Jarsto's Writing Blog

June 28, 2006

Number Crunching

How much range does laser communication ship to ship in space offer? I wish I knew because if I did my world building would be a snap. In stead I trying to crunch the numbers: how much can I let it offer in a sensible way. If make the range too long, then private but slow (lightspeed) communication becomes a common-place. If I make it too short no-one will ever get close enough to use it.

That's just one example of course. The world-building I hadn't quite locked down before includes all sorts of things, com-ranges, sensor ranges and weapons' ranges. In the first draft of the novel I'm preparing to edit (working title Gordian Knot) weapons' ranges especially were a problem. In one of the early chapters there were merely a few light seconds, some chapters later they were nearly a light hour.

I should probably have done this before writing the first draft. Maybe I will the next time I start a new science-fiction universe. On the other hand crunching these numbers (for humans firstand then for three other races) is such a pain at times that I probably won't. Or maybe I'll just copy my present numbers over, change the names of the appropriate systems, and apply the same multiplication factor to all of them. Given how I feel about having to do them now I'm pretty sure it's going to be very tempting.


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