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Old 04-28-2012, 08:07 PM   #41
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: [Spaceships] Actually GMing a world with Pseudovelocity drives?

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Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
Smith himself considered the Skylark stories to be fantasy rather than SF because he simply ignored relativity entirely .
What I read in his own words In the article "The Epic of Space" was that Skylark was pseudo-science. Even when he was writing it he (and alledgedly even his uncredited co-author Mrs. Garby) knew that the gimmick in Skylark of the X-metal induced total conversion wouldn't let the ships go faster than light if for no other reason than it wasn't enough energy.

He also spoke abbout knowing that real accelerations necessary to do what his ships did in Skylark would "flatten steel springs..... into a mono-molecular layer".

In the first book, Duquesnses copy-ship exceeded light by a _large_ margin in only a day or two. Even without relativity it would take a ship pulling 10 Gs a month to hit c and Doc most definitety knew this.

All this is what even though it is what we call "superscience" the Bergenholm is a much more robust gimmick.

Mr Kaz is probably remembering something else.

Even though it wasn't FTL there was a Venus Equilateral story where the only truly practical way to hit a spaceship was a targetseeking missile. The missile diodn't really have much of an AI but it did have a superscience seeker that made up for the lack of radar (and it was the lack of radar and computers that made aiming beams inpracitcal at long distances).

I really don't have many candidates from other authors of the period. They tended to be fond of their energy beams and real "guided missiles" are a post WWII thing..
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:40 PM   #42
Johnny1A.2
 
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Actually GMing a world with Pseudovelocity drives?

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
I really don't have many candidates from other authors of the period. They tended to be fond of their energy beams and real "guided missiles" are a post WWII thing..
For whatever meta-reason, in the early Buck Rogers comics, the Mongols were armed with 'disintegrator rays', while the American guerilla resistance used 'rocket pistols' instead. The latter fired shells with integral rockets that boosted them up to speed in flight.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:47 PM   #43
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Actually GMing a world with Pseudovelocity drives?

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Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
For whatever meta-reason, in the early Buck Rogers comics, the Mongols were armed with 'disintegrator rays', while the American guerilla resistance used 'rocket pistols' instead. The latter fired shells with integral rockets that boosted them up to speed in flight.
That was the way it worked in the original Phillip Knowlan novel too but the rockets weren't guided.

You see the same sort of split in Doc's Spacehounds of IPC but the humanoids of the Galilean moons used rockets for stealth reasons.

Not only was their no radar but their were no IR sensors either. Their enemies the Jovians used lots of beams though. No FTL in Spacehounds either of course.
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Old 04-28-2012, 11:04 PM   #44
Johnny1A.2
 
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Actually GMing a world with Pseudovelocity drives?

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
That was the way it worked in the original Phillip Knowlan novel too but the rockets weren't guided.

You see the same sort of split in Doc's Spacehounds of IPC but the humanoids of the Galilean moons used rockets for stealth reasons.

Not only was their no radar but their were no IR sensors either. Their enemies the Jovians used lots of beams though. No FTL in Spacehounds either of course.
Interestingly, in Spacehounds Smith deliberately went against one of his own tropes. The hero and heroine were discussing exobiology, and the hero dismissed the idea of humans on other worlds. He notes that the Venusians and Martians, both distant relatives of Man, are radically different than Tellurians or each other because of different environments, and points out that the chances of finding humans on other worlds naturally are effectively nil. He even notes that intelligences from other star systems would be even more alien than Venusians and Martians, since they would not be akin to Tellurians at all.

(He doesn't explain how the life on Venus, Earth, and Mars is akin.)

In his other stories, Smith tends to populate the stars with what are for all practical purposes humans.
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Old 04-28-2012, 11:08 PM   #45
Ulzgoroth
 
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Actually GMing a world with Pseudovelocity drives?

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Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
In his other stories, Smith tends to populate the stars with what are for all practical purposes humans.
Not in the Lensman books...
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:26 AM   #46
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Actually GMing a world with Pseudovelocity drives?

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Not in the Lensman books...
Actually he does. In Lensman the assumption is that exactly how the Arisian life spores that fill the First and Second Galaxies express themselves depends almost entirely on planetary conditions.

So an almost entiely Earth-like world you get Earth-like (possibly to the point of being interfetrile) humanoids. See also his alphabetic classification scheme. Humans are Type AAAAAAAAAA and so are Aldebaranians but Rigellians are AAB-something (because of the gravity and other environmental differences) and Palanians are straight Zs.

Incidentally, the inhabitants of the South Pole of Jupiter in Spacehounds are morphologically _very_ similar to Velantians.
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Old 04-29-2012, 01:30 PM   #47
Johnny1A.2
 
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Actually GMing a world with Pseudovelocity drives?

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Actually he does. In Lensman the assumption is that exactly how the Arisian life spores that fill the First and Second Galaxies express themselves depends almost entirely on planetary conditions.
He uses the 'spore' concept in the Skylark stories, too. At one point in the last of the four Skylark books, an alien scientist mentions that he had actually discovered and isolated such a life-spore, and had been studying the life-forms descended from it since.

It's an old concept, of course.

Quote:


So an almost entiely Earth-like world you get Earth-like (possibly to the point of being interfetrile) humanoids. See also his alphabetic classification scheme. Humans are Type AAAAAAAAAA and so are Aldebaranians but Rigellians are AAB-something (because of the gravity and other environmental differences) and Palanians are straight Zs.

Incidentally, the inhabitants of the South Pole of Jupiter in Spacehounds are morphologically _very_ similar to Velantians.
True. IDR anything morphologically like the Hexans of North Polar Jupiter in Spacehounds in the other books, though their hostile racial personality has plenty of presence in other species in his other stories.

In the Lensman stories, it's mentioned that all life in the two galaxies derived from the life on Arisia via the spores, and that the Eddorian spores, 'while undoubtedly present' were too alien to thrive on any planet in our universe.
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