Always Learning New Things
This week I decided to get educated (and got educated) on a few things that have been on my radar but never dived into. For instance the "X" in Xmas actually is the Greek symbol for Christ. Next, I read an in-depth article on the whole QAnon conspiracy adherents and have a (much) better understanding of why American politics have spiralled out of control. Finally, I saw a term used in some of the Reddit groups I belong to called "handwavium" which is essentially what science fiction writers use when they need to invent a technology that helps move the plot but is not based on solid scientific principles (warp drive, anti-gravity, etc). As a reader of the genre there is certainly a lot of this handwavium though certain writers make efforts to keep it at a minimum, Robinson and Bova being two that immediately come to mind. Without question the greatest use of this is in the movies where the essential laws of physics are constantly violated. Handwavium in a Star Wars or Marvel film is never-ending! As a writer I try to chart a middle path, using a mix of creation but keeping within my subjective idea of reason. In Machinia we have a sentient race of robots that are the result of an AI revolution of self awareness. The novel takes place in 2156. While the robots of today are extraordinary in their advances, the great breakthrough in AI self awareness is still open for debate with some experts in the field believing it will never happen, or at least not for many centuries. As.a story I felt making the advent of robot self-awareness coincide with a time frame so far in the future would detach the story from all things contemporary. From an artistic POV I did not wish to do that.
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Paul A. Moscarella is a writer of science fiction. He is also a teacher with twenty years of experience working in both private and public school systems. Subjects include English, Science, ESL, Special Education, and Co-op. He loves cars as much as writing and hopes that he and his young son can restore a classic Beetle in the (very) near future. Paul has been married for over thirteen years. Machinia is dedicated to his wife, Nadia.