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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Humid, But Habitable

I came across an interesting article in last Tuesday’s newspaper: Newfound Planet Habitable But Humid. This kind of scientific news is right up my alley! Maybe it’s up your alley too. :)) I read on to learn that orbiting a star in the Vela constellation 35 light years away in the  “Goldilocks Zone” is a planet called HD85512b.

Catchy name, isn’t it?

The Goldilocks Zone refers to an orbit that is or can be habitable--not too hot and not too cold for the presence of liquid water. HD85512b has an estimated temperature range of 85 to 120 degrees, is about 1.4 times Earth gravity, and completes an orbit around its sun in sixty days.

Hmmm, on HD, then, I’d be well over 300 years old… GULP!

Astronomers theorize that this “new” planet would be extremely muggy, and the lifeforms, if any, could be squatter and shorter--closer to the ground.

Now here comes the fun part. Let your imagination roam. With the above details in mind, what science fiction storyline would you create?

While you’re percolating on that scenario, here’s one of my science fiction romances--ALIEN HEAT--that was inspired by current events. I came across a cover story in U.S. News and World Report on global warming. Then I theorized what would happen if this warming was due to villainous extraterrestrial factors, not just because of manmade interference like automobile exhaust.

Next, I researched the 1994 crash of comet Shoemaker-Levy into Jupiter and decided this type of event could happen on Venus. The force of impact could send out fragments of Venus that then, eventually, could collide with Earth.

In addition to a dramatic climate change, there’d have to be significant damage to human civilization. With that kind of trauma and annihilation, cultures and countries usually become fractured, to say the least. So my future world on Earth now had “primitive” villagers and the more technologically advanced people of Canusa pitted against each other. Then I threw in colonizing Venusian flowers, and voila! We have ALIEN HEAT!

All women love these flowers... but the feeling's *not* mutual.

Blurb: An almost cataclysmic bombardment by meteorites drastically altered Earth's atmosphere and human society. As if that isn't enough, in the intervening years, strange plants suddenly sprout up... seeming to have a mind of their own.

Because of her unfortunate past, young Glyneth doesn't want to marry. But when she is abducted by the Outsider, Lucas Jefferson, she learns not all men are like her despicable father. With her unusual abilities, she is the only person to understand the serious threat the Venusian flowers are to not only Lucas' people, but the Earth as well.

Available in print and electronically at Wings ePress,,, and other Internet locations.

But back to HD85512b. Maybe there will be a “Humid, But Habitable” science fiction story in my future. Then again, maybe I’ll write a contemporary novel set in Miami!!

For more info on Romance Writing with a Twist, visit me at my website or blog! Thanks!

Susanne Marie Knight


  1. How creative! Using real stories and envisioning a possible new Earth...with those Venusian flowers as a menace.
    Nice step-by-step look at your thought process in creating Alien Heat.

  2. Thank you, Marianne! Today's newspaper provided this tempting headline: Audit's $16 Muffins Engender Outrage!!!

  3. All I can picture is giant alligators, dinosaurs, huge insects, and the decendents of an earth ship that crashed there long ago trying to survive...

    Fun post! Your book sounds unique.

  4. I admire your scientific prowess and your research skills! Alien Heat sounds fun - just the concept of a threatening flower perks up the overworked hamsters on the wheel that powers my brain (sometimes).

    If the new planet is hot and humid and occupied by short beings - maybe it's my house in Myrtle Beach anytime during a Carolina Summer!!

    Great post - thanks for showing us all how smart you are. I really needed another reason to feel inferior. :)

  5. Dianne, that's a great suggestion. Alligators, dinosaurs, insects, oh my! Sounds like a terrific pre-historic BBQ for our intrepid astronaut ancesters. :))

    Mary Anne, thanks for your high praise. Y'know, I'm blushing! Or maybe I'm red because of having a humid hot flash! In any case your Myrtle Beach Summer is going to sound divine when the snow starts falling here in the Pacific Northwest!

  6. Read about the new solar systems and find them fascinating . . especially since my first three manuscripts are science fiction/fantasy romance set in a different Universe! Yours sounds divine!


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