Edited by Ben Bova
This book is designed to give science fiction writers the background they need in real science to make their fiction read like fact. World Building is a blueprint in words, calculations, tables and diagrams to help writers transport readers from one world to another.
With Stephen Gillett's help, you'll be on solid ground, no matter what kinds of worlds you create for your science fiction.
World-Building explains science to help you make your fiction plausible. You'll give your worlds the pull of gravity, aware of the effects on inhabitants and the planets themselves. Mix elements and build planets with chemically credible, geologically accurate characteristics—and anomalies—that affect those who live there. Create planetary "engines," convincing atmospheres and fact-based weather patterns. Colonize a truly weird world: ancient Earth. Explore our neighboring planets and their satellites for SF possibilities. Light and heat your landscapes with the right types of stars. See how things might be on a "chloroxygen" world and other hypothetical places.
In this book, you'll follow calculations, read tables, view diagrams, learn what forces are at work in the universe, and see how you can harness them to give realism to the fantasy in your storytelling.
World-Building is a blueprint in words, filled with facts to help you write believable fictions that transport readers from this world to another... of your making.
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About the Author
Steve Gillett got his undergraduate degree in geology at Caltech in 1975. After a brief period with the U.S. Geological Survey, he received his Ph.D., also in geology, from SUNY Stony Brook in 1981. In the early and mid-1980s, Gillett worked as a consulting geologist in the Pacific Northwest. There he was involved in introducing advanced technology to the oil business. While in the Northwest, Gillett also taught astronomy at a community college, and he's since returned to academia full-time. He's currently a research associate at the Mackay School of Mines, University of Nevada, Reno, where among other things he works on Paleozoic paleomagnetism, and on seismic risk at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the proposed high-level nuclear waste repository, as well as teaching undergraduate geology. He's published technical papers on such diverse topics as the statistics of directions and possible lunar resources. Recently he's become interested in the implications of nanotechnologies for the geological sciences, in particular for the resource business. Gillett has also written many popular science articles. He's a frequent contributor of speculative science articles to Analog, and was the science columnist at Amazing Science Fiction from January 1991 until that magazine ceased publication in early 1995. He has also written science fiction under a pseudonym, often in collaboration with Jerry Oltion, and has conducted the world-building seminar at "Contact: Cultures of the Imagination," hosted by Cabrillo College of Santa Cruz every year in the Bay Area. Gillett was born in El Paso, Texas, but grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada, after his family moved there in the mid-1950s. His father worked for one of the prime contractors at the Nevada Test Site, the U.S. nuclear-weapons testing facility, and he vaguely remembers seeing some of the aboveground tests from a mountainside about fifty miles away--back around 1960, when they were considered just nifty fireworks! He now lives in Carson City, Nevada, with his wife Joyce (a veterinarian), their son Travis, a cat and an Australian Shepherd. His hobbies include outdoor activities such as camping and hiking, model rocketry (with Travis!) and ragtime piano.