1. Keith Trimm
    Offline

    Keith Trimm Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Fairbury Ne.

    To the Moon and back

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Keith Trimm, Jan 22, 2013.

    I had a dream last night that gave me an idea for the plot of a good short story. It involves a man who has a dirt phobia who wants to cover the Earth with concrete so he never has to touch dirt again. But he realizes that there isn't enough material on the Earth to make enough concrete to do the job so he wants to mine the moon to get the raw materials. In doing this, he creates a tube from the moon to the Earth that he uses to transport the moon materials back to Earth but the tube becomes clogged and he is forced to make an emergency repair in outer space using something like an industrial sized plumbers snake. The problem he has is that there isn't enough power to run the machine that spins the coil to unclog the tube and has to find another power source.

    I'm stuck finding a way to power the snake that doesn't involve some sort of solar power array that would have to be built. The cost would be prohibitive to the project.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. Selbbin
    Offline

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Messages:
    3,246
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Australia
    ....but the cost of mining the moon with a giant tube through space and paving the entire earth with concrete is feasable. I don't think you need to worry about the logic of the cost of a giant solar array.
     
  3. Keith Trimm
    Offline

    Keith Trimm Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Fairbury Ne.
    There is a huge difference between a static tube in space (possibly made of nanoplastic) vs a solar array that would involve expensive electronic parts and a crew to control it from Earth. It would be the difference between a "straw" and a "cell phone" I can get a straw pretty cheap, a cell phone is $200
     
  4. Selbbin
    Offline

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Messages:
    3,246
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Australia
    You could get a short straw pretty cheap, but the cost of building enough of a straw to reach to the moon... 238,900 miles ... and putting the pieces together using spaceships, and a lot of them, probably one flight for every mile (to be generous) would be FAR greater than a massive solar array that can be based on earth and power 1000 cities, regardless of the internal technology.

    I'm not saying your story needs to be realistic, it clearly isn't, and that's my point. The costs are so absurd to start with that I wouldn't worry about trying to justify the solar array. Just put it in.
     
  5. thedarkknight
    Offline

    thedarkknight Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    3
    I say go with a Fahrenheit 451 kind of plot twist.

    You have the tube get clogged up by a futuristic RotoRouter gang that goes around clogging up tubes. Then the Imperial Marines have to take over the RotoRouter spacecraft. They have a dyslexic nerd engineer patch the plumbing snake into the spacecraft fusion power source, mistakenly using the fission adapter. Mayhem ensues.
     
  6. Keith Trimm
    Offline

    Keith Trimm Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Fairbury Ne.
    Wouldn't it be easier to have my main character see a therapist and get over his dirt phobia?
     
  7. TimHarris
    Offline

    TimHarris Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    So the story went from being about a guy having a phobia that leads to him covering the earth in concrete, building a giant tube to the moon and somehow overcoming enormous power requirements, into a guy having a phobia and then getting help to rid himself of it?

    From reading all your threads, you seem to have some trouble with committing to something. Are you making a new thread every time an idea crosses your mind?
     
  8. Selbbin
    Offline

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Messages:
    3,246
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Australia
    It's your story
     
  9. thedarkknight
    Offline

    thedarkknight Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    3
    I thought we were looking for a cost effective solution?

    Yes, I see where you're going with this. Excellent. Then you make the therapist dyslexic instead of the nerd engineer (I include at least one dyslexic character in all of my stories, that way spelling mistakes can be passed off as artistic liberty) and he treats our man for a drit phobia instead. Mayhem ensues.

    Sure, it doesn't have the emotional impact as nuclear annihilation, but at least you leave the story open for a sequel. That was Bradbury's mistake. There never was a Fahrenheit 452 was there?

    So when can we expect to see your first draft up for review in the review section? You're waaaaayyyy past your 20 minimum posts.
     
  10. wavodavo
    Offline

    wavodavo Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Washington State, USA
    Heck, it's easy and cheap. The original concrete weenie could have been made on the Moon cheaply out of spun rock wool. There could be a huge weaving machine (made in China) with a hole in the middle that spun out the tube like a knitting machine making an endless toeless sock that is 238,900 miles long. The low tech solution to the blockage is to build another sock that is only slightly longer than where the blockage is, send a small crew along the tube in the landing stage of one of the Apollo missions using whatever fuel was left behind. These guys connect the new tube to the original tube just below the blockage and then let the concrete flow on by. They can ride the concrete front down to Earth and jump out of the way just before they get buried. The original now concrete filled tube could be cut loose from the Moon and allowed to fall to Earth and maybe wrap around it like a giant concrete filled anaconda several times. Heck, depending on where the blockage was you could get a good 9 or 10 transglobal wraps of concrete that way...and a new highway base to connect all the continents! :cool:
     
  11. psychotick
    Offline

    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,375
    Likes Received:
    315
    Location:
    Rotorua, New Zealand
    Um,

    I hate to point out the obvious but is there limestone (calcium carbonate) on the moon? I don't think it has a lot of calcium, carbon or oxygen. If not, where does he get his cement from? Also, you do realise that the Earth is spinning, which means that if one end of the pipe is connected to a fixed point on the moon, the other end is moving across the Earth at roughly a thousand miles an hour. A difficult pour I would imagine! Also the poles would likely not be touched by the concrete since I don't think the moon is ever directly above them - however never having been there I'm not a hundred percent sure.

    Can't he just concrete an island, his own presumably, and live on that?

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  12. psychotick
    Offline

    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,375
    Likes Received:
    315
    Location:
    Rotorua, New Zealand
    Um,

    I hate to point out the obvious but is there limestone (calcium carbonate) on the moon? I don't think it has a lot of calcium, carbon or oxygen. If not, where does he get his cement from? Also, you do realise that the Earth is spinning, which means that if one end of the pipe is connected to a fixed point on the moon, the other end is moving across the Earth at roughly a thousand miles an hour. A difficult pour I would imagine! Also the poles would likely not be touched by the concrete since I don't think the moon is ever directly above them - however never having been there I'm not a hundred percent sure.

    Can't he just concrete an island, his own presumably, and live on that?

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  13. Selbbin
    Offline

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Messages:
    3,246
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Australia
    Considering the other plot points, I don't think the reality of the mineral composition of the moon needs to be accurate. The story is based on a dream and we all know dreams can be pretty out there!
     
  14. patrickgoggles
    Offline

    patrickgoggles Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2012
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    1
    You could create some kind of solar sail windmill. Would be significantly cheaper than a solar panel array...probably? Maybe?
     
  15. Tanelorn
    Offline

    Tanelorn New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2013
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wouldn't cost be irrelevant if he plans to cover the whole earth in concrete, and is going through with it. He has obviously subjugated the earths population. Or they might put a stop to his plans, it would be difficult to hide a giant tube stretching to the moon from them. Henceforth he has the worlds population and resources at his disposal, so cost is irrelevant.
     
  16. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,984
    Likes Received:
    5,503
    I agree that the cost of creating a pipeline to the moon, and apparently moving the moon to put it into a geosynchronous orbit, or...something, to make that pipe stationary on earth, and of creating enough concrete to cover the earth, would dwarf the cost of a paltry few billion trillions in electronics.

    This story clearly has an unreal, fairy tale aspect to it, so I think that both the problem and the solution need to follow that same mood.
     
  17. wavodavo
    Offline

    wavodavo Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Washington State, USA
    Clearly some of you are fine critical thinkers. I had imagined the tube not completely reaching the Earth’s surface and spewing its cargo from a mile up, say, somewhat willy nilly. Since Keith Trimm's MC has a phobia about dirt, only land needs to be covered. That cuts down the concrete to only what, 30% of the Earth. The way he pays for it all is by offering everyone cheap parking in all the new parking lots being built everywhere.

    You know, the premise IS silly, but remember that the late great Douglas Adams of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame made a lot of money selling books based of silly premises: dinosaurs surviving into the modern age and hiding among humans in rubber ‘man’ suits, the Norse god Thor surviving to the modern day but being mercilessly harassed by an eagle that had once been an RAF fighter he had angrily transformed when it intercepted him while flying over the UK, the Earth being destroyed by aliens whose poetry was so bad that listening to it caused grievous physical injury. So, the trick to silly is to be entertaining about it.
     
  18. patrickgoggles
    Offline

    patrickgoggles Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2012
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    1
    Another idea. To make concrete you need water, which while accessible as ice(most likely) on the moon, would not be in large enough quantities to mix the concrete(Probably, I am neither an expert on ice on the moon nor concrete). You could make another tube(Because as Contact taught us, why make one when you can make two for twice the price?), but this tube is designed to pull water from the ocean up into space. Perhaps by some sort of vacuum? Inside the tube you could install turbines, so when the water moves past it can generate hydroelectric energy(I'm choosing to ignore the fact that water would freeze).
     

Share This Page