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  1. #16
    Rogue Warrior
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    Cool thread. I like the sound of quantum tunneling. I'm no physics major though.
    Alot of scifi has non FTL right?

  2. #17
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    If realistic physics is central to the story, or if the writer cares a great deal about fidelity to physical laws, then sure, it matters for that story. I don't throw away a book just because the writer waves his hand and declares that FTL travel with no relativistic consequences is a given in his story.

    Physics isn't the only scientific discipline to be trampled by SF writers: ecology, physiology (can average humans even survive in low gravity for really long periods? thus far we have only ultra-fit astronauts to measure against), economics, political theory.

    I'm not at all convinced that humanity will overcome unbridled capitalism, climate change, desertification of arable land, water shortages, the inevitable hyperinflation caused by decades of near-zero interest rates and fiscal stimulus, the rise of apocalyptic religious fascism, etc. to ever flirt with space colonization. Any book that doesn't address these issues is junk, in my view.

  3. #18
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suboptimal View Post
    I'm not at all convinced that humanity will overcome unbridled capitalism,
    Adam Smith talked about enlightened self interest.

    What is there about Capitalism that precludes mandatory accounting in the schools. But do Capitalists, Socialists or Communists suggest such a thing?

    Has it ever appeared in any science fiction book? I have never seen it and the concept is not even science fiction. It is just something no society that I know of has done.

    “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.” - Robert Heinlein quotes (American science-fiction writer,1907-1988)
    psik

  4. #19
    I like SF. SF is cool. Steven L Jordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ivanj View Post
    The idea of the jump drive developed from one of them asking about controlled probability as a way of getting about which then went to quantum physics and the possibility of places in different solar systems having equal quantum potential and the jump drive was born.
    Yeah, that sums up my basis for controlled quantum tunneling: That potential, or frequency, describes a sphere around galactic center, so imposing that frequency on your object forces it to tunnel to the distance of the sphere. If you can "aim" the effect, you can jump to any point on that sphere.

    (I was intentionally vague on the "aiming" part.)

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by psikeyhackr View Post
    Has it ever appeared in any science fiction book?
    It would be far too gripping and destabilize the marketplace, as all readers would shift to reading SF at once. The lack of accounting in SF is basically a conspiracy to keep the genre down.

  6. #21
    In Robert A. Heinlein's "Starman Jones" ships had to approach what he called "congruencies"at close to the speed of light. A very tricky operation that if done wrong the crew could appear thousands of light years from their destination. Iv'e always liked that concept.

  7. #22
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    As a writer, I'm firmly in the 'no FTL' camp, but sometimes you can't avoid it if you want to tell a story that requires fast travel.

    On a civilisational scale, even 1% of the speed of light allows you to colonise the entire galaxy in 10,000,000 years, which is nothing compared to the lifetime of the galaxy. But it's a heck of a long time if you're writing a story where people need to travel those distances between page 1 and THE END.

    (And, as an aside, my most popular short story is the one which does have working Alcubierre warp drive)

  8. #23
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    10 million years ago our ancestors were swinging from trees. It could make for an interesting evolutionary experiment.

  9. #24
    aurea plectro goldhawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suboptimal View Post
    10 million years ago our ancestors were swinging from trees. It could make for an interesting evolutionary experiment.
    For 10 millions years, humanity has expanded around the galaxy, populating the outer disc because the core has too much radiation. What happens the two fronts meet each other on the other side? In 10 million years, would they even recognize each other as human?

  10. #25
    Registered User Pennarin's Avatar
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    Remember the latest on the Alcubiere drive? It was released a few months ago: the bow of the effect driving the ship would accumulate radiation and particules as it travels, and when it'd stop they would go on following the same path of travel, irradiating all of space in front of the ship. A calamity. Another bad point for that drive.

  11. #26
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    The very first sci-fi book I read involved FTL.

    Star Surgeon, by Alan Nourse

    It was not until our own scientists discovered the Koenig star-drive, enabling us to break free of our own solar system, that we were met face to face with a confederation of intelligent races inhabiting the galaxy—among others, the people from whom this same Dal Timgar has come."
    There was no discussion of how it worked.

    There was no mention of the theme of the story in the blurbs when I discovered it but if you look around the Internet today a lot of reviews say the story is about racism. That became pretty obvious to me as I was reading it in the 60s. Since there are no FTL drives and I really do not assume that there ever will be it is just a science FICTION story to me. So if a writer makes a good story that involves FTL I really don't care what method he uses.

    I find Fire Upon the Deep rather odd with FTL working in some places and not others but writers can do whatever they want. Weber has multiple forms of FTL in his Harrington series which affects the strategies and timings in his space battles. But in most stories the system of FTL hardly matters to the tale. I don't think the system will affect how much I it.

    I am not going to refuse to buy a book because of the FTL method.

    psik
    Last edited by psikeyhackr; July 31st, 2012 at 11:25 AM. Reason: sp err

  12. #27
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suboptimal View Post
    It would be far too gripping and destabilize the marketplace, as all readers would shift to reading SF at once. The lack of accounting in SF is basically a conspiracy to keep the genre down.


    psik

    ps - irrelevant char count

  13. #28
    I like SF. SF is cool. Steven L Jordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psikeyhackr View Post
    The very first sci-fi book I read involved FTL.

    Star Surgeon, by Alan Nourse

    There was no discussion of how it worked.
    Solaris also included a FTL drive, and no mention of how it worked. And those aren't the only two.

    I agree, it's not necessarily germane to every story, and can be left out. But sometimes, if your story depends on an impossibility, maybe it wasn't a story worth writing... or maybe it's really fantasy, up there with Middle Earth and Pellucidar.

  14. #29
    Registered User Pennarin's Avatar
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    Fire Upon the Deep does try to explain how FTL could be possible by positing that our region of space has physical laws we all know, but other regions have more and more differences in said laws, until your reach the ability to go FTL. It is a nice sidestepping of the limitation.

  15. #30
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven L Jordan View Post
    But sometimes, if your story depends on an impossibility, maybe it wasn't a story worth writing... or maybe it's really fantasy, up there with Middle Earth and Pellucidar.
    Have you read Komarr by Lois McMaster Bujold?

    This review talks about the "fictional science" in the story. It contains too many spoilers however.

    http://www.tor.com/blogs/2009/04/but...bujolds-komarr

    But this review says nothing about the "science" even though it ranks the story highly.

    http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/reviews/...1-57808-1.html

    The fictional wormhole physics used for effective FTL is central to the entire plot. How readers regard it in relation to how much they like the tale seems to vary considerably. The majority lean toward the latter review while the first one reflects my perspective.

    psik
    Last edited by psikeyhackr; August 1st, 2012 at 11:26 AM.

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