Good Sci-Fi books with NEWTONIAN SPACE TRAVEL recommendations

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Mike0101010101, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. Fung Koo

    Fung Koo >:|Angry Beaver|: <

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    Iain M. Banks' The Algebraist might have what you're looking for. And of course Ender's Game and The Forever War.

    As to the state of current physics, just because we have an internally consistent model (which is what we mostly mean today when we say "proved") doesn't mean certain things won't adjust. Human hubris being what it is, I doubt we've got it nearly as well figured out as we'd like to suppose.
     
  2. ian_sales

    ian_sales Registered User

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    It's a bit more than "internally consistent". It allows us to make predictions, and those predictions are borne out in experiments. The Standard Model of Particles and Forces gets down as small as reality can get. There are still a few bits we don't know, but it's unlikely we're missing anything major. Likewise with The Concordance Model of Cosmology. There's dark matter and dark energy, but the maths work without us actually knowing what they are.
     
  3. Fung Koo

    Fung Koo >:|Angry Beaver|: <

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    Well, physics phd students are sure gonna have it rough when those last few bits are worked out!

    "The maths work without us actually knowing" is what I mean by internally consistent.
     
  4. Rosie Oliver

    Rosie Oliver Registered User

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    All this talk of maths... at the risk of being highly controversial....

    The laws of physics provide a model by which we can predict what will happen from a certain set of initial conditions if we come across those conditions in reality.

    Now let's take a real leap into the imagination... but first I'd like to remind you of a fundamental point of mathematics. A solution to a mathematical problem may not be unique. It can comprise a direct solution to the problem plus any solution that gives a zero answer. So you can have a whole family of solutions to that problem.

    So whilst we have such a family of solutions, we can choose any one and know we have a 'right' answer.

    Applying this to the laws of physics model, we can have a solution that gives a 'right' answer plus any increment of another solution that gives a null answer. Hence we can end up with a whole family of predictions. Now we don't experience the null answer increment until we come across new phenomena that would show it up. But for now, how do we know which 'right' answer plus null increment represents the real universe?

    And before people say this can't happen... think again, because mathematicians use different null increments to find mathematical answers more easily to electromagnetics problems.

    So there is no one maths model that can be deemed to be 'right'. There is a family of maths models, any one of them that could be right.

    I suppose I'd better find a way of explaining this simply to put into a story... on wait I did that in a bizarre kind of way... and nobody wants to publish it. Doh!
     
  5. fiddler

    fiddler Registered User

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    I'm not particularly smart when it comes to science or math or astrophysics ,but I've always had an interest in space travel. Popular science and mechanics are my favorite magazines. And of course, I read a lot of sci-fi.
    From what I have understood from all these different sources is that FTL travel, even if we could achieve it, would still be mostly useless when it comes to traveling to other stars, excepting the closest ones to our own.
    This is why sci-fi writers have come up with concepts like wormholes, subspace and hyperspace.
    Isn't it largely understood that unless or until humanity can discover or invent some way to travel instantly across time and space that we'll always be stuck here in our own solar system?
    Sure, we might try to reach the closest star, but even if we had FTL, and some form of cryogenics
    it would still take far too long for a human lifetime.
    Even more complicated, from what I've read, just for FTL speeds, we'd have to also invent things like inertia compensators and antigrav.

    I guess what I'm saying, is, that until we find that miracle cure that lets us move across vast distances of space instantaneously, I don't think we'll ever leave our own solar system. Someone might try to get to the closest star in a ship driven by nothing more than thrust, but what would be the point?
     
  6. psikeyhackr

    psikeyhackr Live Long & Suffer

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    10 years ago they figured out that the rate at which the universe is expanding is INCREASING. They can talk about negative energy all they want but it is just a name for something which they don't really have a clue about. That means there is still unknown physics out there.

    Even if FTL is figured out it probably won't be in my lifetime so I see no point in being negative about it. The scientific revolution is hardly 400 years old. We have not even known the structure of the atom for 100 years. The neutron was not discovered until 1932. Science fiction is fun but there is no need to get all serious about it except as a tool for encouraging interest in science and teaching a little science with some accurate SF. That does not mean all SF has to be accurate to be fun.

    But I calculated that with constant 1 G acceleration it would take 71 days to reach 20% of light speed. That would mean Centauri in 20 years. With 300 year life spans and a 75% hibernation duty cycle that would mean 5 years alive to the crew. So with von Neumann probes sent in all directions to report findings no live crew would be sent on a wild goose chase.

    Our problem is getting through this century with the crash of stupid consumerism.

    psik
     
  7. livens

    livens Registered User

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  8. Danogzilla

    Danogzilla Couch Commander

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  9. martinhcoat

    martinhcoat New Member

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    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  10. megaphage

    megaphage Registered Uber

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    you're awesome dude.

    Nearly all the SF I read is based on Earth, but when I do read space travel novels (especially when they go on about the actual activity of space travel) I'm always left with the sense of fantasy rather than science, which puts me off somewhat. If a story does have space travel then it has to be in the background for me to accept it.

    The notable exception was Tau Zero which was so spectacularly well illustrated that I was carried away by the power of imagining it could be real.
     
  11. megaphage

    megaphage Registered Uber

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    Iain M Banks is your man. The culture novels have some pretty hardcore characters and while nothing like as grimy as Erikson, his style is a little more towards that realistic grubbyness that makes it all seem a bit more human.

    And as someone else said above: The Algebraist. It has a nice meaty battle with more realistic physics in it, but it's combined with a bit of super-science as well. Oh, and one seriously evil motherf***** is in it as well for your enjoyment.
     
  12. Werthead

    Werthead Registered User

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    Someone already mentioned Stephen Donaldson's Gap series, which I will second. It directly influenced ASoIaF (GRRM nicked Donaldson's rotating-POV structure with each chapter named after the character it's about) and has realistic physics apart from the 'gap' itself, a form of FTL through space-folding.

    There's also the Expanse series by James S.A. Corey (a pen-name for GRRM's friend Daniel Abraham and his assistant, Ty Franck) which takes some influence from GRRM and uses fully realistic physics, with no FTL.

    Peter F. Hamilton's Night's Dawn Trilogy also fits the bill, aside from its FTL which is quantum-based. The actual space combat sequences are done using Newtonian physics and also more realistic-than-normal tactics (such as the use of unmanned drones for combat at distances of tens of thousands of miles).
     
  13. anthony67

    anthony67 New Member

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    Fallen Dragon by Peter F. Hamilton is based upon the story regarding the deployment of invulnerable 25th century soldiers called Skins, Zantiu-Braun's corporate starships loot entire planets. But as the Skins invade bucolic Thallspring, Z-B's strategy is about to go awry, all because of: Sgt. Lawrence Newton, a dreamer whose twenty years as a Skin have destroyed his hopes and desires; Denise Ebourn, a school teacher and resistance leader whose guerrilla tactics rival those of Che Guevara and George Washington and Simon Roderick, the director who serves Z-B with a dedication that not even he himself can understand. Grimly determined to steal, or protect, a mysterious treasure, the three players engage in a private war that will explode into unimaginable quests for personal grace or galactic domination.

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