I know I’ve spent a few days brainstorming for the first Mars mission in my science-fictional alternate history, but already I can’t help but plot out things even further for the timeline of early spaceflight. In particular, after the first Mars landing in 1963, what … Continue readingAn Odyssey to the Outer Solar System?
Over Easter, the holiday of the world’s renewal, the bright sunny season we’re fast approaching has stimulated me to contemplate what a spacefaring civilization that huddled in very close proximity to the sun (or some other star) might be like. It’s also struck me that … Continue readingVampires of the Oort Cloud?
When doing some research for my novel, which now stands at 19.557 words, the Venus chapter (12,949 words) having been completed yesterday, I did some calculations for how long spaceflight would take under constant acceleration, the method the main characters in my novel are using … Continue readingConstant Acceleration: Across the Solar System and Beyond
When worldbuilding any outer-space setting, from galactic-scale space opera to the earliest space colonies, one must consider demographics: the magnitude, distribution, and composition of the setting’s population. While other galaxies or far-future settings could easily have a very wide range of outcomes, a near-future in … Continue readingWorldbuilding Near-Future Space Demography
The idea of alien life or human colonies on Venus is one as old as scientific speculation and science fiction; the bright cloudy shroud over the surface made Venus for centuries much more mysterious than the other (relatively) Earth-like planet in the inner solar system, … Continue readingWorldbuilding Cloud Cities on Venus
What will be the athletic disciplines undertaken by space colonists when they go outside their habitation modules into the hostile vacuums and atmospheres of outer space? In the previous posts in this series (part 1, part 2), we have explored the activities that may be … Continue readingSkiing and Space Diving on Other Worlds
In the previous post on colonizing the Oort cloud, I pointed out that with sufficiently cheap transportation technology any place within range will be inhabited to some extent by recreational-touristic populations or populations that deliberately seek out isolation. This outermost part of the solar system … Continue readingThe Sun as Gravitational Lens: A Breakthrough Technology?
Once mankind’s footprint has touched worlds across the solar system, what will be the last frontier? In the solar system of the near future, colonization will almost certainly spread outward from near-Earth space. The planets and settings closest to Earth will be settled first: Mars, … Continue readingColonizing the Oort Cloud: The Final Frontier of the Solar System
Oceans often come to the forefront when imagining the worlds that may be out there in the wider universe, whether as an exercise in science, speculation, or creating works of fiction. In these exercises liquid water oceans predominate, because our own planet’s surface is dominated … Continue readingThe Lavender Glow of a Radon Sea: Worldbuilding Exotic Oceans