Welcome to weekend writing warriors. Many fine authors, and me, contribute short snippets for your delectation.
I was getting a bit stuck with Regency fiction, and decided to try hard SF. Swords and spaceships, no rayguns (yet), but plenty of action and as long as I’m logically consistent I don’t have to worry about historical accuracy (which is problematic as even the authorities disagree about what it was really like).
It seems to be working, the words are (so far) flying off my fingers and into the book.
In any case, here’s the start – a new midshipman is having her first session of weapons training on her first ship. Her instructor is not exactly impressed.
Terry knew he was right, most of her class manned in-system freighters, glorified traffic cops, “I nearly got you.”
“In your dreams, lass; I was going easy; didn’t even break a sweat.”
Terry focused on her tormentor, “You’re right.”
“Spacer born, fleet trained;” The man beamed at her, “I’m used to low-G, you’re not … yet; the sweat doesn’t evaporate, no convection.”
“Oh, but I was … top of my class with the saber.”
The man laughed, “On Terra you’d spit me, but it’s different swinging a 10kg piece of metal when you weigh nothing.”
“55Kilo – all muscle and bone.”
“Nothing when there’s no gravity lass; It’s different.”
“I know you can use a projectile weapon and hit a gnat at a half-click; can’t use them inside a ship.”
Radiation is one of the very real problems with space flight. Earth’s magnetic field keeps most of it from reaching us, but outside of that protective shield – say on the Moon or a trip to Mars – it puts a definite limit on human endurance.
In the story I’ve added a drug cocktail called ‘the juice’ that slows metabolism (for time) which incidentally turns off the sex drive, and protects the people from the effects of radiation. One of the characters remarks (later) that 400REM (the LD50) will barely give you a suntan. Of course, when they come ‘off the juice’ things can get interesting.
One thing I’ve not seen in other SF is what happens when a large mostly metallic object encounters charged particles while it’s moving at high speed – as would happen when coming out of a jump (Again one needs to invoke some sort of hyperspace to have anything like real time. Otherwise it’s ‘500 years later …’.) Bremsstrahlung or ‘braking’ radiation are the photons emitted when you stop a moving photon or when you slam into one at high speed. It’s how your dentist produces X-rays in that little box that the tech positions outside your mouth. It’s also somewhat dear to me as in a previous existence I used highly filtered X-rays (from copper) to probe molecular structure.
I’ve put up a couple of things on instafreebie. The first is a short story, To Court a Dragon.