So I'm reading the preview sections of "The Martian" to see if I want to drop some money on the book (Probably will) when I get to a bit of specialist knowledge that breaks some of my enjoyment. I enjoy hard Sci-Fi since it's closer to "real" for me, but thanks to my real life work with NASA when there's an obvious, to me, omission it really breaks things for me.
Do you guys have times like that when reading? What do you do as a writer to avoid them?
In this case he complains about how hard it is to communicate directly with Earth from Mars. Fair enough, but he completely ignores the fact that right now we already talk, not from the Mars surface to Earth directly, but via the satellites in orbit for the simple fact that it IS hard to talk directly. This omission though is an easy one to make though and forgivable since +Bob Singer
also didn't realize we did this and he's also worked in the space biz for several decades. The differences between Deep Space and Local Space communications are quite striking and I'm pleased to have discovered some of the differences, even if it does cause me to go "URK" now and then with Hard Sci-Fi. :)