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Stand at Carpo - Ace009 - 05-10-2016

Hello, gentlemen. So, I finally finished the first of the shorts taking place in the Extended Edition of To The Planets Beyond, and after various critiques on AH.com, and on Reddit, I finally come to the OA setting for the critique on this one: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nryGk019KvKUypHZXjuBk8roTKm_VvpUtPu-4YAgARg/edit So, thoughts and possible inconsistencies to repair?


RE: Stand at Carpo - Rynn - 05-10-2016

Overall it seems an interesting start Smile I haven't got time to go into a lot of detail now but one general point that was immediately obvious is that there's a lot of exposition in this. You cram in a lot of explanation about the ships, the situation, the moon etc. This feels awkward for two reasons: firstly it ruins the pace of the story and secondly when its being voiced by a character it doesn't always make sense. In the conference scene for example: why does one officer have to explain to another what ships are in their fleet? He should surely know that. Another issue along these lines is the excessive use of the word "and". When you look back through it would be good to ask yourself at each "and" if they are really needed. Like do you have to explain to your reader that a kinetic round is shot from a cannon and it flies at high speed? If you do then you should write it in more evocatively e.g:

The ship rumbled as kinetic slugs launched from the canons. "Time to impact forty seconds!" yelled the gunner. The bridge grew tense as all eyes fell on the holoscreen. The salvo seemed to crawl the distance between the two fleets, despite leaving the ship travelling at thousands of meters per second

Last piece of advice would be to focus more on at least one of the characters. At the moment the text is very detail heavy. If you characterise one of the crewmen more you can explain things through their experience, which should make it more engaging without loosing detail.


RE: Stand at Carpo - Ace009 - 05-10-2016

(05-10-2016, 05:30 PM)Rynn Wrote: Overall it seems an interesting start Smile I haven't got time to go into a lot of detail now but one general point that was immediately obvious is that there's a lot of exposition in this. You cram in a lot of explanation about the ships, the situation, the moon etc. This feels awkward for two reasons: firstly it ruins the pace of the story and secondly when its being voiced by a character it doesn't always make sense. In the conference scene for example: why does one officer have to explain to another what ships are in their fleet? He should surely know that. Another issue along these lines is the excessive use of the word "and". When you look back through it would be good to ask yourself at each "and" if they are really needed. Like do you have to explain to your reader that a kinetic round is shot from a cannon and it flies at high speed? If you do then you should write it in more evocatively e.g:

The ship rumbled as kinetic slugs launched from the canons. "Time to impact forty seconds!" yelled the gunner. The bridge grew tense as all eyes fell on the holoscreen. The salvo seemed to crawl the distance between the two fleets, despite leaving the ship travelling at thousands of meters per second

Last piece of advice would be to focus more on at least one of the characters. At the moment the text is very detail heavy. If you characterise one of the crewmen more you can explain things through their experience, which should make it more engaging without loosing detail.

I tried to reduce the grammatical errors as best as I could. So....problem partially solved.


RE: Stand at Carpo - Dfleymmes1134 - 05-11-2016

Good start.
Focus more on the characterization. Each character can describe the action in a slightly different way. Show. Don't tell. There's far too much exposition and the exposition that you have written is mostly dry.
I recommend doing several writing exercises to improve your writing in general before continuing.
Pick an author and try to copy their style. Pick a page from, say, Neuromancer by william gibson and try to write an alternate story/ scene following the same grammatical structure of the original sentences-
even better- choose something that definitely isn't science fiction, like the 'Invisible Man' by Ralph Ellison or "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne. This will help you understand how the masters construct sentences, paragraphs, or dialogue.

These examples may help too
http://io9.gizmodo.com/5481558/20-great-infodumps-from-science-fiction-novels

Also, look up some synonyms to 'ask' and 'said'

other recommended books
The Rock Rats by Ben Bova (not a great example of writing, but the asteroid mining setting is good)
Expedition to Earth (short story collection) by Arthur C Clark
2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson


RE: Stand at Carpo - Drashner1 - 05-11-2016

So, various thoughts and comments below. Normally I would do this by inserting in between the relevant sections of the story, but since this isn't written on the forum, I'll just list things as I see em.

1) I would suggest tweaking some of the wording in the first paragraph and making it an excerpt out of some history or memoir of the Extraplanetary War. It could be written in italic and have a reference or citation at the end before the story stars.

2) You mention people saying things in 'Ganyrstrovian' multiple times in a single conversation. This is redundant and goes past being informative to hitting the reader over the head with the information. Two thoughts come to mind:

a) Does it matter to the story what language any of the characters are speaking? If the answer is no, either reduce the language reference to one mention or eliminate it entirely.

b) If it does matter, either tweak the opening dialog to make one reference to the language being spoken and then leave it to the reader to assume everyone is speaking the same language or work in the reference partway through the dialog. But don't mention it every time a character speaks. The only time that would be workable is if all of the characters speaking different languages was central to the story.

The same principle applies for any other instances of a character's language being called out.

3) Does the moon Carpo actually exist? If not, it might be better to use a real moon or, if you are going to make up the moon, indicate when it was discovered since it was presumably at some point in our future.

4) The timing in the beginning is confusing. We read about two months, 3 days, and one month all in close proximity and all apparently relating to the approaching fleet.

5) Most of your readers aren't going to have any idea what a Hohmann transfer or a Brachistochrone transfer are (Talking in terms of transfer orbits or continuous boost transfers so the reader knows what you mean could help). So you're just going to confuse them. Those readers who do know what they are, are likely to want to know if you are being accurate about them and may try to run the numbers, given the size of the Jovian planet and moons system. They will be annoyed with you and you will lose credibility as a storyteller if you get the numbers wrong. I'd suggest sidestepping all that with less precise language.

5) You don't need to translate the names of the spaceships.

6) The description of the Death Dragon uses the word 'craft' far too much and is much too detailed for a story. This level of info-dump is going to annoy your reader. A better option might be to work in bits and pieces of description throughout the story, perhaps as a particular part of the ship pertains to a corresponding part of the story. Another way to do with would be to create a sketch or technical drawing of the ship and place it in an Appendix or something.

7) On general principles - a good rule of thumb is that the same word (excepting things like 'the' and 'a' and such) should not appear more than once in the same sentence or in two consecutive sentences. There are times when even more spacing is required or simply scans better, but take the above as a starting point. I'd suggest 'combing' the entire story with this principle and removing or replacing words when you find parts that violate it.

8) Exclamation points already indicate urgency or speaking excitedly or rapidly. You do not need to also include filler like 'spoke in a hurried fashion'. You may sometimes want to say something like 'Character X rapidly explained the situation' or 'Spoke quickly but calmly' or the like. But generally punctuation and context should take care of this aspect of things for you.

9) It seems more than a bit iffy that 24th century computer technology would have a hard time with firing solutions. Note also that stealth is pretty much impossible in space and so hiding from ships or sneaking up on them is going to be tricky.

10) As others have said, cut back on the exposition. In particular, it is not necessary to repeat information you have already stated, especially if it is of no obvious significance to the current situation. The Battle of Thebe and the Siege of Pywill Crater are mentioned more than once but without it being obvious why they need to be.

11) You don't need to describe the tone of voice of each character so much. Generally this should be left to the reader's imagination plus the context of the situation being described.

12) This section of text:

The kinetic mines were deployed into the trajectory UNAPA was going to take as they approached Carpo. Carpo was a very uninhabited moon with little of note. It was three kilometres in diameter and they were a thousand kilometres in distance relative to it, and by the time those mines were deployed, Task Force 12 began its approach.

is probably not workable. First, because an object only 3km across is more of a captured asteroid than a moon, although some allowances may be made because gas giants seem to pick up a lot of this kind of thing. More importantly, at a distance of a thousand km, it seems highly unlikely that the task force would be shielded in any significant way by Carpo. If you've actually crunched the numbers, and this is doable, then a brief explanation of this is probably in order. But otherwise, this doesn't seem possible.

Finally, what is preventing the UN ships from adjusting their position by some number of kilometers so that they just miss the mines entirely? Space is very big and there is lots of room to do this kind of thing.

13) You speak of primary engines 'roaring'. There is no air in space and therefore there is no sound in space.

14) There is no air in space, so lasers are always invisible, regardless of what wavelength they are, unless there is gas or dust in their firing path that is vaporized by the passing laser beam and releases light in the process.

15) Why would any sane military commander leave to go to the washroom 'in frustration' in the middle of a battle?

16) Why does the larger UN force suffer 50% losses, but the smaller TF-12 also only suffers 50% losses? Twice as many ships were firing at them.

17) You switch from past tense (usually what is used when writing in the third person) to present tense in a couple of spots.

18) It seems unlikely that a combat veteran like Toparev is going to freeze up in the middle of a battle because his commanding officer has just been killed, especially because up to this point there has been no indication that they were particularly close in any way.

19) You have a character talk about needing the engines running. When did they stop running and why?

20) You have a whole section in which they shoot at each other, and then another section where they apparently shoot at each other again. But the second section is written as though the battle is just starting at this point.

21) Also, depleted uranium slugs aren't going to be bothered by electronic countermeasures - speaking of which, you should use the full name of a given thing (such as Electronic Counter-Measures) the first time it appears and then can use the abbreviation (ECM) after that. I don't think you do that for some of the technology here.

22) Is there some reason why the commanders of the UN expedition couldn't have anticipated, or at least theorized, that TF-12 would attack them in something like this fashion and so taken steps to counter TF-12s strategy? As described, they seem to simply fly on thru the attack while doing nothing more than shooting back and apparently having no idea that there is any kind of plan being carried out or even having the idea that any kind of plan was possible.

23) You don't really explain how the ECM systems on the UN ships somehow leads to them being destroyed. Inert kinetic rounds aren't going to be effected by ECM technology at all.

24) You describe the UN ships becoming 'space junk orbiting Carpo'. At only 3km across, Carpo would have a minuscule gravitational field that would be totally incapable of capturing debris moving as fast as these ships are presumably going. At such a small size, it's possible a human being might be able to jump hard enough to achieve escape velocity from this moon. The ships (and therefore the debris they have now become) are presumably moving at kilometers per second.

25) You have two different characters thinking things 'in their head'. Where else would they be thinking things?

On a more general note, there are various grammar issues throughout, but some of those may be fixed as part of addressing the other issues mentioned above. To address them more fully would require a more in-depth review and having a copy of the story in the forum where I could point things out with more precision.

Ok, I think that about covers things for now.

Hope this helps,

Todd


RE: Stand at Carpo - Ace009 - 05-11-2016

(05-11-2016, 01:47 PM)Drashner1 Wrote: So, various thoughts and comments below. Normally I would do this by inserting in between the relevant sections of the story, but since this isn't written on the forum, I'll just list things as I see em.

1) I would suggest tweaking some of the wording in the first paragraph and making it an excerpt out of some history or memoir of the Extraplanetary War. It could be written in italic and have a reference or citation at the end before the story stars.

2) You mention people saying things in 'Ganyrstrovian' multiple times in a single conversation. This is redundant and goes past being informative to hitting the reader over the head with the information. Two thoughts come to mind:

a) Does it matter to the story what language any of the characters are speaking? If the answer is no, either reduce the language reference to one mention or eliminate it entirely.

b) If it does matter, either tweak the opening dialog to make one reference to the language being spoken and then leave it to the reader to assume everyone is speaking the same language or work in the reference partway through the dialog. But don't mention it every time a character speaks. The only time that would be workable is if all of the characters speaking different languages was central to the story.

The same principle applies for any other instances of a character's language being called out.

3) Does the moon Carpo actually exist? If not, it might be better to use a real moon or, if you are going to make up the moon, indicate when it was discovered since it was presumably at some point in our future.

4) The timing in the beginning is confusing. We read about two months, 3 days, and one month all in close proximity and all apparently relating to the approaching fleet.

5) Most of your readers aren't going to have any idea what a Hohmann transfer or a Brachistochrone transfer are (Talking in terms of transfer orbits or continuous boost transfers so the reader knows what you mean could help). So you're just going to confuse them. Those readers who do know what they are, are likely to want to know if you are being accurate about them and may try to run the numbers, given the size of the Jovian planet and moons system. They will be annoyed with you and you will lose credibility as a storyteller if you get the numbers wrong. I'd suggest sidestepping all that with less precise language.

5) You don't need to translate the names of the spaceships.

6) The description of the Death Dragon uses the word 'craft' far too much and is much too detailed for a story. This level of info-dump is going to annoy your reader. A better option might be to work in bits and pieces of description throughout the story, perhaps as a particular part of the ship pertains to a corresponding part of the story. Another way to do with would be to create a sketch or technical drawing of the ship and place it in an Appendix or something.

7) On general principles - a good rule of thumb is that the same word (excepting things like 'the' and 'a' and such) should not appear more than once in the same sentence or in two consecutive sentences. There are times when even more spacing is required or simply scans better, but take the above as a starting point. I'd suggest 'combing' the entire story with this principle and removing or replacing words when you find parts that violate it.

8) Exclamation points already indicate urgency or speaking excitedly or rapidly. You do not need to also include filler like 'spoke in a hurried fashion'. You may sometimes want to say something like 'Character X rapidly explained the situation' or 'Spoke quickly but calmly' or the like. But generally punctuation and context should take care of this aspect of things for you.

9) It seems more than a bit iffy that 24th century computer technology would have a hard time with firing solutions. Note also that stealth is pretty much impossible in space and so hiding from ships or sneaking up on them is going to be tricky.

10) As others have said, cut back on the exposition. In particular, it is not necessary to repeat information you have already stated, especially if it is of no obvious significance to the current situation. The Battle of Thebe and the Siege of Pywill Crater are mentioned more than once but without it being obvious why they need to be.

11) You don't need to describe the tone of voice of each character so much. Generally this should be left to the reader's imagination plus the context of the situation being described.

12) This section of text:

The kinetic mines were deployed into the trajectory UNAPA was going to take as they approached Carpo. Carpo was a very uninhabited moon with little of note. It was three kilometres in diameter and they were a thousand kilometres in distance relative to it, and by the time those mines were deployed, Task Force 12 began its approach.

is probably not workable. First, because an object only 3km across is more of a captured asteroid than a moon, although some allowances may be made because gas giants seem to pick up a lot of this kind of thing. More importantly, at a distance of a thousand km, it seems highly unlikely that the task force would be shielded in any significant way by Carpo. If you've actually crunched the numbers, and this is doable, then a brief explanation of this is probably in order. But otherwise, this doesn't seem possible.

Finally, what is preventing the UN ships from adjusting their position by some number of kilometers so that they just miss the mines entirely? Space is very big and there is lots of room to do this kind of thing.

13) You speak of primary engines 'roaring'. There is no air in space and therefore there is no sound in space.

14) There is no air in space, so lasers are always invisible, regardless of what wavelength they are, unless there is gas or dust in their firing path that is vaporized by the passing laser beam and releases light in the process.

15) Why would any sane military commander leave to go to the washroom 'in frustration' in the middle of a battle?

16) Why does the larger UN force suffer 50% losses, but the smaller TF-12 also only suffers 50% losses? Twice as many ships were firing at them.

17) You switch from past tense (usually what is used when writing in the third person) to present tense in a couple of spots.

18) It seems unlikely that a combat veteran like Toparev is going to freeze up in the middle of a battle because his commanding officer has just been killed, especially because up to this point there has been no indication that they were particularly close in any way.

19) You have a character talk about needing the engines running. When did they stop running and why?

20) You have a whole section in which they shoot at each other, and then another section where they apparently shoot at each other again. But the second section is written as though the battle is just starting at this point.

21) Also, depleted uranium slugs aren't going to be bothered by electronic countermeasures - speaking of which, you should use the full name of a given thing (such as Electronic Counter-Measures) the first time it appears and then can use the abbreviation (ECM) after that. I don't think you do that for some of the technology here.

22) Is there some reason why the commanders of the UN expedition couldn't have anticipated, or at least theorized, that TF-12 would attack them in something like this fashion and so taken steps to counter TF-12s strategy? As described, they seem to simply fly on thru the attack while doing nothing more than shooting back and apparently having no idea that there is any kind of plan being carried out or even having the idea that any kind of plan was possible.

23) You don't really explain how the ECM systems on the UN ships somehow leads to them being destroyed. Inert kinetic rounds aren't going to be effected by ECM technology at all.

24) You describe the UN ships becoming 'space junk orbiting Carpo'. At only 3km across, Carpo would have a minuscule gravitational field that would be totally incapable of capturing debris moving as fast as these ships are presumably going. At such a small size, it's possible a human being might be able to jump hard enough to achieve escape velocity from this moon. The ships (and therefore the debris they have now become) are presumably moving at kilometers per second.

25) You have two different characters thinking things 'in their head'. Where else would they be thinking things?

On a more general note, there are various grammar issues throughout, but some of those may be fixed as part of addressing the other issues mentioned above. To address them more fully would require a more in-depth review and having a copy of the story in the forum where I could point things out with more precision.

Ok, I think that about covers things for now.

Hope this helps,

Todd

Ahem....? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carpo_(moon)

Carpo is a real moon alright.....

And.....alright. I am going to post a version with the entire text soon. Hopefully, that works.

And yes, I am aware. No sound in space.....BUT they are felt across the craft and then there is the sound emitted by the computers (correct me if I am mistaken). And good point.....time for some HUGE repairs.

And issue #10......I have my own surprises in mind. Besides, I am going to disagree with the concept that stealth in space is impossible. I can admit, it is in the conventional sense but then you can find ways to delay the time it takes to be detected. Why do you think it they identified them after the conference? That was two days later, and Carpo IS a captured asteroid. The only reason it is a "moon" is....well, look at Deimos and Phobos on Mars.

Also, it is not the slugs themselves. It is their guidance stages. I can post a link and trust me: I ran the some of the relevant numbers (correct me if I am incorrect). Oh well. One link, incoming!

http://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/40597/how-does-a-spacecraft-attempt-an-intercept-course-with-a-hostile-one-realistical

Warning: Some information presented here is outdated (especially the range at which the computers can have a firing solution) and was done while trying to crank the science before the story began its writing process and....well, have fun!

Speaking of firing solution computers..........three words: Moore's Law fail.....or not...... :/.


RE: Stand at Carpo - Rynn - 05-12-2016

(05-11-2016, 11:04 PM)Ace009 Wrote: And.....alright. I am going to post a version with the entire text soon. Hopefully, that works.

What do you mean "entire text"? Are there more chapters? Unless you've rewritten them, along with what you've posted here, to have far less exposition and much better scene setting/characterisation I doubt it's going to "work".

(05-11-2016, 11:04 PM)Ace009 Wrote: And issue #10......I have my own surprises in mind.

What do you mean by this? Todd's point is that the text so far front-loads content to much. I don't get how a "surprise" of any kind can overcome this.

(05-11-2016, 11:04 PM)Ace009 Wrote: Besides, I am going to disagree with the concept that stealth in space is impossible. I can admit, it is in the conventional sense but then you can find ways to delay the time it takes to be detected. Why do you think it they identified them after the conference?

What way can you delay someone detecting you in space given the sheer amount of heat your ship, it's power source and your exhaust are going to give off? Even a moderately advanced interferometry array spaced in orbit should be able to track every ship in a solar system.

Conceivably you could perform subterfuge for strategic purposes e.g. a commercial craft approaches following all processes legitimately only to open its cargo containers whilst in orbit to reveal an arsenal of weaponry. But you're not going to be able to realistically prevent people detecting you.

(05-11-2016, 11:04 PM)Ace009 Wrote: Also, it is not the slugs themselves. It is their guidance stages. I can post a link and trust me: I ran the some of the relevant numbers (correct me if I am incorrect). Oh well. One link, incoming!

http://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/40597/how-does-a-spacecraft-attempt-an-intercept-course-with-a-hostile-one-realistical

Warning: Some information presented here is outdated (especially the range at which the computers can have a firing solution) and was done while trying to crank the science before the story began its writing process and....well, have fun!

Speaking of firing solution computers..........three words: Moore's Law fail.....or not...... :/.

I flicked through that link but as it goes on and on perhaps you could do the polite thing instead and highlight and/or summarise the points here. As for your point about firing solutions there's no complex maths going on, all a targeting computer has to do in this scenario is project the trajectory and plot an intercept. If you want to get mildly more complicated it could plot this is a cone showing possible deviations given engine performance.

There are space-RTS games that can do this now and run on pretty common computers.


RE: Stand at Carpo - Drashner1 - 05-12-2016

(05-11-2016, 11:04 PM)Ace009 Wrote: Ahem....? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carpo_(moon)

Carpo is a real moon alright.....

NiftySmile But how many of your readers are going to know this? You might reasonably expect most SF readers to be aware of the major Galilean moons of Jupiter - maybe one or two beyond that. But it is not reasonable to think they will know about all of them, let alone one as minor and as recently discovered as this. Unless your intended audience is limited to astronomy buffs, I would suggested adding a minor line or two along the lines of Carpo being 'one of the myriad of minor moons and captured asteroids pulled into orbit around the giant planet and discovered back in the early 21st century' or some such.

This points your reader to the idea that this moon might actually exist, which potentially drives them to doing a bit of online research, which leads to them finding the actual moon - which builds your credibility with the reader as a serious hard SF storyteller (which I assume is the type of story you are going for here).

(05-11-2016, 11:04 PM)Ace009 Wrote: And yes, I am aware. No sound in space.....BUT they are felt across the craft and then there is the sound emitted by the computers (correct me if I am mistaken). And good point.....time for some HUGE repairs.

You specifically describe the rockets 'roaring' - why would anything like that kind of sound be carried into the ship via the presumed vibration imparted by the rockets firing? Why wouldn't the ship just vibrate a bit? Beyond that, there is the question of why you would want to fire the rockets while they are still attached to the ship. Doing so risks damage to the ship from the exhaust, will force the ship to engage maneuvering thusters to compensate for the added thrust the rocket will impart to it, and will 'light up' the location of the ship to all kinds of detectors before the rocket moves away.

It makes much more sense for the ship to fling the rockets away from it laterally (with two or more rockets pushed out from opposite sides of the ship to cancel out the action-reaction effects) before they ignite their rockets and do their thing.

I'm not seeing what the sound of the computers has to do with sound in space or with anything in general. Perhaps I missed it, but I don't recall you mentioning the computers making any sound. For that matter, real life computers barely make any noise at all (and what they do make is almost always their cooling systems or optical disk drives or the like), and it seems likely that computers built centuries in the future will be even quieter.

(05-11-2016, 11:04 PM)Ace009 Wrote: And issue #10......I have my own surprises in mind. Besides, I am going to disagree with the concept that stealth in space is impossible. I can admit, it is in the conventional sense but then you can find ways to delay the time it takes to be detected. Why do you think it they identified them after the conference? That was two days later, and Carpo IS a captured asteroid. The only reason it is a "moon" is....well, look at Deimos and Phobos on Mars.

Also, it is not the slugs themselves. It is their guidance stages. I can post a link and trust me: I ran the some of the relevant numbers (correct me if I am incorrect). Oh well. One link, incoming!

http://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/40597/how-does-a-spacecraft-attempt-an-intercept-course-with-a-hostile-one-realistical

Warning: Some information presented here is outdated (especially the range at which the computers can have a firing solution) and was done while trying to crank the science before the story began its writing process and....well, have fun!

I read through this a fair bit and didn't see anything to seriously support the idea that stealth in space ins workable. In fact several people pointed out that it isn't and for the same reason we've mentioned - that spaceships (in particular spaceships with people on board - doubly in particular when they are using nuclear rockets to get around) shine very brightly in space, due to all the waste heat they put out.

The closest thing to a counter-argument I saw was that we don't find it easy to detect asteroids - which is totally a non-related issue when speaking of powered spacecraft radiating lots of heat. Asteroids are only warmed by the sunlight hitting them. Spacecraft (crewed and nuclear powered in particular) are warmed by themselves to much much higher temperatures.

If you have some specific argument/demonstration in support of your position on this that we've somehow missed to this point, please copy/paste it here so we can all readily access and consider it.

On a more general note - since you don't explain or mention any kind of stealth technology in your story, it really isn't viable to claim here that something or other happened in the story that is based on stealth in space. Readers cannot read your mind and, unless your story is based on a very widely known franchise, such as Star Wars or Star Trek, it isn't really reasonable to expect them to just know the details of whatever particular tech element you haven't explained in this story, but which might exist in your wider fictional universe (if there is one - I've seen you mention something about this, but hadn't heard of if before and don't know anything about it).

I'm not sure which of my points your mention of guidance stages is responding to, but I'm not seeing how guidance stages would have any more trouble with ECM then inert slugs would. For that matter, the use of guidance stages would probably eliminate the need for anything like a 'firing solution'.

Put telescopic and IR sensors on your guidance stage and have it lock onto the target using those. No amount of radio chaff or the like is going to make any particular difference to it and it can just follow its own sensors to the target instead of using a 'firing solution', which really sounds like something out of a WWII submarine warefare story where the torpedos basically just went in the direction they were pointed or something.

If, by ECM, you mean something more sophisticated than radio chaff or the like, then that should be indicated in the story and details provided.

(05-11-2016, 11:04 PM)Ace009 Wrote: Speaking of firing solution computers..........three words: Moore's Law fail.....or not...... :/.

This is an irrelevant and meaningless statement in this context and I don't see what it has to do with the issue under discussion.

If you're trying to be funny, then I'm afraid I'm not getting the joke.

If you're trying to argue that a premise of your story is that Moore's Law has ceased to be a factor, then you should explicitly state this in the story. However, you would then need to explain why modern targeting computers/computer technology couldn't generate 'firing solutions' perfectly suited to the combat you describe (so Moore's Law wouldn't apply), why optical/IR sensors as I've mentioned above wouldn't be perfectly able to direct missiles w/o the need for 'firing solutions', and why the end of Moore's Law (which deals with the density of elements on silicon chips) would also result in the end of advances in computer science given that techs such as optical computing, DNA computing, quantum computing, 3D chips, and various other items currently being researched in labs in the real world would presumably have continued to advance and would likely see a major boost in funding and interest if Moore's Law finally hit its limits.

My 2c worth,

Todd


RE: Stand at Carpo - Ace009 - 05-12-2016

(05-12-2016, 03:12 AM)Drashner1 Wrote:
(05-11-2016, 11:04 PM)Ace009 Wrote: Ahem....? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carpo_(moon)

Carpo is a real moon alright.....

NiftySmile But how many of your readers are going to know this? You might reasonably expect most SF readers to be aware of the major Galilean moons of Jupiter - maybe one or two beyond that. But it is not reasonable to think they will know about all of them, let alone one as minor and as recently discovered as this. Unless your intended audience is limited to astronomy buffs, I would suggested adding a minor line or two along the lines of Carpo being 'one of the myriad of minor moons and captured asteroids pulled into orbit around the giant planet and discovered back in the early 21st century' or some such.

This points your reader to the idea that this moon might actually exist, which potentially drives them to doing a bit of online research, which leads to them finding the actual moon - which builds your credibility with the reader as a serious hard SF storyteller (which I assume is the type of story you are going for here).

(05-11-2016, 11:04 PM)Ace009 Wrote: And yes, I am aware. No sound in space.....BUT they are felt across the craft and then there is the sound emitted by the computers (correct me if I am mistaken). And good point.....time for some HUGE repairs.

You specifically describe the rockets 'roaring' - why would anything like that kind of sound be carried into the ship via the presumed vibration imparted by the rockets firing? Why wouldn't the ship just vibrate a bit? Beyond that, there is the question of why you would want to fire the rockets while they are still attached to the ship. Doing so risks damage to the ship from the exhaust, will force the ship to engage maneuvering thusters to compensate for the added thrust the rocket will impart to it, and will 'light up' the location of the ship to all kinds of detectors before the rocket moves away.

It makes much more sense for the ship to fling the rockets away from it laterally (with two or more rockets pushed out from opposite sides of the ship to cancel out the action-reaction effects) before they ignite their rockets and do their thing.

I'm not seeing what the sound of the computers has to do with sound in space or with anything in general. Perhaps I missed it, but I don't recall you mentioning the computers making any sound. For that matter, real life computers barely make any noise at all (and what they do make is almost always their cooling systems or optical disk drives or the like), and it seems likely that computers built centuries in the future will be even quieter.

(05-11-2016, 11:04 PM)Ace009 Wrote: And issue #10......I have my own surprises in mind. Besides, I am going to disagree with the concept that stealth in space is impossible. I can admit, it is in the conventional sense but then you can find ways to delay the time it takes to be detected. Why do you think it they identified them after the conference? That was two days later, and Carpo IS a captured asteroid. The only reason it is a "moon" is....well, look at Deimos and Phobos on Mars.

Also, it is not the slugs themselves. It is their guidance stages. I can post a link and trust me: I ran the some of the relevant numbers (correct me if I am incorrect). Oh well. One link, incoming!

http://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/40597/how-does-a-spacecraft-attempt-an-intercept-course-with-a-hostile-one-realistical

Warning: Some information presented here is outdated (especially the range at which the computers can have a firing solution) and was done while trying to crank the science before the story began its writing process and....well, have fun!

I read through this a fair bit and didn't see anything to seriously support the idea that stealth in space ins workable. In fact several people pointed out that it isn't and for the same reason we've mentioned - that spaceships (in particular spaceships with people on board - doubly in particular when they are using nuclear rockets to get around) shine very brightly in space, due to all the waste heat they put out.

The closest thing to a counter-argument I saw was that we don't find it easy to detect asteroids - which is totally a non-related issue when speaking of powered spacecraft radiating lots of heat. Asteroids are only warmed by the sunlight hitting them. Spacecraft (crewed and nuclear powered in particular) are warmed by themselves to much much higher temperatures.

If you have some specific argument/demonstration in support of your position on this that we've somehow missed to this point, please copy/paste it here so we can all readily access and consider it.

On a more general note - since you don't explain or mention any kind of stealth technology in your story, it really isn't viable to claim here that something or other happened in the story that is based on stealth in space. Readers cannot read your mind and, unless your story is based on a very widely known franchise, such as Star Wars or Star Trek, it isn't really reasonable to expect them to just know the details of whatever particular tech element you haven't explained in this story, but which might exist in your wider fictional universe (if there is one - I've seen you mention something about this, but hadn't heard of if before and don't know anything about it).

I'm not sure which of my points your mention of guidance stages is responding to, but I'm not seeing how guidance stages would have any more trouble with ECM then inert slugs would. For that matter, the use of guidance stages would probably eliminate the need for anything like a 'firing solution'.

Put telescopic and IR sensors on your guidance stage and have it lock onto the target using those. No amount of radio chaff or the like is going to make any particular difference to it and it can just follow its own sensors to the target instead of using a 'firing solution', which really sounds like something out of a WWII submarine warefare story where the torpedos basically just went in the direction they were pointed or something.

If, by ECM, you mean something more sophisticated than radio chaff or the like, then that should be indicated in the story and details provided.

(05-11-2016, 11:04 PM)Ace009 Wrote: Speaking of firing solution computers..........three words: Moore's Law fail.....or not...... :/.

This is an irrelevant and meaningless statement in this context and I don't see what it has to do with the issue under discussion.

If you're trying to be funny, then I'm afraid I'm not getting the joke.

If you're trying to argue that a premise of your story is that Moore's Law has ceased to be a factor, then you should explicitly state this in the story. However, you would then need to explain why modern targeting computers/computer technology couldn't generate 'firing solutions' perfectly suited to the combat you describe (so Moore's Law wouldn't apply), why optical/IR sensors as I've mentioned above wouldn't be perfectly able to direct missiles w/o the need for 'firing solutions', and why the end of Moore's Law (which deals with the density of elements on silicon chips) would also result in the end of advances in computer science given that techs such as optical computing, DNA computing, quantum computing, 3D chips, and various other items currently being researched in labs in the real world would presumably have continued to advance and would likely see a major boost in funding and interest if Moore's Law finally hit its limits.

My 2c worth,

Todd

*sighs* Where do I start the repairs.........?


RE: Stand at Carpo - Drashner1 - 05-12-2016

If you can, please copy/paste a copy of the story into this thread. That way we can point to specific bits that need tweaking 'on site' rather than having to throw longs lists of issues at you in the abstract.

I think many of these issues can be dealt with fairly easily and with only minor changes - a word removed here, a phrase added there.

Also, can you provide some additional background for the universe you are creating here? You've mentioned a fictional setting that the story is based in a couple of times. Does the story take place in this setting, or is it inspired by the setting, or is the setting still in your head and the story is part of bringing into existence?

A link is good, or a summary of the kind of world this is (or both) would be good to provide backstory and context.

Thanks!

Todd