The Science in Writing

Hilton 210 at 11:30AM Friday was the place to be if you are interested in using science in your writing. The panel moderator, Dr. Pamela L. Gay, with the panelists of Bethany Brookshire, Emily Finks, and Nica McKinnon talked about what really works in building a realistic world in fantasy and what really doesn’t.

There are a few rules that scientists love when they read science fiction:

  1. Constant rules. Make the elements the same throughout the story.
  2. Have your world function like a real world.
  3. Have limitations. Not everything can work together.

There were a couple of series that are done right, according to the panelists. Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy is one. Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series is another. What makes Pratchett’s series work is that it is consistent throughout. Seanan McGuire’s Indexing series is yet another.

What doesn’t really work? George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series. Yes, the books are good. Scientifically, however, the ice wall doesn’t work. In science, there is no way that wall could be that tall with a ledge without anything else being added to the ice.

This panel was informative and entertaining. The audience in the packed room really enjoyed the presentation.

Author of the article

Award-winning author Amanda Faith may have been raised in Dayton, but her heart and home is in the South. With a lifelong love of teaching and writing, she had plenty of encouragement from teachers and friends along the way. Loving a good puzzle has always been a fascination, and writing gives her the outlet to put all the pieces together. Being adventurous and loving to try new things, it wasn’t long before her characters found themselves in unusual situations. She loves to put people from two different worlds into new situations and to see how they interact, taking them on journeys they would never have normally experienced. Her current adventure working as a high school English professor turned Media Specialist, writing, and doing paranormal investigations doesn’t slow her down from having a great time with a plethora of hobbies. Her published credits include several short stories, poetry, several journal articles, her doctoral dissertation, and her award-winning book Strength of Spirit. With multiple degrees, she has a passion for learning and exploring new venues. She is a staff writer for The Daily Dragon at Dragon Con. Check out her new website ( or on Instagram (@dramandafaith)