So the hubby and I watched a cheesy disaster movie last night. Impact.
Now, I love end-of-the-world disaster movies. I really love cheesy end-of-the-world disaster movies. Part of the fun is heckling the screen at the ridiculous plots and asking if a real scientist was anywhere near the script past idea stage. I can't get enough of these. (You'd cringe if you saw my Blu-Ray edition of 10.5, but hey, it was only three dollars!) Bad movies can be sooo good.
Impact is no exception to this. Good premise: An asteroid hits the moon, and a chunk of the moon hits the Earth. Hilarity...um...disaster...ensues. For a TV miniseries, it was well done.
But the science. Oh my stars, the science.
I've stopped reading novels because they blew the science out of the water and there's no way what they claim in the book is plausible. But I'll watch three hours of the now-twice-the-mass-of-Earth moon winging around Earth and not one single tide is affected. I won't even mention the other laws of physics broken here. Waves of anti-gravity? Seriously?
Why is that?
I think because movies are visual, and we don't expect much of them. If they entertain us for two hours, provide some eye candy, we're happy. But a book is more of an investment. It takes time to read, we have to give ourselves over to the story and we expect our authors to get the facts right. When they don't, we lose all faith and can no longer trust them.
Plausibility is a big thing for books. It doesn't matter how wild the idea is, as long as the author approaches it plausibly. We want to believe what they tell us, but as soon as they trigger our "wrong" flags, it's all over.
Think about that as you write your stories. Don't take the easy way out and say "well, it's that way because I said so," make us believe it. Because if you make us believe, you can tell us anything you want.