When Your Favourite Character Dies

Ever read a novel and the worst imaginable thing happens, your favourite character dies?  I’ve done that several times.

A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin is very well-known for doing this.  Now as a very popular TV series, named after the first novel, Game of Thrones is showing an expanded audience what it’s like to have many of your favourite characters kick the bucket.

You go through several stages.  Disbelief and shock, unable to accept that it happened.  You think that somehow they’ll come back.  You feel resentful of the author for killing the characters.  Finally, you accept that it happened and continue on.

Is it good for the book?  I think it creates a lot of drama.  For a series like A Song of Ice and Fire, it creates a feeling that anything can happen.  You have to accept that anyone can die.  Very few do it like Martin does.

I’ve read some others where not many die, but my favourite character dies.  That comes as more of a shock than the deaths in Westeros.

But what do you think?  How do you take the deaths of your favourite characters?  Please don’t post spoilers.

The Planet We Waited For

With all the worldbuilding posts I’ve been writing, this announcement was perfect timing.  I’m talking about Kepler-186f, the planet discovered, and since confirmed by two separate telescopes, orbiting a red dwarf star nearly 500 light years away.  It’s a bit bigger than the Earth, and it orbits at about a third the distance from its star than Earth does from the Sun.  This infograph shows you everything.

Facts about planet Kepler-186f.

Source SPACE.com: All about our solar system, outer space and exploration.

This is an incredible discovery, although it was expected eventually.  But now we’ve found it, a world very similar to Earth in size and temperature.  It’s likely to be able to have liquid water on its surface.  As it’s larger than Earth, the higher gravity could hold onto a more dense atmosphere.  This would help, as it’s closer to the outer edge of the habitable zone of the star, so some greenhouse effect would be useful.

Of course, more work needs to be done.  We don’t actually know anything about the atmosphere or the surface of the planet.  We know its radius and mass pretty well, but much more direct observation of its spectrum needs to be made.

I’m curious about when the first science fiction novel will be written about this planet.

Who’s excited?