Sunday, 2 April 2017

Gravity

What is the connection between the Bible and gravity? Isaac Newton (see image) interpreted Revelation and formulated gravitation. We are watching Jim Al-Khalili on gravity on TV.

Gravity In Sf
Wells: the Cavorite sphere flies to the Moon.
Blish: Haertel's tree hut flies to Mars.
Blish: Cities fly between stars; a planet between galazies.
Anderson: gyrogravitics terraforms and moves asteroids.

I am sure there are more?

5 comments:

Paul Shackley said...

Of course, there are individual anti-grav devices in Anderson's Technic History and in a novel by Bob Shaw.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I had a vague memory and I checked--and space ships in Anderson's THE LONG WAY HOME also has gravity control.

Sean

David Birr said...

Paul and Sean:
H. Beam Piper extensively used "contragravity" — and "pseudograv." *Space Viking* mentions how architecture and the layout of cities are changed by people flying (with vertical takeoff and landing) everywhere rather than traveling in ground vehicles. The protagonist can tell that a certain planet lost the technology because when its people rebuilt, they needed to put buildings closer together and link them with roads.

Pseudograv is installed at the center of a spherical ship. Although it's never pointed out specifically, this means the crew must keep the pseudograv ON when landing the ship on a planet surface, because anyone inside the lower parts of the ship will be upside-down relative to PLANETARY gravity. If they turned off the pseudograv then, those crewmembers would fall to their ceilings.

*Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen* shows a secret agent keeping some of his equipment in a heavily armored box, difficult to break into, with a built-in contragravity device that makes it light enough for him to handle easily. Turn the contragravity OFF, and no sneak thief can pick up the box and run away.

David Birr said...

Addendum:
The webcomic *Schlock Mercenary* by Howard Tayler uses gravity control (often abbreviated "gravy") as a long-range manipulator and weapon, basically equivalent to the "tractor beam." The biggest starships can literally crush a smaller ship with this weapon — or crush the crew inside without damaging the ship. In one episode, extra-precise gravy control raised a captive's arm against his will and then squeezed the trigger of the pistol he held, to murder another prisoner.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, DAVID!

Thanks for these additional science fictional comments on different means of controlling gravity. It does make me wonder if any scientists are doing serious research on real world "gravitics."

Sean