I sometimes get asked where my story ideas come from. Most of the time, I have no answer to that because ideas just pop into my head without any outside influence (at least that I'm aware of). The story I'm brainstorming now is the exception.
I decided awhile ago that I wanted my next tale to take place on a planet with astronomical conditions different from the ones here on Earth. I looked at rings a la Saturn, then at an extreme elliptical orbit. Both interesting ideas, but I've settled on something else: a planet whose orbit takes it through an asteroid belt twice every rotation around its star.
Now I'm in research mode. I'm not an astronomer, so I'm reading up on asteroids, our own solar system's asteroid belt, impact events and air bursts. I'm brainstorming on ways civilization would develop on a planet that, two weeks out of the year, is bombarded with space rocks. I haven't come close to developing plot or characters yet, but I'm hoping for an inspired idea to burst forth from the world-building.
In other news: "Six Guns Straight From Hell" has a positive review at examiner.com. Check it out.