I’ve got some history and cultural research to do.  And not yet, but soon, I’m going to have to refresh my understanding of global economics and be able to make a reasonable 2031 prediction for the state of the world.

Our worlds are only as rich and deep as our understandings of them.

3 thoughts on “Researching Science Fiction

  1. Yay for fun research! Krav Maga sounds intriguing. This past year, I learned how to dowse for water for a book I was working on, and in January, I’m taking a college course on Medieval broadsword combat for another book. I love being a writer!

  2. I have an entire binder full of research for my fantasy novel I originally thought I wouldn’t have to … boy if I could tell my younger self what an idiot she was, I would.

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