Firstly, let me start off by saying: research for your writing is good. Doesn’t matter what genre, a bit of well-directed brain-nugget harvesting is always going to be time well spent.
That said, I took a bit of time off from churning out words, and did a wee bit of research into my setting. Things got a bit elaborate from there, and spreadsheets eventually got involved, so if you’re not a naturally curious space dork you might want to either prop your eyes open with some toothpicks, or head for the hills.
Done that? Okay: the planetoid Ceres. It’s in our solar system, in the groovy asteroid belt that goes all the way around between Mars & Jupiter. Ceres is the biggest rock, and the first load of books are all planned to sit in this neck of our planetary woods, so I decided to dig a bit deeper into what life there could actually entail…
Days on Ceres last for only about nine hours.
Holy moly, how does a guy go about writing a normal day of a story, when a normal day is just over a third the length of one of our days? You just get stuck into a McGalactic burger lunch, and the day is done. You’re out on a romantic date, but the sun comes up before dessert. You dress for a sunny day, and suddenly it’s midnight and you’re turning into a popsicle.
How badly messed up would your body-clock become? I mean, we’re geared for 24 hours, maybe 25 if we’re living in a test tube (apparently, there’s been some pretty weird research around this point), and we are designed to wake with the light in the morning, so how would a person survive going to bed for three hours out of every nine?
I think that in no time we’d all be licking the walls, wearing tin foil hats, and murdering people with names that start on odd numbers. It’d be like an Event Horizon sequel, only with thousands of people, and even worse: nobody would be able to get any work done.
So! I devised a handy repeating day, not perfect, but as close as I could figure to a repeatable interval of almost 24-25 hours, with cues from the sun for where you’re up to. I present to you, the Twenty Seven Hour Day!
So tada! I’m pretty proud of it, because I can use the cues of the sun and the moon to dictate time’s passage still ( e.g. bedtime is around sunrise on the third cycle of a day).
What strange and wonderful things have you committed to figuring out for your writing? Your favourite research resources?