Quotes by: Edward M. Lerner
|Edward M. Lerner
||1949 (age 67–68)
||Science fiction, techno-thriller, popular science, hard science fiction
I have to believe SF writers will continue to inspire the public to have faith in - to demand! - a future that is at least as big and bold as the past.
In mainstream literature, a trope is a figure of speech: metaphor, simile, irony, or the like. Words used other than literally. In SF, a trope - at least as I understand the usage - is more: science used other than literally.
Time travel offends our sense of cause and effect - but maybe the universe doesn't insist on cause and effect.
Happily, researchphilia is not the problem it once was. The Internet makes just-in-time research very practical.
Anything that can unambiguously represent two values - while resisting, just a wee bit, randomly flipping from the state you want retained into the opposite state - can encode binary data.
Authors like reading. Go figure. So it's not surprising that we sometimes bog down in the research stage of new writing projects.
Readers and viewers will differ about what's totally standalone, what's totally serially dependent, and what's merely enriched by reading/viewing in a particular order.
A funny thing about near-future stories: the future catches up to them. If the author is unlucky, the future catches up faster than the book can get out the door.
Many a fine SF story uses science or technology merely as backdrop. Many a fine SF story presumes a technological breakthrough and explores its implications without attempting to predict how the thing might actual work.
The biggest fatal flaw in most fictional portrayals of nanotech - what sends those books arcing across the room - is ignoring that the nanobots need energy to do... anything.
One of the bedrock principles of physics is the conservation of energy. In this universe, energy can be neither created nor destroyed.
It would help if human experts agreed on the meaning of such basic terms as intelligence, consciousness, or awareness. They don't. It's hard to build something that's incompletely defined.
The distinguishing characteristic of the techno-thriller is technical detail.
History buffs expect historical background in historical fiction. Mystery readers expect forensics and police procedure in crime fiction. Westerns - gasp - describe the West. Techno-thriller readers expect to learn something about technology from their fiction.
The medical nanobots in my novel 'Small Miracles' tap the energy sources that the patient's own body provides. That is, they can metabolize glycerol and glucose, just as the cells in our bodies do.
Lots of science fiction deals with distant times and places. Intrepid prospectors in the Asteroid Belt. Interstellar epics. Galactic empires. Trips to the remote past or future.
I'm a physicist and computer scientist by training. I worked in high tech for thirty years as everything from engineer to senior vice president - for many of those years, writing SF as a hobby - until, in 2004, I began writing full time.
The challenge - and much of the fun - of writing in an established future history lies in incorporating new knowledge while remaining true to what has gone before. Expanding and enriching, not contradicting.
Some books are serials, not to be mistaken for anything else. 'The Two Towers,' for example, ought never to be read in isolation.
What SF author or fan isn't interested in human space travel? I've yet to meet one.
I like to think readers appreciate a well-drawn near-future as well as a well-drawn far-future.
Too much detail can bog down any story. Enough with the history of gunpowder, the geology of Hawaii, the processes of whaling, and cactus and tumbleweed.
What kind of hard SF do I write? Everything from near-future, Earth-centric techno-thrillers to far-future, far-flung interstellar epics.