Sex and Zero-G

Happy Friday everyone! Casey here!

One of fun parts of writing is research. Normally, I don’t do very much research other than getting a feel for a geographic location (thank you, Google Earth) or learning more about a specific process (tattooing) or a particular bit of history (like naming conventions for Chinese males).

I love history and learning about new cultures, places or people. But when it comes to writing, I tend to steer clear, otherwise I would never finish anything. And I don’t want to be overwhelmed with too many facts or details.

However, when the subject was vampires in space or more specifically, the undead on Mars, I couldn’t wait to dig in. In a few short weeks, my next book, The Undead Space Initiative is coming out. Before I wrote the book, I did some research on space travel and conditions on Mars. I visited NASA‘s website and Google Mars (yes, can you believe it? There is a such a thing!)

Aside from a lifetime’s worth of experience reading Sci-Fi novels, I also turned to a book byMary RoachPacking for Mars. I had a blast reading this book.

I learned many fun and fascinating facts such as:

  • NASA hired veterinarians to create the first meals for astronauts (and how they couldn’t understand why people didn’t want to eat food shaped like kibble).
  • There are studies out there, where you can be paid to not leave bed for a year at a time (literally – you can’t get off the bed – you must sleep, eat and do everything else in the bed). The purpose of this is to understand the long-term effects of zero-G.
  • A great deal of scientific know how and design went into making an actual toilet in space. The book goes into ridiculous detail so I will spare you.
  • Japanese astronauts are locked into small rooms with each and made to fold paper cranes for hours on end (to study personality and other behavioral dynamics).

There is so much more, but you’ll have to read it yourself to find out the rest.

Now, in case you’re wondering, and because I did bring it up in the title of this blog – can you have sex in space?

The books touches on the subject with a bit of thinly veiled frustration. While there have been no officially documented studies sanctioned by any space faring government, there are plenty of rumors in the space community, that it is possible. I came up with my own conclusions for purposes of storytelling.

So, what does any of this research have to do with my book?

Everything and nothing.

I’m a big believer in verisimilitude or the appearance of reality. Ms. Roach’s book helped solidify my belief that the undead, like vampires, zombies and revenants would do very well in space and on Mars.Here’s why:

They are dead.

They don’t need to breathe, eat or use the toilet.

Their bodies can stand extreme temperatures and they won’t get cancer from gamma ray bursts.

Quite simply, they are perfect recruits for settling Mars.

And while it was fun to learn about space toilets, and kibble, none of those things appear in my book. None of my characters break out into spontaneous bouts of paper crane folding either.

I did use facts as best I could. Yes, there are clouds in the Martian sky, dust storms that last for days, and scientists believe there is water in the Martian permafrost. But there are plenty of other things in the book that are my own invention.

And no, I won’t say what they are! You’ll have to read the story to find out how vampires travel in space and learn to live on Mars.

While we’re on the subject of research and sex – if you have a moment – please stop by and visit my blog today - 60 Inches of Glory where I talk about one of my favorite tools for research (and get your mind out of the gutter!).

How much research do you like to do before writing? And how do you use those facts? Or does the thought of research cause you to break out in hives?

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21 thoughts on “Sex and Zero-G”

  1. So interesting, Casey. But then I live with a former space suit engineer who is full of all kinds of cool info on the NASA front. if you ever have questions, I’m sure he’d be happy to regale you with details. A great website for Mars research is http://www.marsonearth.org.

    i enjoy the research part of writing as i mentioned in my post the other day, but it definitely can be a distraction. And isn’t it funny that we only use a smidgeon of what we learn here and there. Otherwise, it starts sounding like a text book. I can’t wait till Undead is available:-)

    1. Your hubby is a wealth of information, PJ! And a sweetie too.

      As for as using research, I think a portion of it rattles around in the back of my head and occasionally emerges in strange ways. USI will be out by the end of July so you won’t have to wait long.

  2. I love research for the sake of research. I literally have folders of paper, printouts and hand-drawn schematics I use. I even have a special folder fo the language I made up, right down to the verb conjugations. Great pic for character inspiration. :)

    1. Hi Raven!

      I enjoy learning new things so I spend a lot of time reading non-fiction about things that interest me. Maybe that is back-handed way of research!

      I wish I could make up a language, that sounds so cool!

  3. Wow. There’s a ‘Google Mars’?! If I ever manage to un-glue my eyes from the fineness of Mr. Skarsgard then I must go and look that up. LOVE the new book title by the way and yes, looking forward to reading it so I can find out some of your inventions! Great post. Best wishes

    1. Google Mars is pretty cool. You can spin the planet around and see all the craters and chasms. And yes, Alexander is so drool worthy. We Scribes have gotten a lot mileage out of posting that picture. Glad you like the book title! And I was so pleased the publisher wanted to keep it too.

  4. What an interesting post! All things I have NEVER thought about. I can’t wait to read this to see how you mixed your research with your writerly inventions.

    And you used the word verisimilitude! I love when I can fit that word in somewhere, Nice.

    1. I love the V word. I use it to tell myself I don’t have to be straight-jacketed by real life facts (which could be why I don’t write historicals or Regency). Gosh, I hope the book doesn’t disappoint in the inventiveness department!

  5. Are you trying to raise my blood pressure? First Hemsworth and now Skarsgard. Give me a sec to get my mind working again. Okay….the research you did sounds fascinating. I love doing research. I find out so many interesting facts.
    Can’t wait to read how you mixed research with inventiveness in your novel.

  6. WooHoo Casey, I just read your 60″ something TV. We have been going through the same. Lucky us, that 36″ big box could not be lifted, but a friend came and hauled it away to his place, thrilled to have a nice big TV to watch. For us, we have a 40″ one from Costco, but we did entertain the 60″. A little big for our space, but a 55″ would work. Which one did you buy? That’s research for TVs.

    For research for writing. I did three years of research before I even wrote my first word. It was not until I met Kristan and Toni at the Fairfield Public Library and they encouraged me to join CTRWA. Best thing ever. Then I began writing. But research never stops. I just connected with Kenny Karst, manager of Group Services & Catering at Yosemite park, asking about Yosemite Falls. Info pertaining to my book. I read letters, interviewed, videos, tapes, photographs, books. My library is swollen with information from research.

  7. When we get to space and I mean all of us. The general public there will be sex in space. We humans love having sex in strange places. Why not space. Only need a little bit of fraction to make it work, right? Bahahaha! Yes, I research and if I can I go visit the location. I ask questions and I can’t believe how wonderful other authors are in sharing facts and knowledge. My two cents.

    1. You are so right about the sex in strange places! When space flight goes commercial, I’m sure there will be a version of the mile high club! And I agree, other authors can be very supportive and sharing!

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