DH was kind enough to read over Farthest Space and make suggestions this weekend. I spent yesterday afternoon fixing various things, and I'm quite happy with the result. DH is going to review it one more time tonight, just to make sure I didn't miss anything, and then I'll fix any remaining problems tomorrow and get it off my desk. Hurray.
My oldest daughter is now deeply into Star Wars. (Yes, I'm raising a geek, and proud of it:-). We let her watch the whole series of movies (excluding the new one, which is rated PG-13, and I haven't seen it yet to gauge its appropriateness for an almost ten-year-old), and we've been watching the "making of Star Wars" documentaries as well. Very interesting. The thing about a movie is that you have to know precisely what the setting of each scene is going to look like before you start shooting. You never have characters talking or performing actions in a vacuum.
As a writer of novels, OTOH, I tend to write my dialogue first and then fill in the "set design" later. I sometimes feel like I don't design my sets well enough, or at least convey them to the reader well enough, and I wonder if it wouldn't be best to mentally "design the set" of every scene before I start writing. It seems to me that thinking of my characters' surroundings as "the set" and making sure the reader can "see" it as she reads would help make my writing more vivid. I think I'll try that in my next book and see what happens.