So. I as The Youth Said 15 Minutes Ago “totally spaced” on a newsletter last week, despite having a distinct memory of writing one. An occupational hazard of being a method writer, living in multiple timestreams at once in my head. In the Consensual Timestream things have been in what can only be described as a state of Upheaval on all fractal scales, both locally and globally. I’ve been spending some time hanging inverted, literally and metaphorically (Praise the All-Father), both of which are nice but not the sort of thing that one talks about in polite company.
Andy Stott - Numb :: Andy Stott is trying to be to House and Environs what Burial was to Dubstep, and doing a damn fine job.
The live stream of protests over the shooting of yet another young black man under questionable circumstances in St Louis. Pray your gods that link is dead by the time you read this, if it’s still going, that’s a very bad sign. Flashbacks to Occupy, both of watching the stream and being on the ground. Whiff of teargas in the air, perpetually, now, here in the Land of the Free.
Most of what I’ve been thinking about is, as indicated above, not really for public consumption, but I have been working on various writing projects that are coming along at what I can only guess is a reasonable speed given my newness to the whole process. A lot of what I’ve been turning over (and yeah this is for a possible writing project but it’s still fluid enough that I can bat it around in public) is the idea of the littoral zone. Anyone who knows me knows that I love Interzones and interstitial spaces of all kinds, so when Eleanor Saitta posted this wonderful photo I got real excited about the fact that dazzle camouflage (an old love of mine) is still in use. Then she pointed out that they mostly use it on Littoral Ships and I had to look up Littoral and my brain took on new curves.
Being the particular flavor of nerd I am, I immediately went to “Littoral Ship” in the spaceship sense, so, then, what would the Littoral Zone of space flight be? Two things occur to me, clearly the edge of the atmosphere (and if I recall correctly this meaning is actually in use in certain sciences), but also, more interestingly from a fictional point of view, the Heliosphere.
(just look at that picture. “BOW SHOCK”. “TERMINATION SHOCK”. It triggers my space nerd neurons and my saturday morning cartoon supervilliain neurons.)
So now I’m thinking about the sort of culture that might live at the Heliosphere. The first question is of course, why would we bother setting up a permanent presence there? My thought right now is that at the Heliopause there have got to be massively entropic energy sources that you could tap into, and convert into a laser to A) beam power back to earth and B) use as a launch point for interstellar travel via solar sails (which I am supposing would be more efficiently launched from this point), again using lasers. Mining sunlight at the Heliopause.
I like this because among other things it deals with that awkward phase of humanity between a planetary civilization and a galactic one, which is a space (hah) that is becoming better explored now with things like Daniel and Ty’s Expanse Series (amazon link), which is excellent if you are into good space opera that happens in that region. It’s a strange thing to think about, this bit in our history where we’ve gotten off planet but we still have the species-wide equivalent of an awful bowl haircut and a gangly walk, with, presumably, the Aliens rolling their many eyestalks at us as we show up late and wasted to the galactic party.
I also like the idea of shooting lasers at solar sails to launch interstellar probes, especially after reading this great article on using solar to power spacecraft, which tosses terms like “yottawatts” around like they’re nothing. I’m having trouble laying hands on a reasonable method of exchanging energy to make this work. Something something “magnetic bubble foam” something. Need to look into the physics of that a little better.
If you have any thoughts please do let me know. This is at the moment just a world I’m sort of playing with, I don’t really have much of a plot yet, and I have, y’know, another novel to finish before I can get to it, so, I wouldn’t mind discussing it.
Short burst today, apparently. I’ll try to save more cycles for you next week. Enjoy your local temporal discontinuity.
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