Science Fiction Trivia

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:49 pm

Michael Swanwick's short story "Ginungagap" deals with humanity's first contact with an alien race via a small black hole discovered in the solar system. The aliens can't use black holes for travel, as their molecules are based around sulphur rings - but human DNA can be unspooled safely through the singularity and knitted back together again on the other side. At least, that's what the aliens say …

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by spud42 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:11 am

One has matter transmitters limited by conservation of energy and momentum, which gets interesting over interstellar distances
this. i have been wracking my brain over this story,i remember reading it but cant remember the author title etc... well thats assuming that the problem is that the earths spin is slowing because of the transmissions.....
Arthur: OK. Leave this to me. I'm British. I know how to queue.
OR i could go with
Arthur Dent: I always said there was something fundamentally wrong with the universe.
or simply
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures » Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:01 am

Disembodied wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:49 pm
Michael Swanwick's short story "Ginungagap" deals with humanity's first contact with an alien race via a small black hole discovered in the solar system. The aliens can't use black holes for travel, as their molecules are based around sulphur rings - but human DNA can be unspooled safely through the singularity and knitted back together again on the other side. At least, that's what the aliens say …
Don't know it, but I'll accept it - that leaves you holding the slipper.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures » Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:27 am

spud42 wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:11 am
One has matter transmitters limited by conservation of energy and momentum, which gets interesting over interstellar distances
this. i have been wracking my brain over this story,i remember reading it but cant remember the author title etc... well thats assuming that the problem is that the earths spin is slowing because of the transmissions.....
No, that's not actually what I had in mind - in Larry Niven's series of matter transmitter stories (collected in A Hole in Space (1974)) the main limitation on matter transmission is conservation of energy - the simplest case is something transmitted downwards a few hundred yards, so that it gains a lot of energy and becomes warmer. Since the earth is rotating there's initially a limit on transmission distance, since over long distances the receiver will be moving in a different direction to the transmitter. Eventually they find out how to compensate for both, to some extent, by dumping the energy into massive floating steel drums (don't ask me how this works!)

The fun with interstellar travel is that your ship is going to be moving at thousands of KPS compared to the transmitter, unless you use ridiculous amounts of fuel braking the ship. So the way that you use it over interstellar distances is to have a ship with an open-ended matter receiver with the open end facing aft and dump everything needed for a colony through it in self-contained landers during the few hours in which the delivery ship is passing through the target system. The pods are at rest compared to the Earth (no idea about the target system, some hand waving is needed) and once landed can presumably set up a more normal matter transmitter. Since matter transmission is limited by speed of light the planning of all this is a logistical nightmare, of course.

RE the others I mentioned:

One of the authors I named has written about a form of matter transmission that could potentially blow up the galaxy (and may have already done so) - Dave Langford, The Space Eater
One has cities built across multiple worlds joined by matter transmission. - Dan Simmons, Hyperion and sequels
One has matter transmission that creates a duplicate of the original. - Apologies, I was confusing Poul Anderson's The Enemy Stars, which has interstellar matter transmission but doesn't make copies, and Budrys' Rogue Moon, which has transmission to the moon by making copies of the original.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:25 am

OK: at the other end of the technological scale, name five different stories (books, TV, film, etc.) from five different universes where spaceflight involves some form of cold sleep/hibernation.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures » Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:28 pm

Disembodied wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:25 am
OK: at the other end of the technological scale, name five different stories (books, TV, film, etc.) from five different universes where spaceflight involves some form of cold sleep/hibernation.
E.C. Tubb - all of the Dumarest novels.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied » Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:00 pm

E. C. Tubb's Dumarest novels, and "low" transport, is one …

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Norby » Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:45 am

Aliens...

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied » Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:37 am

Yes, Alien and Aliens both have crews in hibernation. That's two …

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:25 am

Clue time: one of the answers to ffutures' last question about portals would also apply to this question …

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:40 am

There's also a minor trope - especially in TV SF - where Our Heroes, often in a more advanced ship, discover another craft full of hibernating passengers.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Norby » Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:32 pm


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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied » Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:40 pm

All qualify! Over to you …

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Norby » Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:10 pm

Then let's see five different sci-fi universes where personal teleportation is available.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:41 pm

The Tomorrow People (British TV series of the 70s, rebooted a couple of times)
Tiger,Tiger AKA The Stars My Destination, by Alfred Bester (used the word Jaunt for teleportation, which is the term used in The Tomorrow People.

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