Starjump and More

Ignatz Wonders How It Works

Sat, Feb 13, 2021 at 7:17 PM

David,

Thank you for this initial blast of information.

I've listened (numerous times) to your three Stardrifter books as well as your short stories and must politely disagree with your self-assessment. You most definitely do a butt-load of adept logical thinking. Whether or not you have gone the distance to delve into the smallest bits and pieces and then create your own 'Stardrifter Reference Manual' might be another question. Guess you'll have to put that one on the 'to do' list (ha! ha!).

Of course, all this information is great and I'm just beginning to wrap my head around some of it. A number of ' food for thought' questions come to mind...

When you refer to the extremely large space vessels of kilometers in length - an example might be the space station Mylag Vernier - I'm wondering about their structural integrity. At what point does the size of the vessel start to exceed the strength of the materials from which it is constructed? If an object is hanging, weightless in space this isn't much of a problem. On the other hand, if you want to accelerate a large ship this will start to induce stress into the structure. I'm thinking that an extremely large ship couldn't function with only thrusters at the rear, but might need to have several nacelles along its length to distribute the thrust (somewhat akin to the arrangement of engines along the flanks of the old zeppelins).

And what about those starjump engines? It would seem to me that the enclosed volume of field propagated by these engines would have certain limitations. Relative to something very large I'm just wondering how that field would be propagated and shaped. Would there be multiple antennas on the surface of the vessel, or perhaps distributed emitters? Multiple jump engines? In any case it would require gobs of energy. Of course, this is YOUR universe and you don't have to pay the electric company for the power, but I'm still curious.

Come to think of it, what is your power source for (A) the thrusters, (B) conventional engines and (C) the starjump power generation?

Also, when a ship starjumps does it retain its velocity and momentum when it reappears into normal space at the end of the jump? Nathan Lowell did some thinking about this one for his Solar Clipper series. On the other hand, your starjump system and universe may work differently. Just curious.

That concept of the supercarrier cargo 'swarm' is interesting, but when you have such a mass of vessels/containers as you allude to it would seem that numerous gunners (or AI controlled unit for same) would be kept busy checking for, targeting and destroying spare bits of moving space rock or whatever. In other words providing physical protection for the freight flock from the elements. This also begs the question of what happens when you come back out into normal space after a starjump. How does one check that the particular target point is safe and clear so that the supercarrier can reappear in normal space without getting creamed by a stray asteroid or what have you. It would speak of the need to have a system of scouting drones to be sent back and forth to a potential jump location prior to initiating the journey. Of course, the same concern holds true for any vessel traveling via starjump, just more so for the supercarriers.

When you say lantern gun, what kind of 'lantern' are you imagining, shape-wise? Are we thinking of something like an oil lamp? Perhaps an old fashioned, squared-off gas street lamp?

Do the alliance ships actually have the word "Stardrifter" emblazoned on the sides? Is there a 'Stardrifter' class of vessel? I always thought that this word is actually referred to Ejoq, himself, as our wandering boy in the universe.

Coming back around to the space vessels one more time, how large and what shape is that old Bechel (sp?) that featured in Mother Load?

Well, that's enough for the moment. Much like a puppy worrying a slipper in play I've plied you with yet more annoying questions. Much of this is merely 'under the hood' and might be important points within the context of future story work. As far as the art goes, I'm going to have to take a little bit of license with what you've explained so far, if only to provide some extra 'eye candy' for the viewer.

On that note, I'll bring this one to a close. I'll play with some quickie ideas over the next few days.

Sincerely,

- Ignatz