One of the bedrock principles of physics is the conservation of energy. In this universe, energy can be neither created nor destroyed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Time travel offends our sense of cause and effect - but maybe the universe doesn't insist on cause and effect.
What SF author or fan isn't interested in human space travel? I've yet to meet one.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
I like to think readers appreciate a well-drawn near-future as well as a well-drawn far-future.
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.
Authors like reading. Go figure. So it's not surprising that we sometimes bog down in the research stage of new writing projects.
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