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Old May 5 2009, 09:41 PM   #228
Praetor
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

Okay, time to pick this back up.

RapidNadion wrote: View Post
I wonder if you'd consider avoiding use of the term "dorsal" to describe the necklike structure connecting the primary and secondary hulls. I don't know where that use of the term originated, but it's always irked me as it's (AFAIK) a completely improper use of the word. How about "interhull" as an alternative?

Also, you may have described your reasons for this in greater detail, but if so I missed it: it was a little disappointing to hear just how much void space there is in your Excelsior design. IIRC, most of the aforementioned interhull and secondary hull are full of a whole lot of nothing. Is this to keep the ship's mass in line with a previously-established figure?
Hopefully you'll be pleased with some clarifications that I made in this revision, then. I realized that I may have been making it sound like most of the ship was empty, which I didn't intend to be the case. A lot of the interhull () is empty because it previously contained transwarp equipment (cooling and other support systems, mostly) that was ripped out when that proved a failure. So that leaves a lot of space for 'future expansion' which I'm thinking might have proved beneficial to the design's survivability.

And yes, I've conceived the 'hollow volume' of the secondary hull as being a concession to keep the ship's mass in line with engine power. I've also decided, to accommodate the various incarnations of that 'pod' within the volume that the entire shuttlebay 'gondola' is swappable. Most ships have a shuttlebay there, but other ships might have an engineering support bay, cargo bay, or what-have-you.

RapidNadion wrote: View Post
I can't wait until we get to the nacelles. Please tell me you're going to spend at least a good chunk of a chapter on field grills and flux chillers!
Naturally.

RapidNadion wrote: View Post
BTW, hats off to Nimitz CO for the development project mission logos and the cover design. Seeing the "possible cover" was the first thing that made me believe I could actually see this thin in print one day -- even if it was just a limited run for the folks on this BBS. I know I'd buy one, Praetor.
Yeah, my hat is really off to Nimitz CO. His good work has actually made me feel like this might actually be a finishable product!

RapidNadion wrote: View Post
(And if that happens, consider me at your disposal to record an audio version -- long-form voiceover is what I do.)

Looking forward to more of this wonderful work.
Ooh, good to know and thank you very much on all counts. Even if it never gets published, we might have to do an audio-book form for kicks.

ShinRa Actual wrote: View Post
I haven't had time to sit and read through all six pages here, but a few things I noted and wanted to drop some thoughts on, so apologies if they've already been hashed to death;

re; Transwarp failing or not.
I personally like to stick with the 'common' theory that it didn't quite pan out, but on the flip side to reinforce the fellow who mentioned the Ent-A's Okudagrams mentioning Transwarp, the old Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise mentions in it's last chapter about the Ent-A (...which was appearently named "Ti-Ho" previously -shudder-) that the -A had Transwarp as well.
Yeah - there's no such thing as hashing to death in my book!

And, I have purposefully avoided trying to contradict information regarding the Enterprise-A as much as possible, so people can believe what they want to. I know that the TNG TM and related publications suggest that the E-A was the old Yorktown, and some like Mr. Johnson, suggest it was the Ti-Ho. I prefer that the E-A was a new-build testbed, because I think it just makes more sense with the on-screen evidence. It might have been called Yorktown or Ti-Ho. My only purpose was to establish 1) it was a new build that proved unsuccessful, both explaining the E-A's early retirement and why Starfleet would favor Excelsiors instead of refit Connies, and 2) that it was not the original Yorktown.

So in the long and short of it, the E-A may indeed have had transwarp when she was first cobbled together. Somehow I imagine that by the time the old crew got their hands on her, the transwarp drive would have either been reconfigured or refit into standard warp drive - maybe even by Scotty himself.

ShinRa Actual wrote: View Post
Rather than attempting to come to some conclusion on the length of one large refit, have you thought about most of the changes not being the result of one refit, but several? Excelsior in many ways can compare to Battleship North Carolina; North Carolina was the first Battleship built in almost 20 years, and incorporated a lot of new experimental technology. As a result, her shakedown period was considerably longer than the following Battleships of the period, and she gained the nickname of "Showboat" because she was constantly shuttling back and forth between sea trials and yard periods. Considering Excelsior is the pathfinder for all manner of new technologies, it's more likely that her first few years in service were similarly spent working out all the kinks, with technology that didn't pan out being removed as needed, and other changes being done similarly. Certainly there isn't as much major structural changes between ST3 and ST6 compared to the TOS and TMP Enterprise to warrant a single refit lasting more than a few months, if that long. However, having the ship going through ongoing testing and parts swapping for those years is definitely plausible, especially if the class concept goes through some kind of role change.
That, actually, is quite along the lines of what I was thinking, although I hadn't realized the extent to which the North Carolina compared to it. It was my belief that all that time she appears to spend sitting in Spacedock in TSFS-TVH-TFF not only had to do with the failure of transwarp but also with working out the kinks as you suggest. (And, being from North Carolina, and having been aboard the North Carolina in Wilmington, I must say she's a fine ship.) Perhaps I should inject the Excelsior history with a bit more U.S.S. North Carolina flavor.

ShinRa Actual wrote: View Post
I am curious, since I haven't seen any mention of it thus far, but is there any link between the tech manual you're writing, and the "Space Control Ship" history that was in the Ships of the Starfleet book that came out in the 90s?
Actually, I do plan to acknowledge it. It has its own appendix at the end of my tech part. There was a throwaway reference to it in the history section, which was hopefully vague enough for anyone to ignore, that NCC-2001 went from being slated to be Enterprise to Ingram, which was an attempt to make a 'Space Control Ship' out of what was quickly becoming a 'failure.' And that is basically my take on it - that Ingram was built to quite different specifications and formed its own subclass.

Of course, given that we never saw them on screen, it's my belief that they were less successful than the Excelsior, and, being even more limited in role, met with the same problem that dreadnoughts did (i.e., not having anything to do) and hit the chopping block in the early 24th century as a part of the decommissioning/disarmament concessions to the Klingons.

But again, my point is that there's hopefully enough wiggle room to accept what you want to. I want to stay as close to canon as possible but I don't want to purposefully step on anyone's toes.
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