When it comes to suspension of disbelief, any creative license you might take with logic, plot, facts (or physics) will likely be forgiven if the result is…well…cool. And obviously a deliberate decision rather than a lazy mistake. Just consider the popularity of BBC’s Doctor Who series. As a counterexample, allow me to offer Nick Jr.’s Bubble Guppies–the pseudo-logic of which is so terrible that my brain threatens to implode at the mere thought of it. How could falling off a cliff be a real threat in an underwater world if everyone is half-fish? I suppose that’s where the deliberate decision to make the world nonsensical saves the day. Ahem. Back on track.
I recently watched Interstellar in the theater, and before I was even out of the building at the movie’s conclusion, I overheard people arguing about the physics of gravity and deep space travel. My husband is a physicist, so I’m well aware of how spot-on Big Bang Theory is in representing the indignant over-reaction that particular crowd is prone to when it comes to getting the science right. But in science fiction, making extrapolations and tweaks to the science we know now is point number one under expected creative license. I’d much rather see boldly written speculative fiction than read a book in which the author was clearly terrified of getting it wrong.
That said, do be sure to get your basics right. I’m looking at you, Mission to Mars, with your DNA/chromosome confusion and inability to correctly name the four nucleotides that make up DNA. Really now, if even wikipedia gets it right you have no excuse to get it wrong. Say it with me: A T G C.
Happy writing! And stay tuned for some cover reveals this week!