Dropped an old panel, added a few more.

You can tell that between the first and second editions I watched Sunshine. I also watched the original version, which lacks the big fat musical orgy in the final act, though it makes up for it with some Actual Science.

Sunshine didn’t bother with that so much. It did, however, have sun. In spades. So much that it’s leaked over into The Dualist.

The basic visual idea of The Veil is that you’re sort of seeing both realities, more of one and less of the other depending on where you’re at. Technically it ought to look like a superimposition – two shots of the same location at the same time of day under drastically different weather conditions, etc. That proved visually underwhelming compared to the souped-up photographic negative look.

Fun with “physics” – Naomi’s using the wonked out atmospheric mechanics of the Veil (planetary Am) to drop the Daedalus from the outer atmosphere into the middle stratosphere without any of the really harmful side effects. Heat buildup really does a number on the paint job.

Oh, and the “Iron Lung” is the heart of the reaction control system – after engine thrust, it’s the thing keeping this flying brick in the air. How it accomplishes this way up where the air is thin, I don’t know. The tech of the Loki makes a hell of a lot more sense to me than the internals of the Daedalus – while I could draw out a reasonably feasible internal schematic for the U-238, I’ve never gotten beyond “It’s efficient. Really, really efficient.” when it comes to the tech of the Javelin class.

Which is just as well, really – the more I’ve learned about aviation technology and storytelling, the more I’ve come to realize that Really Technical Fiction just isn’t as satisfying as the character-driven stuff.* While it’s important to me that all of the tech is consistent and reasonably well thought out, it only matters when it crops up in the story…. and I’m not going to bend the story off-center just to show off how much work I’ve put into $whatever.

Ultimately, having a single-field gravity generator somewhere in the engine block would solve a lot more problems than it would cause… and the whole “not falling out of the sky” thing could be filed under that somehow.

Really, artificial gravity’s been around (in-universe) since at least the 1950s – if it’s anything like clockwork or computer processors, the technology has gotten down to a manageable size by now. Maybe.**

You’d think I’d’ve thought this out by now!

* Assuming the work has characters I can identify with or root for. One of the reasons Cloverfield and the Star Wars prequels don’t do it for me – blinged out SFX populated with pages from The Book Of Less Engaging Archetypes.

** I’ve long stated elsewhere that the main reason ships like the U-238 and Javelin don’t have artificial gravity is because the hardware in question is bigger than the ships in question. And while that’s certainly true in the case of the Sabrosa, the Sabrosa‘s field generator is vastly more complex than the generic It’s Always On Even When The Power Goes Out artificial gravity of BSG or Star Trek. Most of that’s due to the fact that the QAR has to be kept on its own isolated gravity plane, completely independent from the rest of the ship… which means the generator has to create two separate planes and keep the main plane from influencing the QAR plane.

Mastering notes, 2016.12.06 – Minor dialogue adjustments.


  • A former Marines Corps Navigator, Naomi handles the Daedalus whenever West has other priorities. Hotheaded and irreverant, Naomi swears like a sailor and is known for making impulsive piloting decisions, with a marked tendency...

  • The Daedalus communications officer, Shannon picks up languages the way most people pick up song lyrics. A native of the Terran-adjacent pocket universe of Alleste (4.0), Shannon works with West as a means of...

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