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Thread: Assistance needed, (Aspiring Sci-Fi Author)

  1. #1
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    Assistance needed, (Aspiring Sci-Fi Author)

    Hi folks!

    I hope I'm in the right place and this is okay with the site admin, so let me start off by explaining my situation and then let you all know what I'm hoping for.

    I'm not a scientist. Let's get that out of the way. I'm a financial services business owner by career, but an aspiring author of science fiction as a side hobby. Which is why I'm here and hoping to get your assistance.

    I wasn't a finance guy in college, and actually graduated in 97 with a communications degree with a creative writing track. I use to love writing. I mean I still do, but I just haven't had time for it for a while trying to raise and support a family, and managing a business. My imagination was pretty wild through the 80's and 90's, which I consider the golden age of science fiction, and I was drawn towards books and film that involved astronomy and concepts that revolved around evolution, bio/genetic science, social science, physics, and quantum science.

    Well fast-forward to the present and I'm in my mid 40's with two teenagers, one of which is about to enter her 2nd year of college, and just completed a creative writing elective last semester. In the process of this, she asked me to break out my old short-stories, scripts, and just random fiction so she could read and see what my writing style was like and what types of things I wrote about. Well one of my notebooks had a rough draft of a story I began around 95, along with a plot outline and character development summary, but that was about it. In other words, the recipe and ingredients where there, but the dish was never assembled and baked.

    My daughter loved the concept so much that she has begged me to finish it. We've talked about the possible plot strings and characters for hours and hours several times now and this has gotten me excited again to write and see what I can produce with this silly imagination of mine.

    Now even though this is going to be fiction, I still want the science to be as plausible and factually accurate as possible. So this is why I'm here. I can't move forward without doing a fair amount of research first. And even though the ultimate concept is completely implausible, I still want it to not only pass some semblance of a sniff-test from your community, but I also hope it could have enough credibility in peripheral facts that you all will be entertained instead of irritated or insulted by it's absurdities and factual inaccuracies.

    So I ask you fine folks here... can I keep this thread ongoing and come here as needed to ask you all questions and get input?


    If you're okay with this, I'll outline the synopsis for you and start asking some initial questions. If the thread needs to move to a different sub-forum, please do so. I wasn't sure if this was the right one for this.

    Thank you very much in advance for any assistance. I think we could all have some fun with this as the story unfolds and you help me build it.

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    Hi BareMaximum (funny handle), welcome to CQ.

    Yes, Q&A is the perfect place for such discussions; requests like yours is a large part of why we have Q&A.

    If you have lots of questions, it might ultimately be better to ask each separately in its own thread (or grouped by topic). For example, if you have an astronomy question and a rocket engine question, you will probably attract different members. But we can play all of that by ear.

    Good luck
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    Lay On, MacDuff

    We already know from your first post that you can write. Question away!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BareMaximum View Post
    I think we could all have some fun with this as the story unfolds and you help me build it.
    Most here aren't professional scientists, including me. There is as much fun here as there is science, if you enjoy learning.

    It may be wise to minimize giving away any more of your plot than necessary, not that this might be intended. One prominent author, at least, once shared his exciting plot with a few friends then, as a result, lost interest and never completed it.
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

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    You might also look at how Andy Weir serialized The Martian.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ma...l)?wprov=sfti1


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    Excellent! Thank you!

    Well then let me give you folks the overview of the concept for my book series.

    The story is about the discovery of a 10th planet in our solar system that just happens to be sitting on the same orbit, plane, and axis as the Earth, except perfectly 180 degrees opposite us on the other side of the Sun. We never knew it was there because it's ALWAYS perfectly opposite us behind the Sun. And yes, it too has evolved like Earth and produced life. Except it's not just like Earth, of course. We were struck with an asteroid (ELE) that essentially reset life here and made possible the rise of bi-pedal humanoids and mammals, while the other planet has never been struck like that and has had no ELE. So the evolution of organisms there has been quite different than here.

    So you get the gist, I'm sure. The possibilities are endless, I believe. I think I am going to call the series "PX", short for "Planet 10". And yes, I understand that might be a bit controversial, but it just sounds good, in my opinion. However, if you have other ideas, certainly lets hear them.

    The first book in the series is going to be about how the planet came to exist, how it was only just now discovered, and of course the first attempt to get to it and collect data (an initial expedition). However this proves to be difficult and hazardous due to the numerous things on the planet that can kill us, including bio-hazards (ie. viruses, etc), and as you surely guessed, the indigenous life forms that occupy the planet.

    I have not yet decided what exactly I want those to be, or how intelligent or civilized/uncivilized I will make them. I do not want this to be a remake of the Alien series where all we do is battle mindless killing machines. Nor do I want to remake Avatar and have some silly blue humanoids who learn to speak English. That would just be stupid. Maybe some civilized "apex" creatures with above primate-level intelligence, low sophistication, and zero technological advancement at all (so still very uncivilized and tribal), and surrounded by other apex-predators similar to maybe dinosaurs. So I will eventually need some help with the construction of this aspect of the story.

    Further books in the series will consist of more expeditions to PX, attempts to mine it for resources and possible bio-tech (medicines, etc.), and as we begin suffering from things like over-population, ecosystem degradation, and scarcity of resources here, the countries of our world begin fighting for control of territories and resources on PX, the race to set up colonies and occupation there, and all while still dealing with the dangers of that planet and it's indigenous life.

    Like I said, the possibilities are virtually endless. I already have outlines drawn up for 3 books in the series and have registered and secured a copyright license for my intellectual property rights over the concepts I created for this. So I'm pretty serious about wanting to write these books.

    So that's the general synopsis. After this, I'll start listing out some specifics of my plot strings, asking questions, and hopefully getting some input from you fine folks here.

    Understand I'm trying to do this in between my normal job (CFP), so i'll be in and out of the thread at pretty random times.


    Also, I'm very sorry for being so long-winded. But I don't really know any other way to convey my thoughts. It's a blessing and a curse. Sorry.

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    OK does it have a moon? That makes a huge difference.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BareMaximum View Post
    The story is about the discovery of a 10th planet in our solar system that just happens to be sitting on the same orbit, plane, and axis as the Earth, except perfectly 180 degrees opposite us on the other side of the Sun. We never knew it was there because it's ALWAYS perfectly opposite us behind the Sun.
    I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that is impossible. Not only would such a planet not exist in a stable orbit, but we would have seen evidence a very long time ago. Even without spaceflight, we have seen the influence of such a planet on the other planets in the solar system. But, as I said, such an orbit would not be stable.

    Here is a video with one discussion, from one of CQ's founders, Fraser Cain.
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    I also hate to tell you, but it is a well explored idea in fiction, often enough that there is a wikipedia section that lists all the books, movies, comics, films, etc.
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    Pretty interesting concept, there was a movie called Doppelgänger, a 1969 British science fiction film, directed by Robert Parrish and starring Roy Thinnes where we sent a spaceship to the other earth, everything there was in reverse if my memory serves, definitely a B movie. If your other earth evolved without disruptions then it's wiiiiide open.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that is impossible. Not only would such a planet not exist in a stable orbit, but we would have seen evidence a very long time ago. Even without spaceflight, we have seen the influence of such a planet on the other planets in the solar system. But, as I said, such an orbit would not be stable.

    Here is a video with one discussion, from one of CQ's founders, Fraser Cain.
    Yes, I understand it is impossible, but this is where we have to suspend reality and just go with the fantasy for entertainment purposes. It is science fiction, after all.

    Thanks for the video. I've been watching a lot of Cain lately while beginning my research for this book, and his Astronomy Cast videos are actually what lead me to this forum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    I also hate to tell you, but it is a well explored idea in fiction, often enough that there is a wikipedia section that lists all the books, movies, comics, films, etc.
    Yep, I know this isn't close to an original concept, generally speaking. But I assure you my plans for this have plot strings and intricacies that are VERY different from anything that's been written or made before with the same basis of an alternate-Earth.

    Most of the other variations of this story are older and don't apply at all to modern life. I'm going to employ political and social constructs, as well as technological applications, that are relative to today and this era and our near future.

    Something to also understand is that I have assembled character stories as well. My characters are unique and have plot strings that are also relative to our current time period.

    PX is impossible, and I need your help to at least make it so it's not 100% implausible/unbelievable sounding, but the characters and their stories are the ultimate hook.

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    If I label something with an [F] it means it's understood "Fiction/Fantasy", so please ignore how crazy it sounds, I'm just trying to surround the fiction with factually accurate details. If I don't label it with an [F], I am needing bonafide facts rather than one's we have to "create" to make something sound plausible or realistic.

    I want to be as descriptive and detailed as possible with the real science surrounding the fantasy. So give me your thoughts on anything if you want to participate. Spit-ball and brainstorm even if you want. Toss out "what ifs" and things you believe would enhance the details or maybe just sound "cool" and fun. But don't forget, it can't be overly technical to an extreme. It does need to be in somewhat layman level language and be able to be read as if you're telling a story to maybe a high school science class. I want to entertain people, not leave them saying "I don't understand that because it's too technical".


    Background and how PX came to exist:

    1. - Assuming the Universe is around 13 or so Billion years old (correct?), and expanding from some cosmic focal point at the center of the Universe? However, it is slowing down, suggesting there will be a point in time when it stops expanding and maybe even begins contracting in on itself? Is this correct? I would love a whole bunch of details about theories surrounding this, the Big Bang, possible iterations of our Universe, speeds and time of expansion/contraction, possible size, distances, etc. etc.. I will have a character discussing this with another character sort of teaching them about these things. Meaning someone who is uneducated about how the Universe was formed and created is being taught the predominant theory of this.

    2. - [F] - So here is my basis for there being 2 Earth-like planets. Before the Earth was the Earth, it was simply a planet (need help with possible composition) about twice the size it is now, which formed maybe 8-10 Billion years ago (?). There was no water on the planet, therefore no possible life or means for it... at that time. And, it did not start out 3rd from the Sun and 1AU away. It was much further out in the solar system to begin with (need your help suggesting where). And I am doing that because it is going to eventually get pushed into the 1AU position.

    3. - [F] - The Moon didn't exist at that period. Somewhere around 7-8 Billion years ago, a massive comet (or should I use asteroid?) approximately 2-3x the size of our Moon, and composed mostly of ice/water(how big would that be?) smashed into this planet. The result of this collision was the splitting of the planet and comet each in to virtually congruent halves. Obviously fragments and debris from the impact falls back to the surface of the [now 2] planets, while some that was launched into space eventually coalesces with the comet remnants to form the [2] moons. The collision also is the basis for introducing water to both planets.

    4. - [F] - So now we have two Earth-sized planets filled with water and all the elements needed for the creation of life, and each with a half of the comet remnants of relative volume (that will ultimately form to become a moon for each). Both of them gradually moving in angles (45 degrees?) away from each other due to the force of the impact, and towards the Sun (obviously not directly at it, but splitting it).

    5. - [F] - Both planets and their half of the comet, are eventually captured again by the Sun's gravity and slowly but surely fall into an orbit approximately 1AU from the Sun. However, they are perfectly opposite from each other just on different sides of the Sun. Dead center 180 degrees. Same orbit and plane, same axis and tilt, and same speed and rotation. Both even have relatively sized moons on virtually the same orbit and lunar cycle around the planet, which are simply the remnants and debris from the comet which coalesced and began orbiting each planet. And yes, I know this is absurdly impossible, but again, this is science fiction. I'm not trying to propose an actual hypothesis.

    6. - So now we're approximately 6 billion year before present day, and we have two identical celestial bodies with moons orbiting around the Sun, and beginning their evolution's towards the present. I need help explaining what this would look like. What would transpire from this point until the point where the surface cools and turns blue, and the first single-celled organisms formed, then up to the point of dinosaurs forming, and then the ELE that killed off the dinosaurs. Where and when did this happen (the Yucatan Peninsula impact?) How big was the asteroid? Any details or alternate theories for this?

    7. - [F] - From there, I am going to show the evolution of the 2 planets separate and take on different paths. Bi-pedal humanoids and mammals obviously evolve on Earth in the wake of the destruction of the dinosaurs, and of course ultimately evolve from primates to humans. But on PX, no such thing happened. And while dinosaurs did not go extinct on PX, I am going to show that some of them did still somewhat evolve, gain a modicum of intelligence over millions of years, and even go so far as to become vaguely civilized, self-aware, and even capable of rational thought. Still very primitive, but significantly more intelligent than primates.


    And that's about it for the background explaining how Earth and PX came to be. After this, I'm moving on to around present day and the discovery of PX.

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    So here is my basis for there being 2 Earth-like planets. Before the Earth was the Earth, it was simply a planet (need help with possible composition) about twice the size it is now, which formed maybe 8-10 Billion years ago (?)
    In this case the "original" earth must have been a old rogue planet which was captured by our newly formed solar system ~ 4.6 billion years ago.

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    I'll take a shot at a few.

    Quote Originally Posted by BareMaximum View Post
    1. - Assuming the Universe is around 13 or so Billion years old (correct?), and expanding from some cosmic focal point at the center of the Universe? However, it is slowing down, suggesting there will be a point in time when it stops expanding and maybe even begins contracting in on itself? Is this correct? I would love a whole bunch of details about theories surrounding this, the Big Bang, possible iterations of our Universe, speeds and time of expansion/contraction, possible size, distances, etc. etc.. I will have a character discussing this with another character sort of teaching them about these things. Meaning someone who is uneducated about how the Universe was formed and created is being taught the predominant theory of this.
    A first resource for this would be the Big Bang article in Wikipedia. The tl;dr version is that yes, the universe is about 13.8 billion years old. Matter did not explode out into space; rather, space itself expanded. There was a brief period of intensely fast expansion (the inflationary era) followed by slower expansion.

    There is no "cosmic focal point" or center of the universe because the expansion happened (and is happening) everywhere.

    In the early days of BB theory, it was not known how fast the expansion was slowing down, thus the idea of the "Big Crunch" end-of-the-universe scenario and its brother, the cycling universe. It was all based on whether there was enough matter to halt the expansion or not. It turns out that there is not enough matter for a Big Crunch.

    Now we know that the expansion is actually speeding up, so the universe will may eventually expand into the Big Rip in which everything down to fundamental particles gets torn apart as the expansion overpowers gravity and the nuclear forces.

    Fred
    Hey, you! "It's" with an apostrophe means "it is" or "it has." "Its" without an apostrophe means "belongs to it."

    "For shame, gentlemen, pack your evidence a little better against another time."
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    Earth's sole legacy will be a very slight increase (0.01%) of the solar metallicity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BareMaximum View Post
    2. - [F] - So here is my basis for there being 2 Earth-like planets. Before the Earth was the Earth, it was simply a planet (need help with possible composition) about twice the size it is now, which formed maybe 8-10 Billion years ago (?). There was no water on the planet, therefore no possible life or means for it... at that time. And, it did not start out 3rd from the Sun and 1AU away. It was much further out in the solar system to begin with (need your help suggesting where). And I am doing that because it is going to eventually get pushed into the 1AU position.
    As Spacedude says, the Solar System formed about 4.6 billion years ago, so 8-10 billion years means that your proposed planet formed in another star system and then somehow wandered in. Unless you adjust your chronology.

    Assuming that adjustment...
    • Twice the size: OK
    • No water: Accords with current theory
    • Formed further out: Doesn't quite mesh with the "no water" part. The farther you are from the sun, the colder it is, so volatiles like water tend to freeze and stick around. OTOH, no liquid water also implies no life.

    Fred
    Last edited by Nowhere Man; 2018-Jul-04 at 03:07 PM.
    Hey, you! "It's" with an apostrophe means "it is" or "it has." "Its" without an apostrophe means "belongs to it."

    "For shame, gentlemen, pack your evidence a little better against another time."
    -- John Dryden, "The Vindication of The Duke of Guise" 1684

    Earth's sole legacy will be a very slight increase (0.01%) of the solar metallicity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BareMaximum View Post
    3. - [F] - The Moon didn't exist at that period. Somewhere around 7-8 Billion years ago, a massive comet (or should I use asteroid?) approximately 2-3x the size of our Moon, and composed mostly of ice/water(how big would that be?) smashed into this planet. The result of this collision was the splitting of the planet and comet each in to virtually congruent halves. Obviously fragments and debris from the impact falls back to the surface of the [now 2] planets, while some that was launched into space eventually coalesces with the comet remnants to form the [2] moons. The collision also is the basis for introducing water to both planets.

    4. - [F] - So now we have two Earth-sized planets filled with water and all the elements needed for the creation of life, and each with a half of the comet remnants of relative volume (that will ultimately form to become a moon for each). Both of them gradually moving in angles (45 degrees?) away from each other due to the force of the impact, and towards the Sun (obviously not directly at it, but splitting it).
    Similar to the Big Splat theory of the formation of the Moon. The only problem is that any collision strong enough to bust apart a large rocky planet like that would actually disorganize it completely, scattering fragments irretrievably far and wide.

    5. - [F] - Both planets and their half of the comet, are eventually captured again by the Sun's gravity and slowly but surely fall into an orbit approximately 1AU from the Sun. However, they are perfectly opposite from each other just on different sides of the Sun. Dead center 180 degrees. Same orbit and plane, same axis and tilt, and same speed and rotation. Both even have relatively sized moons on virtually the same orbit and lunar cycle around the planet, which are simply the remnants and debris from the comet which coalesced and began orbiting each planet. And yes, I know this is absurdly impossible, but again, this is science fiction. I'm not trying to propose an actual hypothesis.
    Unless the planet buster came screaming in from interstellar space, they always were "captured... by the sun's gravity." You'll need something to circularize the orbits at 1 AU. And yes, settling into the same orbit exactly 180 degrees apart is absurdly impossible. More on that later.

    Fred
    Hey, you! "It's" with an apostrophe means "it is" or "it has." "Its" without an apostrophe means "belongs to it."

    "For shame, gentlemen, pack your evidence a little better against another time."
    -- John Dryden, "The Vindication of The Duke of Guise" 1684

    Earth's sole legacy will be a very slight increase (0.01%) of the solar metallicity.

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    Thanks, guys. Yeah I’ll adjust the chronology and timescale.

    I want the rogue planet to be in the solar system, and maybe its original placement could be between Neptune and Saturn? (What would it’s composition be?) Then around 3.5-4B years ago, the massive comet crashes into it, splitting into halves, and pushing them towards the Sun (very slowly, of course). Then maybe they fall into the 1AU orbit around 2-2.5B years ago. So essentially it takes about 1.5-2B years for the 2 planets to travel about 24AU’s and settle into their current orbits across from each other, each about 1AU from the Sun.

    Sound better?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by BareMaximum View Post
    6. - So now we're approximately 6 billion year before present day, and we have two identical celestial bodies with moons orbiting around the Sun, and beginning their evolution's towards the present. I need help explaining what this would look like. What would transpire from this point until the point where the surface cools and turns blue, and the first single-celled organisms formed, then up to the point of dinosaurs forming, and then the ELE that killed off the dinosaurs. Where and when did this happen (the Yucatan Peninsula impact?) How big was the asteroid? Any details or alternate theories for this?
    (Again your chronology is too long.)

    The history of evolution has had 5 mass extinction events, the Cretaceous-Paleogene event (K-Pg, the dinosaur killer, formerly K-T) being merely the most recent and most popularly known, as well as many more smaller events. Another resource on the history of evolution is the PBS Eons series on YouTube.

    The K-Pg event has been related to the Chicxulub crater formation in and around Yucatan, probably aided and abetted by prolonged eruptions that formed the Deccan Traps.

    Fred
    Hey, you! "It's" with an apostrophe means "it is" or "it has." "Its" without an apostrophe means "belongs to it."

    "For shame, gentlemen, pack your evidence a little better against another time."
    -- John Dryden, "The Vindication of The Duke of Guise" 1684

    Earth's sole legacy will be a very slight increase (0.01%) of the solar metallicity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BareMaximum View Post
    7. - [F] - From there, I am going to show the evolution of the 2 planets separate and take on different paths. Bi-pedal humanoids and mammals obviously evolve on Earth in the wake of the destruction of the dinosaurs, and of course ultimately evolve from primates to humans. But on PX, no such thing happened. And while dinosaurs did not go extinct on PX, I am going to show that some of them did still somewhat evolve, gain a modicum of intelligence over millions of years, and even go so far as to become vaguely civilized, self-aware, and even capable of rational thought. Still very primitive, but significantly more intelligent than primates.
    You're correct that the evolution of life on the two worlds would take different paths. But the divergence point would not be when the dinosaurs were killed off. It would be around the time life first got started on each world. Two similar but differing environments, completely separated and not communicating at all, will take wildly different paths. Evolution of species has no goal, it is simply a tool used to adapt the the changing environment. You will not get the exact same dinosaurs on both worlds. You probably won't get dinosaurs at all on one of them.

    Fred
    Hey, you! "It's" with an apostrophe means "it is" or "it has." "Its" without an apostrophe means "belongs to it."

    "For shame, gentlemen, pack your evidence a little better against another time."
    -- John Dryden, "The Vindication of The Duke of Guise" 1684

    Earth's sole legacy will be a very slight increase (0.01%) of the solar metallicity.

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    Finally, just some comments, speaking as a decades-long reader and fan of science, science fiction, and fantasy.

    Watch your apostrophes. Its and it's are different, as are lets and let's. Plurals never use apostrophes, unless you are pluralizing single characters (A's, B's, etc.). Possessives of singular nouns are always created by adding 's, even if the noun ends with s or an s-like sound. This and much more is all covered in The Elements of Style by Strunk and White, which I hope your writing instructors told you about.

    And yes, I know this is absurdly impossible, but again, this is science fiction.
    As an SF fan, I bristle a bit at equating "absurdly impossible" with "science fiction." Science fiction is based on science (hence the name). Given the current state of knowledge, your scenario is fantasy, science fantasy at most. Back in the 30s, it would be science fiction. Nowadays, readers will generally let a writer get away with an impossibility or two (like FTL or psionics), if it advances the plot and (for me, anyway) is handled consistently and is not used as a deus ex machina to save the hero's bacon.

    Consider how much exposition you need. The more you add, the more you give little seams and gotchas to readers that momentarily bump them out of the story, Enough, and they will eventually put the book down and not pick it up again.

    Instead, how about you start with the discovery of your PX on the other side of the Sun, and periodically describe the turmoil it causes in the scientific community for the reasons that have been given in this thread, interleaved with the main thread of the plot. The origin story you gave here could be presented as one hypothesis.

    Something like this can still be done well today. Consider Inherit the Stars by James P. Hogan, which is based on a discredited idea about the origins of the asteroids. Well done enough that the "oh brother" factor did not completely put me off the book.

    Fred
    Hey, you! "It's" with an apostrophe means "it is" or "it has." "Its" without an apostrophe means "belongs to it."

    "For shame, gentlemen, pack your evidence a little better against another time."
    -- John Dryden, "The Vindication of The Duke of Guise" 1684

    Earth's sole legacy will be a very slight increase (0.01%) of the solar metallicity.

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    [Looks back over the last batch of posts, thinks...] What am I dong? It's Independence Day, I should be outside having fun and getting heatstroke!

    Fred
    Hey, you! "It's" with an apostrophe means "it is" or "it has." "Its" without an apostrophe means "belongs to it."

    "For shame, gentlemen, pack your evidence a little better against another time."
    -- John Dryden, "The Vindication of The Duke of Guise" 1684

    Earth's sole legacy will be a very slight increase (0.01%) of the solar metallicity.

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    Awesome. Thanks, Nowhere Man for the great feedback. I hope you had a fun 4th of July, too.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nowhere Man View Post
    (Again your chronology is too long.)

    The history of evolution has had 5 mass extinction events, the Cretaceous-Paleogene event (K-Pg, the dinosaur killer, formerly K-T) being merely the most recent and most popularly known, as well as many more smaller events. Another resource on the history of evolution is the PBS Eons series on YouTube.

    The K-Pg event has been related to the Chicxulub crater formation in and around Yucatan, probably aided and abetted by prolonged eruptions that formed the Deccan Traps.
    I'll make sure to get the chronology correct. I'm in the process of watching these vids. Thanks for the links. This is perfect and exactly what I was hoping for. I know that I could have just hopped on Google and done all my own searches, but there's so much information returned when I do that, I just didn't know the best sites to choose. And, even though there are easy aspects of this to research, such as the Big Bang or Earth's ELE's, there are going to be loads of details that I wouldn't even have known to search and read about that you guys here will. So thank you, again.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nowhere Man View Post
    You're correct that the evolution of life on the two worlds would take different paths. But the divergence point would not be when the dinosaurs were killed off. It would be around the time life first got started on each world. Two similar but differing environments, completely separated and not communicating at all, will take wildly different paths. Evolution of species has no goal, it is simply a tool used to adapt the the changing environment. You will not get the exact same dinosaurs on both worlds. You probably won't get dinosaurs at all on one of them.
    I didn't mean to imply that I thought they would evolve exactly the same way at the exact same time. I get that there's virtually no chance of that. But for the sake of the story, I will be having some forms of life evolve on PX. And as I mentioned before, I'm not yet sure exactly how I'm going to present them and their mode of evolution. If you have any ideas on this, that would be great.

    Laws of physics, biology, and sociology are going to have to play a part. There is water, dry land, and air. There is obviously all the makings of an ecosystem to sustain life in the seas and on land. There is of course a food chain, with delta and beta species leading up to alpha species which contain the apex predators and intelligent lifeforms. Something as simple as opposable thumbs and a complex form of communication or language, for instance, are pretty mandatory for the evolution of an intelligent organized species that forms societies, cultures, family units, and interacts socially and politically.

    But I'll delve deeper into this as I get further in.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nowhere Man View Post
    Finally, just some comments, speaking as a decades-long reader and fan of science, science fiction, and fantasy.

    Watch your apostrophes. Its and it's are different, as are lets and let's. Plurals never use apostrophes, unless you are pluralizing single characters (A's, B's, etc.). Possessives of singular nouns are always created by adding 's, even if the noun ends with s or an s-like sound. This and much more is all covered in The Elements of Style by Strunk and White, which I hope your writing instructors told you about.



    As an SF fan, I bristle a bit at equating "absurdly impossible" with "science fiction." Science fiction is based on science (hence the name). Given the current state of knowledge, your scenario is fantasy, science fantasy at most. Back in the 30s, it would be science fiction. Nowadays, readers will generally let a writer get away with an impossibility or two (like FTL or psionics), if it advances the plot and (for me, anyway) is handled consistently and is not used as a deus ex machina to save the hero's bacon.

    Consider how much exposition you need. The more you add, the more you give little seams and gotchas to readers that momentarily bump them out of the story, Enough, and they will eventually put the book down and not pick it up again.

    Instead, how about you start with the discovery of your PX on the other side of the Sun, and periodically describe the turmoil it causes in the scientific community for the reasons that have been given in this thread, interleaved with the main thread of the plot. The origin story you gave here could be presented as one hypothesis.

    Something like this can still be done well today. Consider Inherit the Stars by James P. Hogan, which is based on a discredited idea about the origins of the asteroids. Well done enough that the "oh brother" factor did not completely put me off the book.
    Good insight. It's been about 20 years since I've formally written anything for someone else to read, so I'm very rusty. I've spent quite a bit of time on forums and in chat rooms of MMO gaming, political, and sports communities, and formed some bad habits trying to type as fast as we speak. But I assure you anything I write will be proofread many times by some grammar guru's that I know. One of my good friends is a college English professor who use to work in publishing, for instance. So I've got some resources that have offered to help me with this endeavor.

    And I will begin classifying this as "Science Fantasy". I agree that is more prudent. As I mentioned, the last thing I want to do is offend folks like yourself by suggesting this is something it's not. And my goal is to create enough plausibility around the "fantasy" to not just prevent you guys from closing it, but be entertained enough you enjoy it.

    And yes, I am going to go into my ideas for the discovery of PX next. Thanks again for all your assistance.

  24. #24
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    This is way out there but...

    There's a way to deal with "the big lie" that is an opposite planet in Earth's orbit:

    Give the story a retro-future flavour - a modern story that has the naivete of past understandings.

    John Carter is a great example. Because we all know the story was written in a time when we thought maybe Mars was habitable and/or populated, we can suspend our modern-day disbelief.



    The idea of an alternate Earth on the opposite side of the sun wasn't discredited until modern days. So, if your readers were of-a-mind, they can take that in the spirit of the story.

    Mind you, it would affect the story fairly dramatically. You'd want to write it as if the science is pre-Apollo era. Rockets would be fired from giant guns, Spacesuits would be silver-foil jumpsuits with fish-bowl helmets, etc.

    It also means you could happily explore all sorts of implausible storylines, such as not needing breathing equipment on an alien world, not bothering with pesky things like microbe contamination, etc.

    Just a thought.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by BareMaximum View Post
    Awesome. Thanks, Nowhere Man for the great feedback. I hope you had a fun 4th of July, too.
    My wife and went to a concert and fireworks show. We almost melted.

    I'm glađ that the sip from the firehose didn't put you off. I wish you the best of luck with your project. Doubtless I'll add another two cents later on.

    Fred
    Hey, you! "It's" with an apostrophe means "it is" or "it has." "Its" without an apostrophe means "belongs to it."

    "For shame, gentlemen, pack your evidence a little better against another time."
    -- John Dryden, "The Vindication of The Duke of Guise" 1684

    Earth's sole legacy will be a very slight increase (0.01%) of the solar metallicity.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    This is way out there but...

    There's a way to deal with "the big lie" that is an opposite planet in Earth's orbit:

    Give the story a retro-future flavour - a modern story that has the naivete of past understandings.

    John Carter is a great example. Because we all know the story was written in a time when we thought maybe Mars was habitable and/or populated, we can suspend our modern-day disbelief.



    The idea of an alternate Earth on the opposite side of the sun wasn't discredited until modern days. So, if your readers were of-a-mind, they can take that in the spirit of the story.

    Mind you, it would affect the story fairly dramatically. You'd want to write it as if the science is pre-Apollo era. Rockets would be fired from giant guns, Spacesuits would be silver-foil jumpsuits with fish-bowl helmets, etc.

    It also means you could happily explore all sorts of implausible storylines, such as not needing breathing equipment on an alien world, not bothering with pesky things like microbe contamination, etc.

    Just a thought.
    That's certainly an option, and I appreciate the idea, but I'll be honest, I really disliked John Carter and want to stay away from that type of "fantasy" as much as possible.

    The thing is, 99% of the population out there has zero clue that having two Earths on the same orbit opposite each other is impossible. So again, I'm going to just give in to this one factual impossibility, suspend reality in this regard for this particular aspect of the story, and just go with it. Most people won't think twice about it, and the people that do I hope will forgive me because they understand this isn't supposed to be real.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nowhere Man View Post
    My wife and went to a concert and fireworks show. We almost melted.

    I'm glađ that the sip from the firehose didn't put you off. I wish you the best of luck with your project. Doubtless I'll add another two cents later on.

    Fred
    We do the same thing every year. About 20 or so couples (each with 2+ kids) spends around $50-$100 on fireworks, and then 3-4 of us light it all off after dark. Well we went big time with the mortars and cake boxes this year and had a bit of a mishap!

    This was the end result and aftermath the next morning. LOL!


    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...4thofJuly1.jpg

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...4thofJuly3.jpg

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...4thofJuly2.jpg


    You should have seen us scrambling when the table legs collapsed and everything was shooting all around us. It was chaos. Every man for himself!

    Oh the kids and wives got a huge kick out of the hilarity. But us Dad's almost bit it! It was like a Benny Hill skit.
    Last edited by PetersCreek; 2018-Jul-06 at 06:33 PM.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacedude View Post
    Pretty interesting concept, there was a movie called Doppelgänger, a 1969 British science fiction film, directed by Robert Parrish and starring Roy Thinnes where we sent a spaceship to the other earth, everything there was in reverse if my memory serves, definitely a B movie. If your other earth evolved without disruptions then it's wiiiiide open.
    I remember that movie. It left me wondering what the doppelganger astronomers were looking at when their earthly counterparts were looking at Mars. Since there's no other Mars over there, their telescopes would be pointed at empty space.

  29. #29
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    Everyone, including the OP: please stay on topic. If you want to discuss holiday and other leisure activities, please start a thread in OTB.

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