30 August 2009

Sci fi

It used to bug me that the spaceships in Star Wars moved like airplanes instead of like spaceships. Now, I understand that, despite the trappings, Star Wars is mythic fantasy. The fighters are meant to evoke the feel of WW2 movies.

Even today, fighter planes tend to be attacking targets beyond visual range. Not exactly great action movie fodder. How much moreso would it be for fighter spacecraft?

In general it seems strange that in my younger days I enjoyed lots of historical accuracy in my fantasy and lots of scientific accuracy in my science fiction. These days, I tend to enjoy pulp fantasy and pulp sci-fi more.

Anyway, I’ve been watching Defying Gravity, which might be described as a relationship drama with the trappings of 2001. Of course, the trappings of 2001 set certain expectations for me. Which is waking up that nitpicking voice from my youth. Faster-than-light communications? No conservation of angular momentum?

Although, the minute those thoughts come up, another part of my brain starts to rationalize them. Perhaps they’re just “editing out” (as it were) the communication delays. Perhaps there’s a flywheel that spins up even in the case of whatever caused the rotating section to stop rotating.

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