Worst science goofs

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by ATimson, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    After reading Allegiance in Exile, I decided to reread The Lost Years. Most of the way through, I came across this humdinger:

    Area, volume, what's a dimension between friends? :p What other fun science goofs have you noted in TrekLit?

    (The Hobus Supernova is well-trodden ground already.)
     
  2. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    William Rotsler's Star Trek II Short Stories. Hilarious quote from Admiral Tatenen, to Admiral Kirk, about the Klingons: "You give them a parsec and they'll take a light-year, son!"

    The Klingons of Kirk's era were apparently somewhat cautious:rommie:
     
  3. Garrovick

    Garrovick Commander Red Shirt

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    There was a star system in Black Fire that contained a star so large that it took the Enterprise 3 days at warp speed to transit from one side of it to the other. That's some star!
     
  4. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    In the DC Comics "Grond vs Ajir" two-parter by Diane Duane, Kirk needed to get the Enterprise to safety, so he ordered Sulu to perform a 360 degree turn to escape an alien vessel!
     
  5. ryan123450

    ryan123450 Commodore Commodore

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    These are hilarious!
     
  6. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's awesome :lol:
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yeah, Rotsler's books had some serious moments of Did Not Do the Research in them. Like in Star Trek II Biographies where he claimed that Pavel Andreievich Chekov's father was named Alexei.
     
  8. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Countdown to the inevitable Han Solo reference in 5...4...3...
     
  9. T'Ressa Dax

    T'Ressa Dax Captain Captain

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    Are those seconds or parsecs? I've wondered if somehow someone noticed the 'sec' part and decided par must be a portion of a second!
     
  10. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

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    The sec in parsec does mean second, just a second of arc, not of time. Parsec means having a parallax of one second of arc [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parsec].
     
  11. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ann Crispin managed a decent retcon of that in her Star Wars novels, though, so I'll let that slide. ;)
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I've heard that Han Solo's "parsecs" line was an intentional flub by Lucas, to show that Solo was a blowhard who didn't quite know what he was talking about. I think there's actually something about that in the script.
     
  13. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

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    Ford's delivery and Sir Alec's look of "yeah, right" certainly make the scene play that way.
     
  14. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Fixed that for you. :p

    No, seriously, I've heard the Solo thing before, but it never made much sense to me. Why Kenobi consider going on such an urgent mission with someone who didn't know the basics of space navigation?

    Anyway, given Lucas' history of changing his story, this just sounds like another instance. But if it actually is in the script....
     
  15. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

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    I think it's more a question of Han trying to impress who he assumes are just a couple of local hicks than him not knowing the basics of space navigation.
     
  16. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Obviously inexperienced farm boy and old man with dated mannerisms: "We want to go to a big important planet on the other side of the galaxy, now, because we're apparently in trouble with the law or something, or else we've pissed off someone we shouldn't have".

    Han: "Well, you've come to the right place. My ship made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs...And it has a point-five doohickeytron engine with bullshit injectors".

    Farm boy (wide-eyed ignorance): "Really?"

    Old man (Trusting): "Why, that does sound impressive, good sir".

    Han: "Yep! Which is why I'm charging the perfectly normal rate of half a zillion credits which, being such experienced space travellers, you know is a good bargain!"

    Or something. ;)
     
  17. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That fits the scene; it just doesn't exactly fit with what Lucas said about Solo not knowing what he's talking about.

    On the original topic, I once saw a passage from a pre-Kirk novel about the Enterprise where a guy ran into a room that had been evacuated of atmosphere and instantly froze solid as a result. Ummm... I don't think it works that way....

    The artificial gravity was also off, so the guy also sailed across the room, hit the opposite wall, and shattered. Just to underscore the point that he was frozen. solid.

    Anyone remember this novel? Was something else supposed to be at work there, or am I getting the particulars wrong?
     
  18. TJ Sinclair

    TJ Sinclair Captain Captain

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    ^That's in Diane Carey's Final Frontier. Which, regardless of many things, is still my favorite Trek novel. :)
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, to be fair, that's what I said, and I may not have remembered it exactly right. Maybe what other posters suggested above was right, that it was more about him being a con artist.


    Oh, absolutely not. As anyone who's ever used a thermos should know (but sadly doesn't), vacuum is an insulator. You lose heat far more slowly in vacuum than you do in air or water, because there's no conduction or convection to take heat away from your body. Space travellers have more to worry about from overheating, which is why spacesuits have cooling systems built in, not heating systems.


    Which doesn't work either. Even if you flash-froze a body with liquid nitrogen, there's a limit to how fast the heat can be leached out of the body, so the surface would be frozen but the interior wouldn't. And even a body frozen solid all the way through wouldn't shatter like ice; that's a myth. There's still plenty of tissue and stuff in there that wouldn't become that brittle.
     
  20. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Actually I remember the Lucas story the same way you told it, except I've never seen anything that says it's in the script. I first read it in the letters page of the Marvel Comics adaptation of the original movie. Some readers were complaining about the parsec thing. The editors quoted Lucas (who had already come up with this response for someone else) as saying that Han is the sort of bull artist who doesn't always know what he's talking about.

    Well, someone is, anyway....

    I wasn't sure I was remembering the Carey novel correctly, but I guess I am. I was hoping that there was a technobabble explanation for the freezing. (I can excuse the brittleness if we had that.)

    So she actually wrote that momentary exposure to vacuum will flash-freeze a human body?

    Just... wow....