I’ve been gathering the material for the story I’m calling Iron Mountain. It is a science fiction novel for teens. Since it hasn’t entirely come into being, I don’t know yet if it is middle grade or young adult. I think it may be young young adult but there is a “thank you but no” love interest.
Anywho, I’ve been reading up on historic iron mining and noodling over the related ghost town that my character finds. What I had in my head was 100% Earth. That’s a problem because the story isn’t set on Earth. Yes, it is an earth-like planet and in fact it was colonized from Earth. But it has to be different from Earth in notable ways. Otherwise, I might as well set it ON Earth.
Because of this, I’m rethinking the building material used in the miner’s cabins. It can’t just be wood or stone. These people weren’t rich so I’m thinking they patch things with whatever is available. Since the iron is shipped off planet, that might mean shipping containers. I brought this up to my husband.
“You mean containers used for the ore? Or the iron? They would probably use magnetic containment not containers. That’s what they’re talking about with asteroid mining.” Um . . . what? My husband and I both read science but clearly we read very different things and this is something I’m going to need to read.
But people would need supplies until they get farming and whatever up to speed. Things from Earth or wherever.
“No one likes to dead head,” says he. Okay, that might not have been exactly what he said. Face it, I’m having to puzzle through the “shipping and freight” lingo in addition to asteroid mining. Goods may be shipped onto the planet but if they use something other than containers for the ore, they aren’t going to want to bring back empty containers. That means that whatever gets dropped planetside will be “disposable.”
Normally I don’t discuss my writing with other people when it is at the prewriting stage. But I’m starting to second guess that decision. I think I need to pick this man’s brain. Oh, honey!