Hello out there! I’m very happy to be joining the Night Writers with my first post. First, I’d like to introduce myself briefly. My name is Colleen K. Michaels. By night, I write contemporary romantic fantasy and by day, I’m a historian. I’ve been a voracious reader and writer for as long as I can remember. Genre fiction is my favorite - science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, comedy, I love them all. Same goes for movies and television. I cut my teeth on Star Trek and Star Wars, moved on from there to The X Files, Roswell, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and never looked back. Well, other than to the classics of the Fifties and Sixties. Twilight Zone? Love it! Alfred Hitchcock Presents? Yeah!
So what do I mean by “geekery” anyway? The term isn’t original to me. I’m not sure who first coined it, but I came across it the first time on Etsy (world’s coolest shopping site, imho). Anyway, to me, “geekery” is anything to do with science fiction and fantasy – and the math and science that often inspire them. Yes, science fiction often ends up becoming science fact. Back in the late 1980s, the touch-screen computers on Star Trek: The Next Generation were crazy cool new concepts. Nowadays? Got a smartphone or an iPad? Still cool, but no big deal, right? There you go!
On the 4th and 19th of each month, I’ll be writing about whatever facet of geekery has captured my fancy. Last weekend, for instance, we had the confluence of two awesome events. First, all six Star Wars movies have been released on Blu-ray for the first time. Picture and audio are the highest quality ever, and there are hours and hours of extra material like deleted scenes, making-of commentaries, and spoofs. Second, and I think the timing on this is probably deliberate, scientists just announced that they’ve found a planet rotating around a binary star system, just like Tatooine.
For the uninitiated, in the original Star Wars film, Tatooine was a desert planet with two suns in the sky. When the movie first was released in 1977, many scientists doubted that such a planet could exist in our universe. But using NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, they found what’s been dubbed the Kepler-16 system, made up of a Saturn-sized planet that rotates around two stars that are very close to each other. The star system is just 200 light years from earth (practically spitting distance in interstellar terms). Apparently, with a good pair of binoculars, you can spot where this system is yourself – no need for a space telescope. How cool is that?!