What’s the Big Deal About Planet Size?

Bigger planets have more gravity. Most people know the most obvious effect of this: on a planet with higher gravity, you’d feel heavier and it would be harder to move. On a planet with lower gravity, you’d feel lighter, and have an easier time running and jumping. But a planet’s size, and the strength of … Continue reading What’s the Big Deal About Planet Size?

Where Do Planets Come From?

When I was growing up, we only knew of nine planets. Most of them were so wildly different from each other that we had no idea what to expect from planets around other stars – or whether any of those even existed. The idea of a tenth planet – planet X – was mysterious and … Continue reading Where Do Planets Come From?

How to Get Started Worldbuilding with Hard Science

The questions we’ll ask in my upcoming book will open up almost infinite possibilities. They won’t tell you what your alien planet, species, or characters are going to be like: they’ll give you millions of possibilities. So how do you shape this mass of scientific possibilities into a story? Well, if you’re reading this series … Continue reading How to Get Started Worldbuilding with Hard Science

The Biochemistry of Life As We Know It

Biochemistry is a big, scary word. And it does mean quite a lot of complex things. But at the end of the day, it’s this: how do the molecules that make up our cells work together to produce life? In this blog entry we’re going to look at the most basic and important building blocks … Continue reading The Biochemistry of Life As We Know It

Life Around Red Dwarf Stars

I hope you’re all ready for a super-blog. We’ve got a lot to cover in this introduction to star type + the perils of life around a red dwarf star, so let’s jump right in. The stars in the sky all look pretty much the same from Earth. If we can see them at all, … Continue reading Life Around Red Dwarf Stars

Why Use Hard Science in Worldbuilding?

Welcome to the first installment in my blog series based on the presentation we didn’t quite get to finish at Flights of Foundry! Here I’ll be covering a blend of useful principles about storytelling, planetology, and biology, and how to combine them all seamlessly in your science fiction work. “Science fiction” has attracted people since … Continue reading Why Use Hard Science in Worldbuilding?