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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:25 am 
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Peregrinator wrote:
GKC wrote:
What you really have to grasp is the difference between N-Space and Hyper-Space, Hyper-Space bands Alpha through Iota (can't use Iota yet) the function of worm-holes and worm-hole junctions, and really get behind Warshawski sails.

IOW, I doubt you are really going to get deep into science fiction.


I can't think of a sci-fi author who does a better job of working out how interstellar travel works and all its implications than Weber. Maybe Pournelle.



I agree.

David does a lot of that sort of stuff, and he has BuNine.

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:14 am 
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Peregrinator wrote:
Doom wrote:
It's not a question of 'keeping track', and it doesn't require any 'technology' it's easy enough to find out just by looking the relativity equations it's the fact that the passage of time on Earth is completely IRRELEVANT when you're traveling at Relativistic speed.

It's not irrelevant for those long stretches during which one isn't traveling. I expect that having a standard calendar will be important to humanity, just as it is now, especially if one is traveling between planets that have their own local calendars.


It is irrelevant because time does not proceed on the same scale. If you leave Earth and travel at near light-speed even for as short a period as 5 years (for Star Trek's famous 'five-year mission') then by the time you come back to Earth so much time will have passed on Earth that every single person you knew before you left will be dead and the Earth would be unrecognizable to you. Imagine someone leaving Earth to travel at near light speed for 5 years in the year 1 BC and returning in the year 2018. That is the level of disconnection from Earth that you would experience. You would literally be occupying your own personal universe and living in your own personal timeline. Indeed, a lot of science fiction has been written based on this idea, such as Orson Scott Card's 'Ender' series.

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:33 am 
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Doom wrote:
Peregrinator wrote:
Doom wrote:
It's not a question of 'keeping track', and it doesn't require any 'technology' it's easy enough to find out just by looking the relativity equations it's the fact that the passage of time on Earth is completely IRRELEVANT when you're traveling at Relativistic speed.

It's not irrelevant for those long stretches during which one isn't traveling. I expect that having a standard calendar will be important to humanity, just as it is now, especially if one is traveling between planets that have their own local calendars.


It is irrelevant because time does not proceed on the same scale. If you leave Earth and travel at near light-speed even for as short a period as 5 years (for Star Trek's famous 'five-year mission') then by the time you come back to Earth so much time will have passed on Earth that every single person you knew before you left will be dead and the Earth would be unrecognizable to you. Imagine someone leaving Earth to travel at near light speed for 5 years in the year 1 BC and returning in the year 2018. That is the level of disconnection from Earth that you would experience. You would literally be occupying your own personal universe and living in your own personal timeline. Indeed, a lot of science fiction has been written based on this idea, such as Orson Scott Card's 'Ender' series.


Or Heinlein/TIME FOR THE STARS.

But there are ways around it.

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:36 pm 
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Doom wrote:
It is irrelevant because time does not proceed on the same scale. If you leave Earth and travel at near light-speed even for as short a period as 5 years (for Star Trek's famous 'five-year mission') then by the time you come back to Earth so much time will have passed on Earth that every single person you knew before you left will be dead and the Earth would be unrecognizable to you. Imagine someone leaving Earth to travel at near light speed for 5 years in the year 1 BC and returning in the year 2018. That is the level of disconnection from Earth that you would experience. You would literally be occupying your own personal universe and living in your own personal timeline. Indeed, a lot of science fiction has been written based on this idea, such as Orson Scott Card's 'Ender' series.

I've not read the "Ender" series beyond Ender's Game but they do have ansible technology allowing instantaneous communication between star systems, so again, a standard calendar is possible and desirable. Now there is some sci-fi based around the "disconnection" that one would experience returning home to an unrecognizable Earth -- Haldeman's The Forever War is a good example of this*, but it's (at least in part) an allegory for the alienation felt by some Vietnam veterans upon returning home to the U.S.

As an aside, if you travel from Earth at 99% of the speed of light for 5 years, approximately 35 years will pass on Earth while you're traveling (during which time you would actually travel about 35 light years' distance). To get the sort of time dilation you postulate above, you would have to travel at approximately 99.9997% of the speed of light for 5 years:

Time on Earth = Travel Time / sqrt( 1 - (v/c)^2 )

where v is your velocity and c is the speed of light. Of course the energy used to achieve such speeds would be huge!

On the other hand, a lot of science fiction (including Star Trek) is based around the idea that faster-than-light (FTL) travel is possible and (more or less) inexpensive.

*Another good example (and more than mere "disconnection") is Christopher Nolan's very fine movie Interstellar, but this is the book forum after all.

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:41 pm 
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Peregrinator wrote:
Doom wrote:
It is irrelevant because time does not proceed on the same scale. If you leave Earth and travel at near light-speed even for as short a period as 5 years (for Star Trek's famous 'five-year mission') then by the time you come back to Earth so much time will have passed on Earth that every single person you knew before you left will be dead and the Earth would be unrecognizable to you. Imagine someone leaving Earth to travel at near light speed for 5 years in the year 1 BC and returning in the year 2018. That is the level of disconnection from Earth that you would experience. You would literally be occupying your own personal universe and living in your own personal timeline. Indeed, a lot of science fiction has been written based on this idea, such as Orson Scott Card's 'Ender' series.

I've not read the "Ender" series beyond Ender's Game but they do have ansible technology allowing instantaneous communication between star systems, so again, a standard calendar is possible and desirable. Now there is some sci-fi based around the "disconnection" that one would experience returning home to an unrecognizable Earth -- Haldeman's The Forever War is a good example of this*, but it's (at least in part) an allegory for the alienation felt by some Vietnam veterans upon returning home to the U.S.

As an aside, if you travel from Earth at 99% of the speed of light for 5 years, approximately 35 years will pass on Earth while you're traveling (during which time you would actually travel about 35 light years' distance). To get the sort of time dilation you postulate above, you would have to travel at approximately 99.9997% of the speed of light for 5 years:

Time on Earth = Travel Time / sqrt( 1 - (v/c)^2 )

where v is your velocity and c is the speed of light. Of course the energy used to achieve such speeds would be huge!

On the other hand, a lot of science fiction (including Star Trek) is based around the idea that faster-than-light (FTL) travel is possible and (more or less) inexpensive.

*Another good example (and more than mere "disconnection") is Christopher Nolan's very fine movie Interstellar, but this is the book forum after all.



And you would have to be traveling in the basic, garden variety space/time continuum, not via hyperspace, using those convenient worm holes and folding dimensions to make other places more or less next door, relatively speaking. SF readers (of the discerning sort) will permit that much of a willing suspension of disbelief, without blinking. That could be over done, of course, though Algis Budrys' assertion that more than one impossibility will cause the author to lose readers isn't necessarily so, IMO.

And the basic reason much of SF (particularly of the generic space opera variety) is willing to fudge the "twins paradox" is to allow the story line to escape from the mud puddle of the solar system and get out where the action is, among the galactic empires. FTL is not even the one impossibility for much SF, it's the enabling background.

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:16 pm 
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Heisenberg compensators abound.

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:47 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Heisenberg compensators abound.


No problem for me. I get stranger things than that free with my breakfast cereal.

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:36 pm 
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Clarke is probably the best example of a sci-fi author who refused to incorporate FTL technology into his works. Certainly the only one of the big three (big four if you include Niven) who did.

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:24 pm 
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Peregrinator wrote:
Clarke is probably the best example of a sci-fi author who refused to incorporate FTL technology into his works. Certainly the only one of the big three (big four if you include Niven) who did.


I've mentioned how little I enjoy Clarke, yes?

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:40 pm 
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Childhood's End has FTL, doesn't it?

ETA: No, it doesn't.

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:26 am 
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So far International Space Station (ISS) is the only one where man can live in the space.

No one has bothered to set up a base on the moon even though man has landed there for years.

We will have the full moon tomorrow.

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:12 pm 
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This whole thread should be titled **SPOILERS**

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:48 pm 
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I'm still reading 'I, Robot', I know it's a short book, but I stopped reading it to read a philosophy book by Alvin Plantinga. I'm done with that book, and will resume 'Robot', after that, my next one will probably be 'Forever War'

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 5:05 pm 
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Doom wrote:
I'm still reading 'I, Robot', I know it's a short book, but I stopped reading it to read a philosophy book by Alvin Plantinga. I'm done with that book, and will resume 'Robot', after that, my next one will probably be 'Forever War'


Good on both.

Then read THE REST OF THE ROBOTS. Unless you have.

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 5:11 pm 
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I've read very little Asimov except for a few short stories and the (original) Foundation trilogy. He is a unique kind of writer, there is little in the way of conventional 'action' but the stories center around the resolution of moral and intellectual dilemmas. I'll probably never have the level of knowledge of the genre as you do because 90% of the books I read are non-fiction.

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 6:00 pm 
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Doom wrote:
I've read very little Asimov except for a few short stories and the (original) Foundation trilogy. He is a unique kind of writer, there is little in the way of conventional 'action' but the stories center around the resolution of moral and intellectual dilemmas. I'll probably never have the level of knowledge of the genre as you do because 90% of the books I read are non-fiction.



Asimov is a writerly writer. Lots of talking and stuff. Ideas, not action. No exploding super-dreadnoughts (I think). You got it.

I'm close to 50% fiction, the rest something else.

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:19 pm 
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Well, there's very little conventional 'action' is Asimov, but there is what I would call 'peril', where characters find themselves in a position where they could die if they don't find a way out of it. But these situations are not resolved by the use of brute force, but by ingenuity.

The robot stories all seem to follow a simple formula: there's a robot who is behaving in an odd way, the characters have to figure out why it is acting in that way, and how to fix its behavior. The cause of the misbehavior is always some kind of application of the laws of robotics and the solution is finding a way to manipulate those laws in order to produce the desired behavior. That sounds really boring when put that way, but I'm finding that it's actually pretty interesting.

However, the lack of conventional 'action' also means that the stories would be difficult if not impossible to dramatize. Which is why I find it amazing that anyone ever tried, Asimov doesn't exactly seem like an author conducive to dramatizations, unlike, say, Alexandre Dumas, whose stories are a natural for dramatization.

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:28 pm 
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I also wonder if the story 'Liar' is the first time in science fiction that a logical paradox was used to destroy a robot or computer. This has been done so many times, including on Star Trek, that it has become something of a cliche. Indeed, it has probably been used more in science fiction parodies for the sake of comedy than it has been used seriously. Indeed, the Star Trek episode in which this happens is called 'I, Mudd', a title which was no doubt an intentional homage to Asimov's classic.

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:11 pm 
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GKC wrote:
Doom wrote:
I've read very little Asimov except for a few short stories and the (original) Foundation trilogy. He is a unique kind of writer, there is little in the way of conventional 'action' but the stories center around the resolution of moral and intellectual dilemmas. I'll probably never have the level of knowledge of the genre as you do because 90% of the books I read are non-fiction.



Asimov is a writerly writer. Lots of talking and stuff. Ideas, not action. No exploding super-dreadnoughts (I think). You got it.

I'm close to 50% fiction, the rest something else.

There's a scene in one of the Robot novels where there is something approaching a space battle and it's almost embarrassing.

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:32 pm 
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Peregrinator wrote:
GKC wrote:
Doom wrote:
I've read very little Asimov except for a few short stories and the (original) Foundation trilogy. He is a unique kind of writer, there is little in the way of conventional 'action' but the stories center around the resolution of moral and intellectual dilemmas. I'll probably never have the level of knowledge of the genre as you do because 90% of the books I read are non-fiction.



Asimov is a writerly writer. Lots of talking and stuff. Ideas, not action. No exploding super-dreadnoughts (I think). You got it.

I'm close to 50% fiction, the rest something else.


There's a scene in one of the Robot novels where there is something approaching a space battle and it's almost embarrassing.


Let's leave that to David.

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