We’re all a little bit crazy here.

Welcome back to another blog hop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?

Possibly, that would be my choice of career? Without it, even though I didn’t know at the time, I might not have become what I am. And if that hadn’t happened, would I have even started writing?

Back in the days before I wrote anything, when I was just wandering around the planet, I figured that Sci-fi must be the easiest thing to write. Largely because you wouldn’t have to do any research. After all, I thought, how can you research anything that takes place in the future?

I do think that I’m very lucky, my stories come to me, fully formed and ready to write. I’ve always said that I see it in my mind and just write it down. When you’re watching a movie, you don’t need to know how everything works, it just appears as part of the story, seems to fit in and makes sense. You accept it.


I still feel the need to check the science in my stories out, just to make sure that what I’m writing has a basis in truth and is at least vaguely possible. I’d hate to spoil the experience for the sake of a lack of realism.

I’m fortunate that a lot of what I write has a direct connection to the life I used to lead. Maybe the forty years of my life spent travelling the world in a sea-going career wasn’t wasted. If I hadn’t met the people I did, see the places and have the experiences, firstly, I wouldn’t have believed that a lot of it was possible. Secondly, I would never have realised that it could all be tweaked a little and sent out into a new life as the adventures of people who occupy my mind.

My working life was very relevant, space ships and ocean-going ships are similar, the means of controlling them, the tight-knit and small crews, the visiting of alien places, it all transfers very easily from reality to the worlds of my imagination.

Even so, I read a lot of scientific information, keeping up with new ideas and inventions. I’m always looking for the fact, the one thing that might be able to explain the things I see in my futures.

And it might surprise you to know that my research has shown me an amazing truth. We already have over 90% of what we need to explore space, to colonise and survive on another world. We have the technology to survive for long periods in places that would kill us (deep underwater or at high altitude). All we lack is the place to go and the ability to get there.

I can provide the means, thanks to an idea that I had about how faster than light travel might be possible. It’s all based on two well known scientific principles, combined in a new yet logical way. To find out more, you need to read my short story The Tale of Christopher Padget. The story appears in my collection Flash Fiction

I digress, the point I’m trying to make is that, while my internet search history would tell you a lot about my range of interests and give you a clue about what I’m writing next, the craziest thing I’ve ever done was spend half my life preparing for the last eight years.

Let me know what you think about this week’s subject.

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6 Responses

  1. Lela Markham

    Life lived rightly is research! I borrow a lot of scenes from experiences I’ve lived – or that I know someone else who has lived.

    • Richard Dee

      I honestly think that nothing is ever wasted, even though you might not see the use of something until years later.

  2. Roberta Eaton Cheadle

    Hi Richard, I think your job was certainly good training for writing books. I suppose, if you the imagination, all careers have fodder for books. A lot of my characters are chartered accountants [haha],

    • Richard Dee

      In my mind, I could see myself doing what they did, if only I had been there (and then). Accountants can be heroes, they need just need a nudge in the right direction.

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