Notices
Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Science fiction or fantasy? Accepting relativity.

  1. #1 Science fiction or fantasy? Accepting relativity. 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    If people finally accept the conclusions of relativity, should a lot of what we call science fiction be reclassified as fantasy?

    I love science fiction. But I would really really love it if some of these authors would explore the possiblities within the confines of special relativity. That would really be interesting. And so, by the way, if you know any, let me know.

    Don't get me wrong I really love a lot of the science fiction that doesn't accept relativity, but then why not? I like fantasy too.


    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    Do you mean the way in which the authors conveniently whisk their protagonists across many light years via space warps, worm holes, FTL craft, etc, each in violation of relativity?


    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Forum Professor wallaby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,521
    i read one book where a fleet of warships used causality violation as an attack method.
    there was also stuff like machines that manufacture anything you want, mind uploading and a Post singularity human race. :?

    definately for the fantasy catagory.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Do you mean the way in which the authors conveniently whisk their protagonists across many light years via space warps, worm holes, FTL craft, etc, each in violation of relativity?
    Exactly. Common "knowlege" sees the speed of light as barrier that must be surpassed in order to make our dreams of traveling to the stars come true. People do not even bother finding out what relativity is really saying anymore. They simply assume that one day we will find a way around it.

    Actually the idea of warping which I like like to relate to Madeleine L'Engle's description in "A Wrinkle in Time" of two points in space being brought closer together, is exactly what happens when we travel close to the speed of light. I like to say that the lorentz contraction factor gamma is like a warp factor because it can represent an effective velocity which is greater than the speed of light, and because bringing the points in space closer together is exactly how it works.

    The reality which most people fail to realize is that the limitation to the speed of light is not a barrier to space travel at all. But it does make our dreams of space empires and star spanning governments impractical. So is it impossible to make interesting science fiction stories which accepts this fact and reliquishes man's desire for dominion and an ever increasing scope of power?

    I think so.

    EDIT: I mean I think it is possible to write interesting stories which accept relativity and stops trying to build space empires. I think there are interesting quetions. What kind of human society would send out groups of people to the stars, and how would those groups be prepared. Travel between colonized star systems would be like jumps in to the future. Why would people travel like this? What would the colonies think of such travelers? The only book I think of that comes close to this is "Speaker for the dead", only this story still violates relativity by using faster than light communication.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    36
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Do you mean the way in which the authors conveniently whisk their protagonists across many light years via space warps, worm holes, FTL craft, etc, each in violation of relativity?
    Exactly. Common "knowlege" sees the speed of light as barrier that must be surpassed in order to make our dreams of traveling to the stars come true. People do not even bother finding out what relativity is really saying anymore. They simply assume that one day we will find a way around it.

    Actually the idea of warping which I like like to relate to Madeleine L'Engle's description in "A Wrinkle in Time" of two points in space being brought closer together, is exactly what happens when we travel close to the speed of light. I like to say that the lorentz contraction factor gamma is like a warp factor because it can represent an effective velocity which is greater than the speed of light, and because bringing the points in space closer together is exactly how it works.

    The reality which most people fail to realize is that the limitation to the speed of light is not a barrier to space travel at all. But it does make our dreams of space empires and star spanning governments impractical. So is it impossible to make interesting science fiction stories which accepts this fact and reliquishes man's desire for dominion and an ever increasing scope of power?

    I think so.

    EDIT: I mean I think it is possible to write interesting stories which accept relativity and stops trying to build space empires. I think there are interesting quetions. What kind of human society would send out groups of people to the stars, and how would those groups be prepared. Travel between colonized star systems would be like jumps in to the future. Why would people travel like this? What would the colonies think of such travelers? The only book I think of that comes close to this is "Speaker for the dead", only this story still violates relativity by using faster than light communication.
    I completely agree. It's been my limited writing experience, that even better, more interesting ideas surface when a writer forces himself to accept these limitations instead of chaulking everything up to "miracle science" that doesn't need to be really explained since the setting is in the future.

    It's also mindless and lazy. Hard for a discerning sci-fi fan to accept most story lines. This is why Stargate will never get my business.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Forum Freshman lince!'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    28
    what is wrong with relativity used in sci-fi?
    wells predicted the travel back to history 50 years earlier than einstein
    isn't that what sci-fi is supposed to do?

    apart from the topic, i always feel sad to see our beloved sci-fi books are mingled with those 'fantasy' novels on the bookshelves....sigh.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    967
    It's like god or magic, most of the stuff doesn't exist. Only in books.

    PS. The universe was a white hole one could say.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,595
    time travel out, i do think speed beyond that of light will happen and and when this happens, speeds many times that will be easy. much as speed of sound is now. unfortunately i base this on the assumption there is something already in existence that is faster and maybe much faster than light is now.

    i like to think of darkness as an entity, not necessarily simply the absence of light. it has no other explanation, no known mass and hard to imagine as a thing.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,595
    time travel out, i do think speed beyond that of light will happen and and when this happens, speeds many times that will be easy. much as speed of sound is now. unfortunately i base this on the assumption there is something already in existence that is faster and maybe much faster than light is now.

    i like to think of darkness as an entity, not necessarily simply the absence of light. it has no other explanation, no known mass and hard to imagine as a thing.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10 Re: please visit my game website. 
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    967
    Quote Originally Posted by ahwhwl
    Quote Originally Posted by LeavingQuietly
    "The MF and OF monthly card are sold with low price!!The FFXI CDKey is in

    wholesale by low price!!"
    .

    http://www.sell-wowgold.com
    :-D
    I'm not that guy, just so that you know.

    If I wrote that, probably a spam bot on my pc.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    ahwhwl probably edited the quote box. He certainly earns himself a permanent banning for spamming and zero meaningful content to any of his five posts.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •