As my previous post probably indicates, I've been reading wikipedia recently about fairly elementary astronomical concepts and facts. While this is an enjoyable project all by itself, it's clearly in service of the fiction I'm writing.
I'd also take a moment to note that in the biggest web traffic I've gotten in a month or more due to a post I made on zimmermania, and the pictures I posted yesterday, I'm going to have a post about science fiction and near-Earth star systems. Sigh
Anyway back to Wolf 424. All this is all well and good, but the truth is, I don't write hard SF, and to say that I have a somewhat tenuous grasp on mathematics. Nevertheless, reading about stars which are pretty close on a cosmic scale, is something that I find really helpful and inspiring for my writing.
I think because thinking about Barnard's Star, or Wolf 424, Epsilon Eridani is about leaning into a sort of existential sense of wonder and amazement. I mean. Wolf 424 is moving--relative to the solar system--at hundreds of miles a second. I mean wow.
So that's what I think science fiction should, in an ideal world aim to communicate, I mean, among other things, of course. I made the point a few weeks ago that, space opera should attempt to make going Alpa Centuari, or Vega being substantively different than going to Montana or Nepal, even if the story is mundane, even if the boundaries of realism are pretty flexible.
My two cents at least.
Onward and Upward!