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Old 12-03-2008, 09:06 AM   #95
Steven Lyle Jordan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill_mchale View Post
Check out Alcubierre Warps.

Granted, I am not saying that time travel or FTL is likely. But I think the ideas are ingrained enough in real physics to be fair game for Hard SF writers to play around with.
I've used a variation on the Alcubierre Warp myself (Berserker, Sol). But I wouldn't consider it Hard SF at all.

There are many theories that are ingrained in real physics... however, it is the solutions devised to take advantage of those theories that are often lacking. For example, study of the Alcubierre Warp theory also indicates that it is impossible to create an Alcubierre Warp without already having an Alcubierre Warp... a paradox.

Another example: An object larger than a particle traveling through a wormhole... ingrained in real physics. Surviving intact at the other end... not so much (in fact, specifically forbidden by real physics).

So I tend to draw the Hard SF line where theory runs headlong into the wall of reasonable practicality and shatters like an Fabergé egg... whereas in Soft SF you just assume the egg impossibly survived anyway, for the purpose of moving the story along. Again, there's nothing wrong with that, it is a staple of all kinds of fiction, not just SF... and if the reader is willing to accept that the egg survived, in order to enjoy the story, that's great.
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