Reading period week 4

The number of submissions received by Rocket Science currently stands at twenty-six, of which four are non-fiction. So it’s been a quiet week.

I’d like to make one point about the submissions I’ve had so far. The guidelines do ask that those submitting include a few details about themselves in their cover email. And most have done. But one or two have given no personal details whatsoever. Please, at least put your address in your email or on your manuscript. I realise that it’s all being done electronically, but I need it for my records.

Manuscript formats have also run the gamut. I’m not especially bothered by which font is used, or whether lines are single-spaced or double-spaced. Manuscripts don’t have to be in Standard Manuscript Format. But page-numbering would be nice. And useful too. So don’t forget to number your pages.

Anyway, the submissions to date break down as follows:

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Reading period week 4

  1. Are there any story plots/features that you’re seeing too often? Are there any things you thought you’d get, but aren’t seeing? This information might help writers aim at the right targets?

    One thing that’s still bothering me, is how ‘realistic’ things have to be. There is a big gap between what one person thinks is realistic, and what another does. For instance, I know plenty of people who think we’ll never have Lunar or Martian settlements, and some of them have good arguments for this attitude (radiation environment, lack of biosphere, health effects of log-g environments, etc, etc). I think that you are clearly fine with the idea of such settlements, at the other extreme I know you’re not generally fine with FTL or Time Travel. What do you think about, say, radical biological enhancement of people for new environments? Or interplanetary trade? Are there any other things beyond FTL and Time travel that are likely to get short shrift unless accompanying formulae are provided? 😉

  2. I can’t say there’s been a glut of any particular type or locale of story so far, though Mars has probably made more appearances than anywhere else in the Solar System. I’m not too keen on Analog-type “working out a puzzle” stories, though.

    As for realism… It’s all about “hard limits”. There are no physical laws preventing us from having Lunar or Martian settlements – all the issues associated with them can be solved by engineering and/or science. However, there are certain hard limits that cannot be broken – such as Earth’s escape velocity, the speed of light, etc. Biological enhancement I find more plausible than the Singularity, and interplanetary trade is possible though extremely unlikely (it depends how you handle it, of course; but just as long as it’s not space opera).

    Formulae are not necessary, but if your story is set on Pluto, I want you to let the reader know what it feels like to be on Pluto. Likewise, if your story is set in a tincan travelling between planets or stars, then you need to get the realities of that environment across to the reader. Think of it as a cross between a science fiction story and the autobiography of, say, an astronaut or explorer. Or something like that, anyway.

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