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  • #16
    Originally posted by Astromancer View Post
    The ship is Thousands of kilometers long and hundreds wide and tall. It looks like a dew covered spider wed twisted around a slender reed from a great distance. The dew drops are vast spherical domes with two habitats back to back. the floor of each habitat is a disc a hundred kilometers in radius. That's roughly half again as large as Wales.
    While I like a good BDO as much as the next guy, I have to ask: why? What purpose was served by making one colossal ship rather than many smaller ones?

    The ship (The Far Argosy) is vast and has among it's corridors and spherelands far more surface area than the Earth. The mysteries have vast areas to hide in.
    I'm not at all sure that that's true. The surface area of the Earth is roughly 510 million square kilometers. Divide that into chunks of 62,831.86 square kilometers (a disc 100km in radius, with habitat on each face), and you wind up with 8,117 spheres.

    Let's assume that the spheres are arranged in rings around the central core. At six spheres per ring, you have 1,353 rings, for a minimum length of (200 x 1353 = 270,600km). That's more than two-thirds of the distance between Earth and Luna. Eight spheres per ring gives us 1,015 rings, and a minimum length of 203,000km.

    Even if we're only comparing the ship to Earth's land area, that's still around 150 million square km, or the equivalent of just over 2,387 spheres.

    I think you may have let your enthusiasm run away with you, there, friend.


    • #17
      The floorspace of the Far Argosy is vast. Remember, the main body of the ship is divided into floors. In an old Sci Fi story from the 1940s an asteroid the size of New York state was a city divided decks like a ship and had more surface area than the Earth. Between the domes and the ships you could easily have more surface area than the Earth.

      Volume can be divided in many ways.


      • #18
        That still doesn't answer my first question: why? Not just, "why one ship instead of thousands," but "why build a ship at all?" If you can build space habitats, you don't actually need to go anywhere. Moreover, you can't land the ship; and, as time goes on, offloading any significant part of its population becomes increasingly infeasible. Just put the thing in orbit around the sun.


        • #19
          Detail of genre. In most generation starship stories there is only one ship, or one ship left. Part of the idea is the fragility of it all. As for why not build space habitats, look at my list of influences. Both Ashton Smith and Stapledon pretty much stopped writing sci-fi by WWII and Cordwaiter Smith stopped in the 1960's. Space habitats are a 1970's idea. This setting spins off Adventure! It's old style planetary romance.