Friday, 19 February 2016

Going Hyper

When fictional characters travel in a jet plane, the technical parameters of their journey are laid down by factors external to the fictional text whereas, when an sf writer invokes "hyperspace," he can say what he wants. Thus:

in Poul Anderson's History of Technic Civilization, travelers take time to cross interstellar distances faster than light and cannot communicate by hyperspatial pulses across more than a light year;

in Anderson's For Love And Glory (New York, 2003), travelers take no time to jump across even greater distances and can communicate between planetary systems by hyperbeam;

Isaac Asimov, Larry Niven and others have their different versions of hyperspace - indeed, Niven rightly raises further questions about his version later in the Ringworld series.

In FLAG, a spaceship melodiously says:

"Stand by for hyperjump,'" (p. 88)

- and, in Ensign Flandry, a ship's captain announces:

"'Stand by for hyperdrive. Stand by for combat. Glory to the Emperor.'" (Young Flandry, p. 172)

But they are talking about different kinds of hyperspace.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

And I believe the kind of "hyperdrive" seen and explained in ENSIGN FLANDRY more scientifically (if I can use that word!) plausible than what we see in FLAG.

And Captain Einarsen was also warning his men to prepare themselves for combat in EF. Another difference from FLAG.