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crazyarby
January 21st, 2006, 12:29 PM
Hello all
I have enjoyed this forum and the advice it dispenses. I finally joined up and have a small issue I would like everyone to kick around.
In my crop of sci-fi stories I decided to make my hyperspace a little different from the Sci-fi I have read or watched. Ships traveling in hyperspace will, to their crews, make the trip almost instantly, but in real space much more time will pass.
Ex. Ship hypers from Earth to Alpha Centauri, the crew experinces and ages 1 second while to the rest of space the trip took the ship one day.
I am have a tough time wraping my head around the subject and what it would mean to a galaxy of space travelers. Space faring traders and merchants would be able to live forever, or at least outlive all the people on planets.
Should I limit the travel in some way?
Is this to close to offering immortality?
My stories are boring millitary Sci-fi and this hyperspace travel is not the main line I want to explore, but I just like the idea so much I would like to keep it.

TSJ

tracyt1800
January 21st, 2006, 01:33 PM
Ex. Ship hypers from Earth to Alpha Centauri, the crew experinces and ages 1 second while to the rest of space the trip took the ship one day.
I am have a tough time wraping my head around the subject and what it would mean to a galaxy of space travelers. Space faring traders and merchants would be able to live forever, or at least outlive all the people on planets.

Orson Scott Card addresses those issues in his Ender books (Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, etc). One of the characters (I won't say who in case you decide to read them) is 3000-ish years old, but has only aged to 35 years in his relative time.

Some of the issues he brings up (due to the relative time of near-light speed space travel) are pretty interesting.

Tracy

choppy
January 21st, 2006, 03:25 PM
I believe the concept that you're considering is generally referred to as "time dilation." It's a consequence of near light-speed travel as described in special relativity and I it's been explored quite extensively in science fiction.

Mainstream SF tends to stay away from it, in my opinion, because it would introduce a set of dymanics to that is unfamiliar to the average reader. Ultimately fiction reflects life. Unless the specific inclusion of time dilation is necessary in the story I think it is most often "worked around" so that the reader is presented with a world where the central characters age at the same rate as everyone else, consequences of actions are similar to those in the real world, you have the option of leaving characters and returning to them, etc.

I don't mean to imply you shouldn't use it. I think it's a splended idea. However, if you don't still set the speed of light as an absolute velocity limit, but incorporate time dilation, you'll need to explain it well, or you're likely to get a lot of feedback challenging the physics of the universe.

Andrew J
January 21st, 2006, 07:59 PM
Oh, would any be nice enough to list all the means of space travel they've read/seen? That could be helpful to some writers.

David Forbes
January 21st, 2006, 08:17 PM
Alastair Reynolds Inhibitor novels all use time dilation space travel. Very hard SF, very good books (though not without flaws). Different characters in different solar systems experience events that are decades apart, yet they all come together at some point precisely because of time dilation.

But I agree, most SF writers work around it because it causes so many problems.

MrBF1V3
January 22nd, 2006, 12:09 AM
You'll also find the time dialation issue in the "Forever War" books.

Hyperspace, with or without time dialation is more or less a science fiction invention. It's a way to work around having the spend years, if not decades, traveling to the nearest star.

But, of course, every invention has it's price.

B5

crazyarby
January 23rd, 2006, 08:18 PM
The whole concept of hyperspace is not possible with the science that we know about currently and I would use it for the cheap magic transport to and fro. I just wanted to add a little to it since it's a sci-fi topic done to death. The longest trip would be a few months real time. This would still have an effect on the characters but I'm trying to avoid it becoming too much of an issue.
Man, coming up with your own magic physics is a real pain in the @$$.
I'll check out those books you all have mentioned. Thanks for the response.

TSJ

Expendable
January 24th, 2006, 01:15 AM
The whole concept of hyperspace is not possible with the science that we know about currently and I would use it for the cheap magic transport to and fro. Um, you sure about that (http://www.newscientistspace.com/article/mg18925331.200)?


I just wanted to add a little to it since it's a sci-fi topic done to death. The longest trip would be a few months real time. This would still have an effect on the characters but I'm trying to avoid it becoming too much of an issue. Actually there are stories that go both ways. Hyperspace has little or no effect - or time dilation means the world they leave behind will age prematurely.


Man, coming up with your own magic physics is a real pain in the @$$. If it was easy, everyone would do it.

Shane
January 24th, 2006, 12:32 PM
Honestly it really depends on the kind of story you're writing. If it's a character driven story that can really only be considered "science fiction" because there are ray guns and space travel and maybe aliens (ala Star Wars) and there are no story elements revolving around hard science, then personally I'd say drop the entire concept of time dilation. Things like that really only matter if they're a part of the plot, and implimenting something like that, which could dramatically effect your entire story, just for kicks or "to be different" is pretty pointless, IMO. If it's a character driven story, nobody's really going to care how much time has passed for the characters traveling to Bweezledump, nor will they care how much time has passed for the people on Rumplefunk, so unless it's a plot device I really wouldn't put it in.

I mean there's a reason Han Solo just points at stuff and tells Chewbacca "No! Not that thing there, I said fix this thing here! Got it? OK!" Nobody really cares what he's talking about, save the most uber-hard-to-please-fanatics ever.

Boll Weevil
January 24th, 2006, 01:03 PM
I was folding space time at the kitchen table the other day. Still I did manage to get next weeks pizza yesterday.