For a while I’ve posited that the most cost-effective method of traveling on Mars, after you have some people there and some outposts going, is the “road train”, large motor vehicles hooked up in tandem, much like what we see in the Australian Outback, which, … Continue readingMonowheels of Mars?
Fundamentally there are three schools of thought for spacecraft that enter and exit planetary atmospheres (spacecraft that stay in space have their own design considerations, and in any case can get much wilder): capsules, spaceplanes, and lifting bodies. Anybody who’s even passingly familiar with spaceflight … Continue readingCatching a Lift
Lately I’ve been giving a lot of thought to what’s almost a blank page in my universe: what the first spaceflights, which in my alternate timeline take place in the 1940s, were like. The first moon landing takes place in 1949, but in the interests … Continue readingWorldbuilding the First Moon Landing
In my alternate-history science-fiction space opera setting, it’s well-established that first contact with alien intelligence was made by Ilmatar of Thalassa on, well, Thalassa (a planet of Proxima Centauri) around the year 2060. What’s not so well-established is that the Thalassans aren’t the closest alien … Continue readingAfter Thalassa: Squid Brains of Enceladus?
Well, I know I laid out so many ambitious plans in my previous post, “Ready to Write Something Different”, but when the time came to actually try out all that stuff it just made me feel sick, overwrought, overworked, and inadequate: it was not enjoyable, … Continue readingReady for Writing Something Not So Different
I don’t belabor the point, but the truth is 20th and 21st century of my alternate-history science-fiction space-opera universe is in large measure a family saga of the Reinhardts, heirs of the inventor of the microchip and his fortune. Recently I’ve been brainstorming a new … Continue readingReady for Rapunzel
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?
In the far future of my space opera setting I write my stories in, about a thousand years into the future, genetic engineering has advanced, and the human mainstream has embraced its power, making themselves (by our standards) very beautiful, very intelligent, and, most importantly, … Continue readingLife Cycles of my Space Opera’s Far Future
I just realized I haven’t yet told all of you about my ultimate plans for Earth in the far future of my space opera setting! In my post “Taking my Space Opera Setting into the Extremely Far Future”, I left them ambiguous, but now I’ve … Continue readingThe Lastborn of Mother Earth
I’ve mentioned some aspects of physics in my science-fiction setting before, but now I feel like taking the opportunity to add some more thoughts. The most characteristic extension of our real-life understanding of physics in my space-opera setting is an infinity of naturally-occurring wormholes at … Continue readingSome Physics of My Space Opera Universe