My fellow Star Trek enthusiasts are surely familiar with the various iterations of the phaser. There’s the version found in the original series:
The infamous dustbuster of the Next Generation:
that was later modified to a sleaker form:
and the phase pistol of Enterprise:
Notice anything about all of those? I see no sights on any of them. When fired, Starfleet personnel and others typically use a one-handed duelist stance or some variation on hip shooting.
There’s a reason for this. Gene Roddenberry was writing long before Jeff Cooper and the Modern Pistol Technique became well known. The version of the future that Roddenberry and his successors remembered for us (J. J. Abrams, you may stick your version somewhere dark and smelly–oh, wait, you already did that) came before a better future was invented, at least with regard to small arms technique.
Why does this matter? Those of us who write science fiction, and I include myself in that list, have to bear in mind that what we are writing is an imagined future, subject to all the limitations that our imaginations come with. The writing of such futures is really about us. That being said, we owe it to ourselves to know as much as we can and to explore as far as we can. Having done that, we then must write, hoping that people who come afterward will forgive us our limitations.
A Draft of Moonlight is now available for sale in print version or as an e-book. Here’s the blurb:
Every schoolchild is supposed to know that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldren were the first human beings to reach the Moon on the 20th of July 1969. But what if that is not the true story?
In Greg Camp’s new science fiction political thriller, Robert Smith discovers a plot hatched in the Cold War Soviet Union to reshape the balance of power decades in the future. As he struggles to save Earth from disaster, he has to weed through the tangles of corporations and the Lunar government. Along the way, he finds something even more important: human connection.
On Twitter this morning (15 August 2012), I found the sad news that Harry Harrison has died. Harrison was the author of the Stainless Steel Rat series and of Make Room! Make Room!, the book that was the basis for the movie, Soylent Green. If you’re not familiar with his writing, you’ve missed out on a treat. (And Nick, if you’re reading this, give me back the book that I loaned you!) He shows us that the truth is often askew to the “normal” world, and we need more authors like him.