The point of this blog is not only to tell you about what I’m working on but to give helpful ideas to other science fiction writers. Research is important to all kinds of writing, and we have an excellent opportunity in front of us right now: the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
I’m not going to pass judgment on who’s at fault. Plenty of other people are doing that. My job as a writer is to write believable characters in believable situations. Someday, I might want to write about a manmade disaster, and when that day comes I can use my notes and memories of this oil spill as a starting point.
There is information all over the Internet on the science behind the spill. I’ve watched videos and read articles about the quality and quantity of oil, on BP’s plans to build a dome over the leaks, and on relief workers’ efforts to save animals. Some of these animals, which would normally run away from humans, are too tired and sick to escape. Details like that help make the story feel real.
Below, I have included links to some of my sources. The video from Al Jazeera is the clearest general overview of the accident I have yet seen.
Often times in sci-fi books and movies, this kind of crisis has a simple solution. I wish we could just reverse the polarity of something and make the whole problem go away. In the near future, we’ll see many books and documentaries about the BP oil spill. I’ll use those resources when they come, but again it is not my job to pass judgment. My job as a writer is to tell a believable story based on research and life experiences and let the readers judge for themselves.
Don’t forget to check out the oil spill calculator.