A device capable of accelerating or otherwise altering the behavior of a vessel so that its occupants [if any]
can travel between stars.
Actually, a StarDrive
would allow practical travel between star systems, i.e. within tolerable time periods - not centuries to reach the nearest ones.
I beg your pardon, but a centuries duration StarDrive
is perfectly acceptable to me. Cryonics and uploading aren't that far from fruition. If you have unavoidable business back on earth, just send a frozen copy of yourself.
IMSNHO, a StarDrive must allow for commerce bewteen star systems, otherwise it is just a survival tactic. If I cannot hear back from Tau Ceti IV about the futures on Denebian Prok Bellies, how can I run a business?
See NASA's Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Program at http://www.lerc.nasa.gov/WWW/bpp/
especially the Warp Drive When? link.
BTW a SciFi yarn
without FLT would impose much greater challenges on the characters (and much less sappy soap-opera plot gimmicks). I wonder if anyone has ever tried it... --PCP
"Cities In Flight," for instance. "Ender's Game." "Hereot's Legacy." Lots of others.]
There is no FLT in DeepnessInTheSky
by Mr. VernorVinge
. It's one of the failed dreams, along with reliable software. And there is trade among star systems, though probably not in the way you're thinking.
They bent the timing to fit the plot. For example, Newt is only 9 years old (or whatever) between the time she survived the attack on her colony and the time when "Marines" arrive to trip all over themselves. Newt lived on leftover rations the whole time. The Marines, however, had to "sleep" to get all the way from Earth. This evidence suggests time outside a ship goes slow while that inside goes fast - the opposite of normal Relativistic space travel.
Hmmm... I can't remember all the details but I'd presume that the colonists were not overwhelmed immediately and were able to defend themselves for years before finally succumbing. More likely to be just a logical inconsistency though. (Yes, the mining colony had been out of touch for a couple of months when the Company decided to send the Marine recon unit in to take a look. After their little problem with the drop ship they wouldn't be declared overdue for 17 days.)
I don't get this at all...
If X and Y move at near the speed of light in different directions, their local times will diverge. But if they both go in the same direction, time will compress so they both "feel like" they got somewhere faster. The only way to "synchronize my personal time" with something is to follow it.
(And, Phlip, it's spelt "Nova Scotia" One 't'..) On Earth...
See also WarpDrive