Science Fiction Trivia

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Cody »

Disembodied wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 5:06 pm
… not something I've read.
Lucky man! Wiki says:
The elemental war between hydrogues and faeros continues to sweep across the Spiral Arm, extinguishing suns and destroying planets.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied »

Cody wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 5:25 pm
Wiki says:
The elemental war between hydrogues and faeros continues to sweep across the Spiral Arm, extinguishing suns and destroying planets.
Good enough!

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

Larry Niven's The Fourth Profession has Earth visited by aliens (travelling via solar sail starships) who want us to build a laser cannon on Mercury to propel them to their next destination. What they don't mention is that if we don't they'll leave anyway but blow up our sun once they're on their way, since they will need the extra light from the explosion to reach the destination before supplies run out.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied »

ffutures wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:03 pm
Larry Niven's The Fourth Profession has Earth visited by aliens (travelling via solar sail starships) who want us to build a laser cannon on Mercury to propel them to their next destination. What they don't mention is that if we don't they'll leave anyway but blow up our sun once they're on their way, since they will need the extra light from the explosion to reach the destination before supplies run out.
That's five! ffutures is up next.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by spud42 »

Disembodied wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:48 am
spud42 wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:29 am
first is obviously the Vogons destroying our sun for a hyperspatial bypass.......
The Vogons only destroyed the Earth, I think … as far as I remember they left the sun alone.
what a brain fart that was! teaches me to post so late at night.. lol
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

OK, since I mentioned solar sails - let's have five works (of any sort) with interstellar travel by solar sail. Since I just mentioned The Fourth Profession we'll omit that one, and anything else by Larry Niven (and yes, I know that includes The Mote In God's Eye and several other stories, I don't want to make it too easy!

Usual rules - only one from any single source or author (collaborations will be argued about, if it's a shared universe it's only one per universe).

Metaphorical bonus points if you can name one or more with FTL interstellar travel involving solar sails (I know of two, I'd love to hear about more since it's such a splendidly silly idea). And Ether sails (Space 1899 and other RPGs and steampunk etc.) will not be accepted!

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Cody »

I think <grins> Planet of the Apes (the original novel) has some solar sailing going on.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Commander_X »

Star Trek Deep Space 9, season 3 episode 22 -- Explorers -- captain Sisko and his son re-enact a solar sail trip.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

Cody wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:00 pm
I think <grins> Planet of the Apes (the original novel) has some solar sailing going on.
Can anyone confirm this? I read a translation in the early 70s and can't recall much about it.
Commander_X wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 1:28 am
Star Trek Deep Space 9, season 3 episode 22 -- Explorers -- captain Sisko and his son re-enact a solar sail trip.
Yes, and you get a metaphorical bonus point, that's one of the ones that involves FTL due to some sort of subspace current plot thingy.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied »

Charles Stross's Neptune's Brood has laser-boosted interstellar solar sail ships.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Cody »

ffutures wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 5:37 pm
Can anyone confirm this?
Had to do some digging...
The next appearance of a solar sail in science fiction was in Pierre Boulle’s novel Planet of the Apes in 1963. To quote from the novel: “In those times, interplanetary travel was commonplace, though interstellar ventures were still an exception. Rocket ships would take the tourists to fabulous locations on Sirius or the finance people to the stock markets of Arcturus and Aldebaran. But Jinn and Phyllis, a wealthy and free couple, were known through the Cosmos to be young originals, with a bit of craziness, and they would cruise through the Universe just for the fun of it—with their sailcraft.” Boulle then goes on to describe the craft: “Their ship was a kind of sphere with a shell—the sail—made of amazingly thin material, and it would move through space, just pushed by the pressure of light beams.”

If that ain't good enough, there's always Clarke's Sunjammer.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

Cody wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:31 pm
ffutures wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 5:37 pm
Can anyone confirm this?
Had to do some digging...
The next appearance of a solar sail in science fiction was in Pierre Boulle’s novel Planet of the Apes in 1963. To quote from the novel: “In those times, interplanetary travel was commonplace, though interstellar ventures were still an exception. Rocket ships would take the tourists to fabulous locations on Sirius or the finance people to the stock markets of Arcturus and Aldebaran. But Jinn and Phyllis, a wealthy and free couple, were known through the Cosmos to be young originals, with a bit of craziness, and they would cruise through the Universe just for the fun of it—with their sailcraft.” Boulle then goes on to describe the craft: “Their ship was a kind of sphere with a shell—the sail—made of amazingly thin material, and it would move through space, just pushed by the pressure of light beams.”

If that ain't good enough, there's always Clarke's Sunjammer.
OK, definitely counts, as does Sunjammer.
Disembodied wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 5:51 pm
Charles Stross's Neptune's Brood has laser-boosted interstellar solar sail ships.
And that's another.

One to go! Anyone thought of the other one with FTL sunjammers. Hint, it's part of a very long series by an author - NOT American or British - who died nearly forty years ago.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by spud42 »

nah, the interstellar bit stumps me. i remember a few references to sails but all turned out to be within the solar system....
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

Hint #2 - There is a fairly drastic side-effect to this way of achieving FTL via sunjammer, but it's more or less predictable and lets you go places that would otherwise kill you instantly. Unlike the other means of achieving FTL travel in this universe which only rarely do things like strand you anywhere in space and time, turn you inside out, shove you into parallel universes, etc. etc....

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied »

I can't think of any more FTL solar sails, but a laser-pumped one is used in Robert Forward's Rocheworld, AKA The Flight of the Dragonfly.

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