(urth) The Apu-Punchau Eclipse

Jeff Wilson jwilson at io.com
Thu Jun 12 00:46:46 PDT 2008

oblate777 at speakeasy.net wrote:
> On Wed Jun 11 14:29 , Jeff Wilson <jwilson at io.com> sent:
>> I don't think we can square that figure with Sev's account of the masts 
>> and sails early in URTH. Also, regular solar sails of even that scale 
>> aren't adequate to propel the Ship out of the solar system in the time 
>> frame given. Ounces of thrust per acre of sail vs a mass large enough to 
>> have signifigant surface gravity yields excruciatingly tiny acceleration.
> Perhaps the sail technology used on the Ship is more exotic than a simple solar
> sail. 

Yes of ocurse it is, it has to be. The problem is, when the author 
starts making up non-physical stuff, and doesn't stop with Wells' single 
improbability, where *does* he stop? We need some sort of connection to 
physical reality to judge the inventiveness of a SF story, lest it slump 
into undifferentiated fantastic speculation.

Jeff Wilson - jwilson at io.com
< http://www.io.com/~jwilson >

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