Hard Science

I’ve been inspired by many great works in creating this universe and that’s probably most apparent in how I think about how to approach the boundary between science and science-fiction.

A lot of people have put a lot of thought into where that line is over the years and when you really break it down, it depends on the particular physics of your science-fiction reality and what you want to achieve. You have everything from “the shape of your ships doesn’t matter so have fantastic designs” to “simple shapes make spatial maths easier so keep it simple”, from “lasers and shields and engine noise in space” to “missiles and EMCON”.

Scale borrowed from J. Fitzpatrick Mauldin

I like every permutation of it, if I’m honest. I grew up on Star Wars and Star Trek and their casual relationship with actual physics, but as an adult[1]apparently I’m an adult now! I’ve read of lot of hard science-fiction and find it just as engaging if not more so because they work within hard limits of reality (even if they are bent to allow for their particular foibles).

Works I would cite as being inspirations on my thoughts on where to place the line between hard science and science-fiction include H. Paul Honsinger’s Man of War series[2]To Honor You Call Us, For Honor We Stand, Brothers in Valor, David Weber’s Honor Harrington series[3]too many books to list, Howard Tayler’s Schlock Mercenary and Andy Weir’s The Martian.

It’s that tradition of military science-fiction having a hard element to it that I’m going to be looking to continue in the development of No Heaven. I don’t want there to be too many Macguffin systems or hand-wavium involved in explaining the science. On the other hand, I’m also not going to spend a huge amount of time making sure that everything is precisely accurate either. It’s a game, and leeway will be taken. There will be some nonsense theories, and science that doesn’t exist (yet), but the intent is that it will all be science and thus there will be logical backing to it even if that logical backing isn’t revealed to the players (at first).

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, but I want it to be clear that it is technology and not magic that empowers this setting.

So, to summarise: I want the science to sound like science and I’m going to try my best to make it sound believable and consistent, but at the end of the day, it’s a game and I’ve introduced a kind of hyperspace, so there’s only so much real science we can use.

Notes   [ + ]

1.apparently I’m an adult now!
2.To Honor You Call Us, For Honor We Stand, Brothers in Valor
3.too many books to list