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  1. Spacescifi1

    Spacescifi1 Banned

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    Reality VS Fiction Regarding Starships

    Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Spacescifi1, Jan 23, 2020.

    For myself, my first memorable sight of spaceships was watching the original star wars movies.

    Only later did I watch Star Trek, and knowing little to nothing about how space travel truly is, I presumed we could make spaceships like that. So looked I into it.

    Several years later I know enough to realize that Star Trek does an excellent job of miseducating people about space travel.

    SW I never did take seriously scientifically since they have the FORCE. But star trek tends to mix real concepts while propping them up with fictional things. Like adding fictional dilithium crystals to real antimatter and so forth.


    So what is the point I am making?

    Whatever work you make will have an effect if people read it. Given the effect it had on me, making me believe the fantasies were closer to reality than they truly were, I have chosen not to do the same.

    Oh I still use impossible tech, but only where it serves the plot, and when I do, I do not mix real and fake concepts so as not to confuse young readers.

    Why? I read matterbeam's blog posts and I am familiar with KSP. If I need constant acceleration spaceships that are relatively hassle free and safe.... none of our realistic concepts fit the bill.

    So I will just make up a propulsion system to fit it. It's fake and readers will realize it is like nothing they know in real life. Which I prefer to making readers believe that realistic concepts work better than they actually do.

    Yes... I know how human fusion works and why we do not have it. I also know the limitations and hazards of both antimatter and nuclear propulsion.


    As for spaceships, it is fine to use fictional tech on them, but I also think that spaceships are better off in specialized roles.

    Jack of all trade starships are not as good as specialized for the role ships.

    Because the lack of balance betwern energy and massis the main reason why we cannot build scifi starships now.

    Scifi starships as I treat them still have this issue but deal with it far more mass efficiently.

    Which still leads to specialization.

    If I want a laser zappper vessel I fill it with the needed scifi heatsinks and strap an engine on it.

    If I want a missile boat I fill it with missiles and strap an engine on it.

    Humans are not of any benefit other than directing drone fleet actions, preferably from a command ship that is anything but obvious and equipped for speedy get aways, not combat.


    Discuss.
     
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  2. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    Human crew? A lot of drama lost, if not?
    As mere strategic tools, how would they contribute to the story? Herbert sorta handwaved all of space-tech by cloaking it in The Guild. His focus was on people and cultures. What is your space story about?
     
  3. Spacescifi1

    Spacescifi1 Banned

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    Drama lost? Yes and no.

    There is no tactical reason for high casualty space battles. Crews make spacehips perform slower (can't handle high g acceleration) and more likely to explode (pressurized for air means a missile breach will blow it up good).

    I can still find drama in other ways. Many ways.

    The story itself will explore the adventure of a human serving on an alien starship where he is trying to decide if he wants to try and go back home or just keep serving on the ship.

    There is at least one more human aboard, but the rest are alien humanoids who behave differently than humans, mainly by what they consider priorites. For humans this is quite variable. For the aliens, it is set from birth.
     
  4. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    It's kind of sad, really. Back in the 1960s, when I was a teenager and the 1970s when I was a young adult, we firmly believed that we'd be colonising space within our lifetimes. We knew the technology didn't quite exist yet, but we were confident that it soon would be possible. Much of the sci-fi of that period (not the Star Wars kind, which was basically a fairy tale/fantasy in space) but the Star Treks, the Space Odysseys ...these kinds of movies and shows ...bypassed the 'how to get there' and began to deal with what we would do once we got there. What would we find 'out there,' and how would we deal with it?

    These were great questions and made for very thoughtful sci-fi stories and filmed entertainment. However, as years passed, it became obvious that this sort of space travel was not going to happen in our lifetime. Maybe never. The physics is against us. Unless some OTHER culture from 'out there' reaches us first. (Farscape, etc.) So the focus changed a bit. Sci-Fi became darker, and was set closer to home. OR it became dystopian and set on Earth ...which produced even darker stories. Sci-fi became less about 'space' and more about real issues we face on Earth.

    Sadly, I fear the dream of space travel has died.
     
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  5. Spacescifi1

    Spacescifi1 Banned

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    Well yeah... but it won't stop me from writing scifi. Or should I call it space fiction?

    There is science, but where science says no I just make it up for the sake of plot.


    Really the reasons for space travel in fiction amount to the same reasons europeans conquered the north and south americas.

    God. Glory. Gold.

    God=Answers/solutions

    Glory=How others view or like you.

    Gold=Profit by finding or making it.


    It also does not hurt to add humanoid and other aliens to the mix to create added incentive for going out so far and away.

    Since they fill all 3 core human traits. Profit is a given. Glory is a possibility either through human discovery accolades or if the aliens truly like you. God is a possibility given the fact that they aliens might have answers and solutions we have yet to reach.
     
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  6. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    Aww, why so glum, Chum? Space travel just needs to evolve. Maybe something like portals and localized stations? What about the space-born colony - no destination but to boldly go?
     
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  7. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    Well, yeah. Farscape (my favourite) made use of Wormhole Technology. But that was kinda ...fantasy, really. Again, that show was more about how humans would cope with whatever is 'out there,' rather than the technology of how to get there in the first place. Our hero in the series was John Crichton, who was accidentally catapulted through a wormhole, while riding on a ...wait for it ...normal space shuttle. You know. The kind that have been retired since the series was made.
     
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  8. Spacescifi1

    Spacescifi1 Banned

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    Fictionally it would work yes.

    Realistically?

    A space-born colony is the one we could at least attempt. Problems to be overcome? Radiation and food supply. Food supply is arguably easier if a bit bland unless a good supply line is around with shipments coming and going. Can only eat space grown salad for so long.

    Nuclear Electric Thermal rocketry as a concept has a lot going for it, although it definitely won't be doing 1g acceleration.

    It's more or less like an ion drive on steroids with higher thrust but still lower than the thrust of chemically propelled rockets.

    Meaning you use disposable chemical boosters to make the spacecraft reach orbital velocity and engage the NET from there.
     
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  9. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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    What exactly are you asking here?

    Are starships realistically possible? No, not as far as we know, unless someone actually discovers exotic matter so that we can build the Alcubierre Drive.

    Should we include them in fiction? If we, as an author want to, of course. We write for entertainment. If we wanted something hyper realistic, we'd be writing a physics textbook.

    We can include any kind of starship we want in our works, whether that's Apollo, the Odyssey, the Enterprise or a Star Destroyer, if the plot and setting calls for it. End of, really.
     
  10. Spacescifi1

    Spacescifi1 Banned

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    Asking? What did I ask? Don't believe I asked anything.


    Yeaa writer can write anything they want.

    I simply have read enough to know what is optimal by modern science and extrapolate it directly into scifi.

    I still do not like confusing and miseducating young scifi readers more than is necessary.
     
  11. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    I guess it boils down to how much inaccuracy you're willing to accept in fiction.

    I love historical fiction, and I know it drives me bonkers when writers sacrifice historical reality for story purposes ...even if the resulting story is pretty good as a story goes. It's not possible to be 100% accurate, as much of history is speculation, but if an author flings down known history and dances on it (to paraphrase Mark Twain) it bothers me. I don't mind if the author acknowledges the discrepancies in an Author's Note ...but if they just throw the inaccuracies into the story as if they were real, it bothers me. I don't mean they shouldn't do it—playing fast and loose with historical facts doesn't bother everybody—but it does bother me.

    I reckon people who understand physics and the current impossibility of space travel to any real distance will wince when an author handwaves these things away. It's something authors need to be aware of. Their audience might accept imaginary or partially inaccurate premises that underpin the story—or they might not. As an author, you can write pretty much whatever you like, BUT you can't control what your readers will think of it.
     
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  12. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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    Well, that's your opinion and you can, of course, write your work as you see fit. I understand science well enough to know what's possible, but I choose to build in whatever tech my plot calls for.

    I watched Star Wars when I was 3. I didn't think it was real.
     
  13. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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    I used to feel like this, particularly with films. Braveheart, the Last Samurai et al... don't get me started on ninjas.

    But now, I tend to take it with a pinch of salt. It's entertainment at the end of the day, not a documentary. I don't think a medieval film would be very entertaining if it showed the harsh reality of peasant life. But, I do appreciate a historically accurate film or book. Flashman is a great example.

    I watched an anime called Haruoki, set in the bakumatsu, or the period at the end of the Tokugawa shogunate. It had demons, typical anime character designs etc. But once I started to learn more about the period, I found it remarkable how it built real events accurately into the story, even down to some very minor details despite putting a heavily fictionalised supernatural bent on it.
     
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  14. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    So what was the point of the thread ?

    Speaking as a moderator, the point of forums is discussion, usually the original poster of a thread asks a question or posts something they are interested in others views on. If you merely wanted to publish an article on your views on sci fi without anyone disagreeing with them the place to do that is a blog
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2020
  15. Spacescifi1

    Spacescifi1 Banned

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    The point?

    Just help for anyone if they actually want to include more realism into their scifi.

    To be sure, I have no issue with people making stuff up. So do I, yet I have found in some cases that reality works just as good if not better.

    It is actually quite fascinating the discoveries one makes when realism is not totally ignored.


    Here is an example: Pop scifi will claim Earth has no space defenses since we lack orbital battle stations.
    Does not mean we cannot destroy stuff in orbit.

    Fighter jets can launch missiles at suborbital speeds flying in the opposite direction of orbiting satelites or ships.

    Orbiting 8 kilometers per sec and slamming into an oncoming missile will mess up any ship, as damage per second increases with kinetic energy.

    The only way low orbit is not a kill zone is if a starship has the capacity to move as it pleases because of not worrying about how much thrust or propellant is available.
     
  16. More

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    If you base space travel on current knowledge, it's not going to happen. The Russians have done the most work on the long term effects of humans being in space . Our bodies have been moulded by its gravity and environment . The bacteria in our guts , our bones , muscles, skin , blood temperature have all been determine by our evolution on this planet. The Russians have concluded that if we got on a space ship to Mars , we would not survive the journey .I believe the most realistic space ship is in James Follett's Earthsearch Series. The ship is massive , miles long and is like miniature Earth .
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2020
  17. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Mod Hat off: Actually I think most people know that things in low earth orbit are eminently destroyable - vis the earth based lasers that the Americans were playing with towards the end of the cold war, and the killer sats which both the Us and the soviet union had available to deploy (and the USAF ASAT missiles which worked pretty much as you describe)... however all of the above assumes an enemy with a technological level equivalent to ours

    an enemy capable of building a starship able to travel here from another galaxy (per pop sci) would have technology we would be barely able to even begin to understand, and attempting to counter it with asat missiles would be like a stone age tribe trying to counter an F15 with a bow and arrow.

    Mod hat on: I think you've missed the key point, threads are for discussion, or for questions - they are not for baldly stating your opinion as though it is unassailable fact. I realise you are new, but think of it this way, would you walk into a social club you'd never visited before and start making assertions like "I know a lot about this subject so you should all listen to me" rather than may be asking questions and getting to know people in the community?

    If you went the former route it wouldn't be long before you got a smack in the teeth.

    As a moderator my role is like that of the friendly bouncer in said establishment who both wants to stop you from getting a fist in the gob, and not to have to break up the fight that would doubtless result, and is thus asking you to go a little easier on the assertions of expertise, and to get to know people before you start trying to tell them what to do.
     
  18. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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    In another thread, you mention you have a race of aliens. Well, I assume those aliens will not be interacting with humans, because current scientific knowledge suggests that two intelligent cultures will never come into contact with one another (see the Fermi Paradox), as well as potentially being separated by time as well as distance. Even Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke (who was known for writing hard sci-fi) included beyond-current technology and aliens.

    BTW - fighter jets will not launch missiles to destroy orbital targets. They lack the targeting capabilities to lock onto an orbital satellite. All anti-satellite weapons are surfaced launched, and have only recently been developed. And they work on a satellite moving at a known velocity in a known trajectory.
     
  19. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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    If Stargate has taught me anything, it's that all you need to do is steal one of their ships, slap an Airforce sticker on it, and you have instant countermeasures.
     
  20. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Thats not strictly true - the now aborted USAF Asat project depended on them being launched from beneath a F15E in the upper atmosphere. ASAT targetting was to be done from the ground and then the missile steered by remote control
     
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  21. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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    As far as Star Trek is concerned - it actually does quite a good job of attempting to explain its future tech. Warp travel is achieved by locally distorting space so that the ship, relative to its local surroundings, does not travel faster than light. They deal with relativity by inventing an absolute from of reference - "subspace".

    Transporter technology relies on the Heisenberg compensaters to to overcome the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. When asked how they work, one of the producers replied "Very well".

    What absolutely is completely unrealistic is replicators. If you had something that could produce complex matter from energy, you completely destroy the economics of society. No one would ever need gold-pressed latinum if you can simply replicate it.

    They also did a remarkable job of predicting some future technology - flip-top mobile phones, ipads, for example.
     
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  22. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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    Didn't know that, thanks. But all current systems are surface launched (AFAIK).
     
  23. Spacescifi1

    Spacescifi1 Banned

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    Understood I will tone it down.

    I guess the reason I come off this way is my because of experience on other forums.

    With rare exceptions, most tend to not understand the challenges of spaceflight and gladly swallow what scifi teaches as fact.

    Or what's worse is when they insist methods that simply are below optimal or even suicidal.

    I am very much about using a given scifi tech competently.

    Here is one more example: How many times does star trek have away teams put in harms way after teleporting them?

    They could have just teleported drones!

    I know... drama. For drama's sake.

    But as I do not work under such episodic constraints I can have tech used competently and logically.

    Star Trek did predict some stuff, but they failed on drones.
     
  24. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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    Well, I don't know what other forums you've been on but WF is not other forums. This is a community of intelligent adults, some of who write hard sci-fi, and others, I'm sure, who have science degrees.

    Friendly bit of advice - don't be so dismissive of other genres or other works, and, in fact, other people based on your own experiences. They may not be to your taste, but most have a lot of other things going for them, including good storytelling. Herbert is one of the best sci-fi authors I've ever read, and he postulates superhuman genetic abilities, FTL travel and more.

    Be careful when you post a thread like this. When and if you post your own work, it might come as a shock to you if someone rips into your work for errors of fact, just as you've done here.
     
  25. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    It sounds like there would be plenty of drama in the fuel tanks though...

    :supershock:
     
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