Lately, I’ve been busy with worldbuilding on Stack Exchange (WB:SE). (Finally!?)
For quite some time I was reluctant to start working on the setting for my novel. I know what kind of world I want. However, despite my interest in natural sciences, my knowledge about physical aspects of science fiction worlds is very limited. So, I did not feel comfortable enough to start working out the details.
I made good progress in the past two months. While there are still many things to consider and research, I am finally at the stage where I can start flashing out my world. My friends would not believe me, but I am actually excited about using all those formulas for calculating orbits, albedos, radiation levels and so on. World-building by Stephen Gillett made it look almost easy. It also gave me some new ideas for the settings. It is a really good book. Even if I end up abandoning my novel I will not regret the time I spent reading it.
WB:SE was also a good source of inspiration and useful information. It is always great to get different perspectives. Although, sometimes the answers remind me of Noise Level by Raymond F. Jones[*]. A group of scientists watches a video presentation of a fully-functioning anti-gravity device. Unfortunately, the inventor dies. His research is destroyed. The scientists have to start from scratch. The group almost immediately divides into believers and non-believers. While the former work on their version of an anti-gravity, the latter do their best to prove that the video was fake. WB:SE is somewhat similar. There are people who do their best to answer a question. But there are also some people who try to prove that a suggested concept is not valid. Moreover, it has no right to exist.
I wonder if those people will be very upset if I steal some of their personalities for my book. There is nothing better than real-life examples for building a character. And some of those people are truly fascinating.
[*] The novelette was originally published in Astounding Science Fiction magazine (50/04 (1952/12)). You can get a free copy at archive.org.