Hi everyone. All I’m going to say is life got in the way, again.
First, check the links at the bottom of the page – Luna and Pluto both are out, and full of great stories.
Now, about the title of this one. Authors can be experts in a narrow field, or, they can have a lot of general knowledge. Example – when I was younger, I spent a summer working as a plumbing laborer. Digging ditches, cracking pipe and dealing with odd odors were all part of the job, as was learning not to puke from said odd odors in an area where you were going to have to crawl later. One day, the crusty old master plumber on the job took me aside and said ‘Son, I am going to teach you everything you need to know to be a good plumber.’ Being young and dumb, I was awed by this.
‘First,’ he said, ‘you have to remember that shit doesn’t flow uphill. Second, find out when payday is, and finally, never eat with your hands.’
There is a lot more to being a master plumber than that, of course, but he had laid out the basics, as he, the expert saw them. Writing is the same way – sure, there’s a fine line between imparting enough information to show your characters know what the hell they’re doing and baffling the reader with bullshit, but the line exists.
Then there’s ‘I’m making this bullshit up as I go along’. Which is fine if you’re writing fantasy. But if you’re writing post-apocalyptic fiction supposedly based in reality . . . yeah, it drives me as a reader, or watcher, nuts.
Which brings us to my quasi-review of ‘The 100’. I read the description on Netflix and thought it looked interesting. Then my wife started watching it, and yeah, I lost it. Understand, my review is of the CW TV show, not the YA books, and is based on watching a few minutes here and there and then leaving the room in disgust.
Ninety seven years after nuclear war has destroyed all life on earth (ignore the green trees we can see from orbit, everything is dead, entirely dead) the survivors on a space station face a growing population crisis after three generations of births (note, 97 years equals five generations, roughly but who’s counting). A group of 100 rebellious youths is sent to earth to see if it’s habitable, and they encounter living human beings!!!!
Those telescopes we’re not training on earth? Yeah, they totally missed the signs of people living on earth. We also missed the radio transmissions from the bad guys . . .
So, you take 100 ‘teens’ in the Hollywood sense, who have never been outside and you drop them on an irradiated earth as punishment for their sins.
None of them suffer from agoraphobia after spending their entire lives inside a space station. And they’re all young and good looking, because TV. There’s also a sub-plot about blood transfusions preventing people from dying of radiation poisoning, because you know, to misquote Richard Meltzer, there had been ‘nooklear destruction!’.
Then there’s the post-apocalyptic fashion. Now, admittedly, most post-apocalyptia’s draw their fashion asthetic from 1981’s ‘Mad Max 2 – The Road Warrior’. Now, wearing football pads and bondage gear might make sense immediately after the bombs fall – after all the producers of nylon buckles and Cordura just went out of business, albeit not by choice. Almost a century later? Yeah, sure. Anyone who’s had the joy of using those items can tell you how quickly they wear out – especially the damn buckles.
But the clothing issues pale compared to the big issue of season four. ALL THE NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS ARE GOING TO BLOW UP!!!1!!!
Seriously. All the nuclear power plants, that have survived for 97 years without maintenance are going to go critical at the same time, making the surface of the planet uninhabitable, again. I’m not sure what the no maintenance time for any reactor is, but I’m pretty sure I could find out after a few minutes quick insert favored search engine here search on the internet.
After this bit of ‘science’ I quit walking into the bedroom where my wife was watching the show unless it was absolutely necessary.
I’m not an expert in a lot of things – but I consult experts when needed. I want what I write to sound not only plausible, but to be as accurate to life as I can write it. That way, when I slip in a bit of handwavium, you the reader are more likely to accept it as ‘truth’ in that universe.
Hope y’all enjoyed the commentary,
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