Exposition in Science Fiction. Yes, it’s an odd topic and it rhymes, but try not to get scared off yet. It’s one of the things that cause SF writers the most angst and anguish. SF, by definition, discusses things that could be, that might be, possibilities, and probabilities. Stuff that hasn’t happened yet or hasn’t been invented/discovered/fully theorized yet.
Master storytellers like Ray Bradbury were criticized for not enough exposition, not enough science, leaving too much unsaid and to the imagination, (heaven forefend!) SF geeks like their science. Kinda follows, eh? But if you go to the other end of the spectrum, we have brilliant scientific minds like Arthur C. Clark. Astounding, prophetic thinker, someone who understood the universe better than perhaps the universe itself does. As a storyteller? Often dry as dust. The reader needed constant rehydration just to get through some of the chapters, long, never ending passages of nothing but exposition.
So we walk a fine line writing SF. Don’t think about the science enough, and you have fluff, worse than space opera. It becomes stripped and empty of everything that makes it SF and you might as well make it into a contemporary romance because the spaceships are just backdrop. Think about the science too much? Lose the average reader. Fast.
So when I wrote Gravitational Attraction, it was with mixed feelings that I cut out the detailed explanations of how the GEM (gravito-electromagnetic) interstellar drive worked, as well as bits about how lumanium was discovered and certain detailed aspects of life on T’tson. Important to me in understanding the created universe? Yes. Important to the story? *scuffs foot on the carpet* Probably not.
If you’re not a writer, creating universes in your head is often called schizophrenia. So long as you keep up the appearance that you know the inner universe is pretend, no one tries to have you committed. But, ye gods, the more you build, the more real it becomes. Brave new universe, that has such aliens in’t. Which, when you get down to it, is really the point of any fiction. If writers don’t believe, what charlatans we become trying to convince the reader they should.
M/M Science Fiction Novel – available 2/25/12 from Silver Publishing
Buy Link: https://spsilverpublishing.com/product_book_info/coming-soon-c-2/gravitational-attraction-ebook-p-746
A mysterious distress call draws the crew of the Hermes to what appears to be an empty, drifting ship. Empty that is, except for the blood and gore spattered corridors and one lone survivor locked in a holding cell. Drawn to the handsome, traumatized man, the crew’s comm officer, Isaac Ozawa, makes Turk his personal responsibility, offering him the kindness and warmth he needs after the horror he experienced. Turk longs for Isaac, a desperate, hopeless ache he knows he’ll always carry with him.
But Turk harbors dangerous secrets, his brain a military experiment gone wrong. When an amoral, power-hungry admiral kidnaps Isaac and uses him to convince Turk to become the cataclysmic weapon he’s hungered for, it will take Turk’s strength, the ingenuity of the Hermes crew, the help of the enigmatic Drak’tar, and Isaac’s own stubborn will to save them.
A terrible jolt yanked him from the dark. Shchfteru. Agonized screams. Rage coursing through every nerve. The white… blinding white… imploding suns… the terrible silence…
He had no wish to open his eyes again. There had been a face, a beautiful face, but he must have dreamt it in his madness. The silence remained. If he opened his eyes, he would see the cell again, the blood drenched walls, the gray horror of his floating tomb. No. Better to keep his eyes closed and see again those dark eyes set against flawless golden skin.
Wait. Sound. The soft sound of even breaths drawn. Not alone. Sweet spirits, I'm not alone.
His eyes flew open to find a miracle staring at him from across the room, the same lovely face from his vision. It must have been true. His body felt warmer and no longer as if he might go mad from thirst. Rescue… perhaps. But he needed to be cautious.
"Hey." The beautiful, golden-skinned man spoke, his smile reaching his raindrop-shaped eyes. "You recognize me?"
He could only stare, hesitant to believe the evidence of his senses. They had lied to him before in recent days.
"You have a name?" The voice rivaled the face in beauty, soft and warm, caressing his exhausted mind. "All right, we'll start with mine. I'm Isaac Ozawa. And I guess I could just call you the Marduk Rescuee, or maybe Ishmael—"
"Ishmael?" The word caught in his dry throat, barely a rasp.
"Yeah, you know, the sole survivor? And I alone survived to tell the tale? Oh, never mind. But it would be nicer to have a name."
He swallowed against the rawness, trying for more of a voice. "Turk."
"That's your name? Turk?"
He nodded and watched in fascination as Isaac shook his head, dark hair fanning his cheeks.
"Of course it is. No soft sibilants or lingual sounds for you. Oh, no. Nothing but hard, strong sounds. You probably have a last name that would hurt to say."
Turk drew a slow breath, trying to keep up with events. His head ached. "Always… talk so much?"
"Only when I'm nervous or pissed off."
"Which is it now? Oh, nervous, definitely." Isaac shifted, head cocked to one side. "Not that strange men usually make me this nervous."
"But… I do." He forced his attention away from the captivating face. Isaac was in uniform, burgundy with gold piping. He couldn't match the colors with any unit he knew. Whose hands had he fallen into? "Water?"
"Oh, shit." The beautiful smile fell. "Of course you want water. Damn. Hang on."
Turk eased his head back to the bed, waiting. Something pinned his hands and feet. In his weakened condition, he had little hope of breaking a magnetic or even a physical barrier. Isaac came back into view, water bottle in hand. A sharp, electric jolt ran down Turk's spine when an elegant, golden hand slipped behind his head to help him drink. He had no business thinking about those hands.
"Thank you." Why did he have to be so kind? It would make what he had to do so much harder. He closed his eyes on a sigh, gauging the remaining strength in his wasted body. "Back hurts. Need to…"
"Stupid restraints," Isaac muttered. "They should've at least left you one hand free so you could shift a little."
He chewed on a sensuously full lower lip, considering, as Turk watched in helpless fascination. Isaac's jaw clenched as he seemed to come to a decision. He reached over and pressed the pad to unlock Turk's left wrist.
The moment he regained movement, Turk lunged. He seized Isaac by the throat, applying enough pressure to constrict his airway.
"What unit? What battle group? Whom do you serve?"
Isaac's fingers scrabbled at his hand, his eyes wide and desperate. "Don't… please…"
"Who are you?"
"Not… military," Isaac choked out, his coloring edging up from pink to crimson.
"Liar," Turk growled. "Implant. Fighter pilot. Behind your ear."
"Ex-Altairian… fleet…" Isaac gasped, struggling to pull away. He was strong but not large enough to break Turk's grip. "Bad… implant. Discharged… this is… commercial ship… courier…"
His eyes rolled back and his body went limp as if someone had stolen his bones. Turk let him slide to the floor, his heart racing. With his free hand, he unlocked the rest of his restraints and rolled to peer over the edge of his bed. Isaac lay crumpled on the decking, the shadows of his thick, black lashes caressing his cheeks.
No insignia, no rank designation, a courier ship… what have I done?
Angel Martinez is the erotic fiction pen name of an author of questionable sanity, er, strike that. Of several genres. She lives in northern
and though it’s a small state, has trouble finding her way out of an overlarge
sweater. Angel’s work currently lives at Silver Publishing, Amber Allure, and
Romance First, with some free reads available if you ask nicely. Delaware