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FTL travel

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Showing 1-25 of 39 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 3, 2013, 2:10:23 PM PST
Uncle Wayne says:
If the planet formed and developed its science a few million years before Earth, can FTL travel simply be assumed as have already been discovered?

Or should I make the reader plow through warp speed and tearing the fabric to attain it == yada yada yada.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2013, 11:31:58 PM PST
Tom Rogers says:
it depends on what kind of story you're writing, it's probably more important to address the Fermi paradox than the infinitely improbable tech behind the drive, but a lot of fine SF has been written without any serious treatment of either, and a lot of bad SF has tried to rationalize one or both thorny issues and of course, people using truly advanced technology might have a pretty limited or nonexistant understanding of how most or all of it works, eg worlds where the robots take care of everything. .

Posted on Feb 4, 2013, 2:03:54 AM PST
You might as well assume its civilisation to have collapsed.
You might consider FTL travel to be impossible and write your storyline around that.

Remember you're dealing in fiction, stories, not actual science. As long as what you write is consistent, it can work (self-inconsistent universes are the main reason many SciFi authors fail, their plots contain too many deus ex machina like mechanisms).

Posted on Feb 4, 2013, 12:52:42 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 4, 2013, 2:34:21 PM PST
Uncle Wayne says:
Thanks for the inputs:

Maybe I should clarify by telling you my hopes that someone will not scream, "You didn't explain FTL!"

The FTL part comes in a much later chapter and its the least important part of the story.

My supposition: In a few thousand years, we will consider FTL as old hat. Then why stop the story and try to explain FTL?

as of now in my story, The MC simply says, "The trip will take a few months. I'll send you a telepath when I arrive." --- (or something like that)

note to reviewer: Of course, without FTL the trip would take about 25 years or maybe longer.)

Thanks again.

Posted on Feb 4, 2013, 2:06:43 PM PST
Read Poul Anderson's "The Long Way Home." In it a bunch of scientists use their FTL drive, only to discover that it's anything but. They travel 5000 light years, only to return to Earth to find that "things ain't what they used to be."

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2013, 2:20:40 PM PST
K. R. says:
"Poul Anderson's "The Long Way Home." "

No World of Their Own (Ace SF D-550) (renamed "The Long Way Home")

Posted on Feb 4, 2013, 8:06:01 PM PST
The Long Way Home was serialized (under that title) in Astounding Science Fiction in April, May, June and July 1955. ;-D

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2013, 8:26:42 PM PST
Will you be describing how telepathy works? ;)

Posted on Feb 4, 2013, 8:38:38 PM PST
"There's nothing to this telepathy business. It's all in the mind."
Robert Bloch

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2013, 8:51:45 PM PST
Well, there you have it.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2013, 9:06:44 PM PST
Fullme7al says:

Posted on Feb 4, 2013, 11:50:19 PM PST
Ronald Craig says:
Telepathy. Just slightly below time travel on the Ugh Scale.

Posted on Feb 5, 2013, 12:03:00 AM PST
hmm, leaves the little fact that telepathic signals would have to be superluminal for them to cross interstellar distances at FTL speed.
If they're that, that's a deus ex machina right there, and there'd be very little reason for physical travel by people because (except for migration) as they'd just communicate telepathically, much cheaper and no jetlag.

Posted on Feb 5, 2013, 12:06:26 AM PST
Well, if one is going to have FTL travel they may as well have FTL communication.

Anyway, back to the OP, I don't think there is great need to detail the science behind FTL in your universe unless it is going to impact the plot. SciFi readers know what FTL is.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2013, 1:43:50 AM PST
Ronald Craig says:
Well, if nothing else, FTL ships acting as couriers would constitute FTL communication. ;)

Posted on Feb 5, 2013, 1:39:10 PM PST
Uncle Wayne says:
The heck with it Captain Kirk. - just change the parameters of the contest and enter your (my) novel in the "Romance" genre. -- FTL and the reading of minds is nothing unusual in the La La Land of Romance novels. eh ????

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2013, 2:37:18 PM PST
In romance novels, use eyes instead telepathy. "His eyes grazed her bountiful bountifulness." "His eyes conveyed his lustfullness to her." "His eyes put her under his spell."

Posted on Feb 5, 2013, 5:21:36 PM PST
On a macabre note--"His eyes feasted on her nakedness."

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2013, 5:38:14 AM PST
If you're the writer looking for FTL advice... let me tell you that there are a number of people, in Theoretical Physics. Virtual State Engineering, who believe the FTL can be creating a field of "phoneyspace" around your vehicle, so that TAU factors and other Einsten-Rosen stuff and space/
time, world-line chaos can't affect you, inside your null-set inertial framework. Related: please consider Asimov's short story, "Breeds there a man ?" HES

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2013, 11:42:27 PM PST
and a lot of SciFi authors have made use of such systems, including most well known Star Trek's warp drive :)

Of course each puts his/her own twist on things, differences in what can and cannot be done while traveling using the device, etc.

Posted on Feb 19, 2013, 9:57:23 PM PST
Well, then its simply a matter of propagating the phoneyspace bubble through the relativistic universe. ;)

Posted on Feb 20, 2013, 7:55:32 AM PST
Baxter does a very good job in Ark of describing a working Alcubierre FTL drive, based on the latest scientific theories. In his novel, the people inside the Ark can't see out of the bubble, nor do they have any control over the drive. I think the only thing he was missing was the latest theory that says that your bubble would fry anything at your destination with gamma rays when you stop.

The stopping danger is described here->

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2013, 5:41:26 PM PST
That might be a good plot for an alien invasion story.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2013, 6:37:31 AM PST
Another thing he doesn't take into consideration (and can't, as it makes his drive useless) is the latest thinking I've heard which has the inside of the bubble quickly become a furnace of hard radiation and heat, meaning nothing can survive inside it.

Posted on Feb 21, 2013, 7:05:33 AM PST

I hadn't heard that one -- about the inside of the bubble. Are there any articles on that?
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Discussion in:  Science Fiction forum
Participants:  13
Total posts:  39
Initial post:  Feb 3, 2013
Latest post:  Feb 28, 2013

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