Five Worldbuilding Errors That Should Be Banished from SF Forever


This post is by James Davis Nicoll from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


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Are you a science fiction author?

Would you like to prevent angry rants by an obscure book reviewer based in Ontario? Here are some common errors in worldbuilding that I loathe and abhor.

Please avoid from now on. TIA. (Thanks In Advance.)

 

Stars Move!

The stars in our part of the Milky Way (with some notable exceptions) tend to be headed in the same general direction at the same general speed, but not exactly in the same direction and not exactly at the same speed. Over time, the distances between stars change. Today, our closest known neighbour is Alpha Centauri at 4.3 light years. 70,000 years ago, it was Scholz’s Star at as little as 0.6 light years.

This error does not come up often. It’s a timescale thing: stars move on a scale marked in increments like time elapsed since the invention of beer. That ...