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  1. Paneera

    Paneera Banned

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    Is Space All That?

    Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Paneera, Mar 2, 2019.

    Lots of fantasy/sci-fi writers here. I prefer stories about human relationships but of course that is not mutually exclusive.

    I think of Space as a highway. There's nothing in Space just destinations. The planets you land on are filled with people having relationships with people. Kinda like driving from Chicago to St. Louis. Boring highway.

    Space is the highway, the planets are where the action is.
     
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  2. Paneera

    Paneera Banned

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    If you wondered what I meant it's this. If you write about an exploration to Jupiter you are really writing about what happens when Aunt Alice, Uncle Dave, and the kids take a trip from St. Louis to Chicago.
     
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  3. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll "It's a messy business." :P Supporter Contributor

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    Space is huge, and has interesting things
    that we still don't fully understand in many
    ways. Also it has the biggest natural liquor
    nebula to ever exist. So one might say the
    universe is a host to a banging party. :)
     
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  4. XRD_author

    XRD_author Banned Supporter

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    Except if your car breaks down half-way to Chicago, you don't face a high risk of death. You call a tow truck and wait.
    In space, you send out your distress call, and maybe someone receives it in a few hours, and maybe in a few weeks, if they can find you (space is really really big) they rescue you. If you haven't run out of air, frozen to death, or been killed by smugglers who want your ship (which for a time was a not-unknown fate for boat owners off the coast of Baja California).

    And Chicago isn't constantly moving with respect to St. Louis, so that postponing the trip by a day makes it impossible.
    Orbital mechanics are a merciless bastard - miss the timing on a course-correction, and you may not have enough fuel to get to Jupiter -- or anywhere else, either.

    So, outside of space fantasy (I consider anything with faster than light travel to be space fantasy), journeying through space isn't like a crossing the US at all. It's more like crossing the Atlantic back in the age of sail, and there's plenty of "action" that can happen during the trip.
     
  5. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    Except for Alien. Almost all of the action happened in space, thousands of miles from anything. Though I do like thinking of space epics like futuristic road trip movies.
     
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  6. frigocc

    frigocc Senior Member

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    That's why I love writing comedy. Take advantage of these similarities. My first novel is set in Boston. The second novel includes a planet where the aliens are similar to Bostonians.
     
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  7. frigocc

    frigocc Senior Member

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    Intergalactic space tip #47: If your spaceship breaks down, remember to change the AA battery located in the lower fourth quadrant.
     
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  8. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    Space is all that. At some point, we will recognize that just to travel in space, you need to live in space. There will be no need for destinations, other than nebulas for hydrogen. We will just be making notes about all the stuff we pass by, on the way to the next nebula.
     
  9. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll "It's a messy business." :P Supporter Contributor

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    I am reminded of a throw away line from Jurassic Park
    concerning all this space horror talk. :p
     
  10. frigocc

    frigocc Senior Member

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    I sent out the beacon distress signal four days ago, and finally someone responded!

    "Hi, welcome to Bumrrito's, can I take your order?"

    Hell, if I'm going to die, I'll at least go out in a literal shitstorm of glory.

    "Yeah, I'll take three triple-decker cheesy burritos with some fire sauce on it. Soft shell, obviously."
     
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  11. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Senior Member

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    We as a species put great unknowns beyond our frontier.
     
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  12. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

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    The thing about space is that it’s huge in both distance and time. Humans are very bad at extrapolating very far. Most humans imagine advanced aliens flying around in ships full of laser weapons and force fields.

    I imagine species who have uploaded their minds to immortal machines and have gone through a billion years of self improvement from there. You wouldn’t so much as run across another ship but pass through a huge network of systems that watch and react to you like something out of Lovecraft. It’s everywhere, invisible, and more powerful than any ancient god you could imagine.

    Humans have been steadily advancing for about 12000 years, we could probably vaguely imagine Earth a thousand years from now. But not a million, hundred million, billion...


    Dune is another example where the setting is really tied to the action. It’s not a series of events that happen on a planet, the planets ecology itself plays a huge role in the story.
     
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  13. Paneera

    Paneera Banned

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    No, it mostly happened in the ship.

    I can't think of one just now but there have been movies that took place with people just in cars or bigger vehicles, but they had to get out sometime to run somewhere. Even in Alien they took a spacewalk.

    Thought of one: Cujo
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2019
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  14. Paneera

    Paneera Banned

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    Ever drove the Australian outback?

    It's kinda old but I just saw an Australian movie called Wolf Creek. The credits said based on a true story but I hope they were stretching the truth.
     
  15. Paneera

    Paneera Banned

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    Do you watch Saturday Night Live?

    There's this ongoing bit where people find themselves in traffic court in Maine, but the Judge, Baliff, and Court Reporter all act like it's in "N'orleans" and have New Orleans, Louisiana accents. Funny!

    The bit is called "Maine Justice"
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2019
  16. Iain Sparrow

    Iain Sparrow Banned Contributor

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    I wholeheartedly agree.
    I will correct you on one point though . . . so far as we know, we're alone in the universe. In fact it's only the one planet where the action is, and we don't seem to appreciate the majesty of it.
     
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  17. frigocc

    frigocc Senior Member

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    Don't watch SNL, but sounds funny.
     
  18. XRD_author

    XRD_author Banned Supporter

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    I rode a camel across the outback once. Not across all of it, of course. It doesn't seem comparable to space, to me.

    Wolf Creek (2005): "Three backpackers stranded in the Australian outback are plunged in a hellish nightmare of insufferable torture by a sadistic psychopathic local." -- IMDb. That doesn't sound comparable to space, either.
     
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  19. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    People really don't, even can't, wrap their heads around how empty space is. Even intra-system space is incomprehensibly vast and empty, but interstellar space is so much emptier. Think of a speck of sand in Utah and another one in Sydney. Remove the planet, and imagine you are a microbe on one of those sand grains, and your nearest neighbor is on the other. And you still aren't even close to comprehending the space between "neighboring" stars.

    Try not to be humbled contemplating it.
     
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  20. frigocc

    frigocc Senior Member

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    We haven't seen any signs of intelligent life in a month. We're on the brink of death.

    "What's that up ahead? Oh my god, we're saved!"

    "Hello, travelers, welcome to our land. Have you heard of the tale of our beloved Joseph Smith?"

    The search continues.
     
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  21. Paneera

    Paneera Banned

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    Don't like my analogy of space is a highway, huh?

    Wolf Creek scared me about the Outback. They never saw any passing cars in hours or hours so this guy just played with them on the highway out there.
     
  22. Paneera

    Paneera Banned

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    Well any of the travels during the old west days must have seemed like an endless journey to them. That's why the Mormons settled in Utah, no one around to bother them.
     
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  23. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    I thought the Mormons settled in Utah because John Smith had a fever dream hallucination of the giant angel Moroni coming down from the heavens, pointing at the mountains, and telling him to go there.
     
  24. Paneera

    Paneera Banned

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    So why did the angel pick that spot? Because no one was around to hassle them.
     
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  25. XRD_author

    XRD_author Banned Supporter

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    It's just a bad analogy. Highways are linear, fixed, designed and made by people for people, built for safety, and relatively small.
    Space is 3-dimensional, constantly changing, unsafe if not outright deadly, natural, and incomprehensibly huge.

    For example, one of the objections people have to trying to colonize Mars is that we don't know how to shield the people in the ships from the radiation they'll encounter once they are outside the Earth's magnetosphere, and they'll get a lethal dose during the trip. This tends not to happen on U.S. highways, but maybe around Chernobyl ?

    Space is far more like the ocean than like a highway, but even the ocean doesn't quite capture it.
    The North Atlantic in the time of the Greeks might be a better analogy.
     
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