Clarke’s third law
Blog post about The Left Hand of Dog by SI CLARKE
In October of 2020, I sat down to write an extremely silly novel – something that would take my mind off … well, off life, the universe, and everything. My first two novels were hard science fiction – anything that went in had to be scientifically sound. That series was about building a self-sufficient colony on Mars – so I had to learn about every aspect of life on Mars.
I’m not joking when I say I did more research for those books than for my master’s degree. I learnt about travelling to Mars, the health impacts of low gravity on the human body, bees in space, ultra-efficient dead body disposal, water on Mars, closed-loop sanitation, sustainable agriculture. I have whole spreadsheets dedicated to calculating the land mass required to feed and accommodate varying numbers of humans.
My goal in writing The Left Hand of Dog was to produce a fun book. I wanted something easy to read – but also easy to write. No more putting in hundreds of hours of research before I started writing. But how to deal with the troublesome science: faster-than-light travel, universal translators, space medicine?