You don’t really understand something until you can explain it to somebody else. There are lots and lots of quotes out there to that effect, sometimes attributed (or misattributed) to Einstein, sometimes attributed (or misattributed) to other great scientists. Regardless of where all those quotes really came from, that sentiment has long been the guiding philosophy of this blog.
For this year’s A to Z Challenge, my theme was the scientific search for alien life. Obviously I’ve written about that topic before, many times over, but I still felt a bit shaky in my knowledge. So I wanted to dive deep into the science of astrobiology and the closely related field of SETI. I wanted to double check the things I thought I already knew, and of course I wanted to add to that knowledge.
Writing those 26 blog posts was the final step, the final test. Have I learned this stuff well enough to explain it clearly and concisely? I suppose only you, dear reader, can be the judge of that. But based on the responses I’ve gotten so far and the conversations I’ve been having with people in the comments, I feel like I must’ve done a decent enough job.
With this year’s A to Z Challenge now behind me, I certainly feel more confident talking about astrobiology and SETI than I did before. More importantly, I feel a whole lot more comfortable incorporating what I’ve learned into my science fiction. After all, I started this blog with one purpose in mind: to force myself to do the kind of research that, in my opinion, a science fiction writer ought to do.
If any of you came away from my A to Z series feeling like you learned something, or even if you just have a newfound sense of wonder for the stars—for all the things that might be out there in the cosmos—I consider that a bonus. Thank you for reading, and thank you especially to those of you who commented.
On Monday, I’ll be back to my regular blogging schedule.