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obvious noob questions from a writer
Get back to you on some of the other stuff...but I do have a story that came to mind that I wrote about ten years back, "Her Faceless Thousands"...real short version is, it's in a similar vein (though a much different approach and ending) to one of Bowers' stories I saw...the first colony ships likely to be launched from Earth are going to arrive after more advanced ships my story, it had gotten trendy in the next few decades for third-world nations suffering from rampant overpopulation to "clear" their slums by stuffing their huddled faceless masses into cryogenic freezers, and then, as the resources became available, send them out on really crudely-built colonizer ships to "make a new home in the stars". They'd also managed to con quite a number of celebrities into making a cause celebre out of these starfaring Indian reservations. In my story, one of these crude Arks - I had them as continuous-fusion-vessels - crawled at maybe 0.1c towards the Hyades Cluster (which is the home of a future-universe story arc I've written more than a few stories in) only to discover that the Bussard ramscoops launched by later, more-advanced generations, had blown right on by at very close to the speed of light and built colonies and then advanced civilizations at the worlds these early colonizers were aimed at...centuries before these creeping Arks arrived. Whereupon these uneducated, poorly-equipped Latecomers, as they were known, discovered they had crossed the stars only to be as welcome at their brave new destination worlds as rabbits in Australia.

In "Her Faceless Thousands", a Brazilian colonizer that had cleared 60,000 refugees from the Rio favelas finally arrives at a Hyades Cluster world, only to be met by an advanced patrol vessel...with orders to shoot down any Latecomer that tries to make planetfall. Which is a problem, since the colonizer is pretty much falling apart at the seams after its thousand-year voyage and has exhausted its tritium fuel. Adding a layer of complication, on board the colonizer is Bella Royalle, the most famous media goddess since Marilyn Monroe, who paid for the voyage out of her own pocket and then departed Earth at the height of her fame, becoming enshrined in cultural memory as firmly as John Lennon or Mickey Mouse.

Sigh. Obviously the tech I presented is going to need some updating. (Reading through Encyclopedia Galactica's section on ramscoops, it's obvious this story's science is not exactly cutting-edge, anymore, truthfully, I based it on an article from a real old issue of Amazing Stories, I think, about the various propulsion systems.) But if I can get the story in canon, I think it would probably work for you...I always did think it was one of my better ideas, though it's obvious people here have had the same similar great idea. Sad

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RE: obvious noob questions from a writer - by TheodoreBonn - 11-13-2013, 02:59 PM

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