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Go for a walk and write what you see

eReads podcast - Unveiling the Science of Sci-Fi: A Chat with Dr. Alan Kolok

Prompt: Go for a walk and write what you see 

Original work by Liz Bullard

Go for a walk and write what you see 

Snow solid like crystallized brown sugar. Hard on the surface, but the center is soft crystals that melt under the heat of your fingers. Birds chirp, offering a morning song - a melody of harps and whispers of morning events. I stop to breathe in the frigid air that expels a cough from my lungs.

How long has it been since I inhaled a cold that burns my nostrils and chills my rib cage? How long has it been since I took breaths?

"How good it feels to be alive," I exhale, watching the puff of smoke from my words swirl around me.

How good it is indeed to be alive, I think to myself, savoring the thought as I pull the watch from my coat pocket. I watch as the clock ticks. But it is not like the clocks of this world, spinning clockwise, edging forward for all eternity. No, this clock spins counter, ticking down to an expected end.

Tick, tick, tick, it goes as it counts down the 62 hours and 47 minutes I have left to remain alive. Once this clock strikes zero, it will take more than another Frankenstein-like jolt to bring me back to life. It will take a potion, an incantation, and a journey to Lucifer's last living descendant.

Episode Highlights 

  • While fantasy and sci-fi have similarities, the difference lies in the realm of possibility versus the impossible becoming possible.
  • Visualize the scenes of your story as if they were playing on a movie screen in your mind, and write it down.
  • When crafting science fiction, spending time explaining the science of your story can help create a realistic and immersive experience.

Learn more about Alan Kolok

Dr. Alan Kolok is a Professor of Ecotoxicology at the University of Idaho. His books deal with the interface between science fiction and the realities of scientific understanding that are almost too fantastic to believe. He has published two books for the public; his first, Modern Poisons: A Brief Introduction to Contemporary Toxicology, details the recent issues associated with the release of toxic chemicals into the environment. His second, Twist, is a science fiction novel that focuses on self-replicating prions that have gone terribly wrong.

Connect with Alan Kolok



Modern Poisons: A brief introduction to contemporary toxicology. 2016

Twist 2019