The Journal: Science Fiction In Real Life

In today’s Journal

* Quote of the Day
* Science Fiction In Real Life
* Of Interest

Quote of the Day

“We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.” Malala Yousafzai

Science Fiction In Real Life

Today’s post is mostly to send along the items in “Of Interest” and especially Dean’s post, “Science Fiction In Real Life.”

What really enthralled me about the article was the new transportation system, and how efficient and cost-effective it is. It reminded me somewhat of the transportation system between colonies and between the laborers’ quarters and the jobsite on Arzachel One and Two, the lunar colonies featured in my SF novel, The 13-Month Turn.

I’m not a vegan of any sort, so that part of the article didn’t so much speak to me as it slapped me around a little. I’m a writer, and to some degree I’m a language purist.

Now, if you want to knowingly abuse the language or misuse punctuation to create a particular effect in the reader, that’s fine. More power to you.

But if you point across a field at a cow and tell me, “That creature is now a raven,” I won’t be convinced. Not only that, the cow won’t be convinced. It will remain a cow. It will continue doing cow things. It will never do raven things just because you suddenly decided it’s a raven.

As Alfred Korzybski, father of general semantics, wrote, “The the map is not the territory.” In other words, our perception of reality is not reality itself but our own version of it.

So I’m just saying, the industry should stop calling whatever that stuff is “non-dairy cheese” or “dairy-free cheese.” Because seriously, there is no such thing, and anyone with a brain knows it.

The world is full of words, and the folks who make that stuff are more than free to make up a new word if the one they want doesn’t currently exist. Their product is something, of course. It exists. It might even be said to “have a cheese-like texture,” or to be a “cheese-like product.” But it is not cheese. It isn’t even “processed cheese food.” Even that nastiness requires dairy products but in a lesser quantity than 51%.

Of course, it isn’t polite of me to complain without offering up a solution. So I personally recommend “non-dairy cheese-like Goop.” Once it catches on, of course, advertisers can drop the “non-dairy cheese-like” modifier and just call it “Goop.”

As a side note, of course this “Goop” should not be confused with the petroleum-based substance oil-field workers use to remove grease and grime from their hands, though frankly I suspect “non-dairy cheese” is more closely related at the molecular level to the original Goop than it is to any kind of cheese.

Either way, I suspect the two industries enjoy a wide enough separation to keep anyone from becoming confused.

Oh. To read “Science Fiction In Real Life,” visit https://deanwesleysmith.com/science-fiction-in-real-life/.

Talk with you again later.

Of Interest

See “First Page Critique: Optimizing Your Setting And Forensics” at https://killzoneblog.com/2022/07/first-page-critique-optimizingyour-setting-and-forensics.html. Some good thoughts on setting.

See “Ebooks make up 21% of total book sales” at https://www.thepassivevoice.com/ebooks-make-up-21-of-total-book-sales/. Adn this comes from the American Associatioin of Publishers and does not account for the millions of indie publishers’ ebooks sold.

The Numbers

The Journal…………………………………… 550 words

Writing of Blackwell Ops 8 (tentative title, novel)

Day 19… 2117 words. Total words to date…… 41729

Total fiction words for July……… 0
Total fiction words for the year………… 45405
Total nonfiction words for July… 4490
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 98620
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 144025

Calendar Year 2022 Novels to Date…………………… 0
Calendar Year 2021 Novellas to Date……………… 0
Calendar Year 2021 Short Stories to Date… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 66
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 217
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

Disclaimer: I advocate a technique called Writing Into the Dark. I’ve never said WITD is “the only way” to write, nor will I ever. However, as I am the only writer who advocates WITD both publicly and regularly, I will continue to do so, among other topics.