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Old February 15 2013, 12:22 PM   #1
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Aircraft carriers & realism in space

Doug Drexler linked to an article on Foreign Policy on Facebook, entitled 'Aircraft Carriers in Space', an interview with 'with Chris Weuve, a naval analyst, former U.S. Naval War College research professor, and an ardent science-fiction fan'.

It's really interesting, and whilst not a lit subject, I wondered if the authors - who engage more realistically and deeply with 'space physics' and military policy and so on than the writers of the tv shows - would be interested in commenting on it.

There are a lot of naval metaphors that have made their way into sci-fi. They are analogs, models of ways to think about naval combat. When people started writing about science-fiction combat, it was very easy to say that a spaceship is like a ship that floats on the water. So when people were looking for ways to think about, there was a tendency to use models they already understood. As navies have changed over time, that means there is a fair number of models that various science fiction authors can draw on. You have a model that resembles the Age of Sail, World War I or World War II surface action, or submarines, or fighters in space. Combine a couple of those, and you have aircraft carriers in space. I'm not one who gets hung up on the real physics because it is science fiction. But all of these models are based more upon historical analogs then analysis of the actual situation in space.
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