If You’re Going to Write a Battle Scene on a Space Ship

During shelter-in-place, a good book is worth its weight in gold.

Hyperbolic, much?

Anyhoo, not an hour goes by when self doesn’t thank her lucky stars that she found Leviathan Wakes (She’s waiting on Caliban’s War to arrive, and then she’ll order Book #3 of the series, Abbadon’s Gate)

What she appreciates most of all is the precision of the action scenes. Yeah, yeah, what’s to obsess about, it’s just starships exploding, right?

Newp! The scene has to have verisimilitude! It must put you in a character’s head! It’s not enough to say that a character goes through an airlock, you must describe what it feels like to go through an airlock! And don’t over-describe, because then everyone will know you’re just making it up.

She watched The Expanse Season 4, then backtracked to Season 1, and got about four episodes in. Then, Leviathan Wakes arrived in the mail, and she stopped watching the series because she wanted to experience the book. And self would just like to say: the battles and explosions on the series, which look great, are nothing compared to what’s actually on the page.

It is a fully lived experience, on the page. The main point of view — Jim Holden’s, though Miller’s is almost as good — is ace. The writing is very clean. If you’re going to do space opera and stuff, the writing better be precise. For example, this sentence, pp. 138-139:

  • The hatch behind them slammed shut, and the air in the corridor vanished in a soundless ripple of plastic flaps.

Self having experienced an airlock herself (in Durham Cathedral, of all places), she knows it is something like this. There is, for one thing, “the perfect quiet of vacuum.” (p. 140). The mind ceases to work in normal time.

But, enough of this blogging! She has to get back to the book.

Truly, there’s only one activity — well, maybe two — that stops her from devouring the contents of her refrigerator in one go (Food is love; food is comfort, etc). Right now, because it’s too hot to garden (Only April and it’s too hot to garden. This does not bode well), it’s reading.

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

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