Spoilers ENT: Rise of the Federation: Live by the Code by Christopher L. Bennett Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Defcon, Mar 20, 2016.

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Rate Live by the Code

  1. Outstanding

    19 vote(s)
    33.9%
  2. Above Average

    26 vote(s)
    46.4%
  3. Average

    9 vote(s)
    16.1%
  4. Below Average

    1 vote(s)
    1.8%
  5. Poor

    1 vote(s)
    1.8%
  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    They could do better, though. Like, there's this one episode where they're in freefall/magnetic-boots mode and there's a lengthy shot of a guy climbing down a ladder with "magnetic" sound effects added. That's an incredibly inefficient way of moving between decks in free fall. And there was no need to compose the shot that way, no need to show him actually climbing down. (It was done better in the finale, a shot of someone floating up a ladderway into a ship's bridge.) And there are design problems too, like people using standard pop cans and bottles in free fall (no way would that work), or a spaceship coming equipped with a drip coffee maker (!!!!!) and normal beds with loose pillows, designs that could only work under gravity.

    These are small things to complain about, but The Expanse is so much better than most shows at depicting space realistically overall that the shortcomings stand out more.
     
  2. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My impression from the books was that they used constant thrust.

    To travel 1 AU, assuming 0 initial and final velocity and an acceleration of 0.5g, would take about 97 hours (2 * 174670 seconds). Velocity at turnover is 856,464 meters per second, or only about 0.003c.

    (Obviously we always see them at 1g on screen, due to filming limitations. From the books, I believe 0.5g is typical, but I haven't looked that up so I may be wrong in that assumption. And/or confusing standard practice for cheap freighters like the Canterbury with what Holden does on the Rocinante.)

    If they weren't under constant thrust, how long would you expect them to accelerate for before they stopped thrusting?
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    As long as was most efficient. The problem with rockets is that there's a point of diminishing returns -- the more fuel you carry to thrust with, the heavier your ship is, so the more thrust you need, so the more fuel you need, so the heavier that makes your ship, etc. So anything that reduces the amount of thrusting you need to do is a good thing. The advantage of being in space is that you don't need constant thrust to stay in motion, so it's just good sense to take advantage of that. I prefer fiction that embraces the, well, spaciness of space, the novelty of its conditions and how people would function in them, rather than trying to transplant our familiar ground-based experiences and assumptions out there. Sure, you could argue that humans need to be under fairly steady gravity for our health, but it's more efficient to achieve that with a rotating habitat section (something I'm surprised the Expanse ships don't have) than relying exclusively on rocket thrust.

    In my novel Only Superhuman, set in a Solar system setting not unlike the Expanse books, ships tend to rely on a variety of different propulsion systems, many of which don't require the ship itself to thrust at all -- e.g. momentum-transfer tether stations ("Bolasats") and magnetic sails impelled by particle beams ("drive beams") fired from the various space habitats (doubling as braking sails using the magnetic field of a planet or the Sun). Both of these can easily impart thrust of several gees for brief periods, if needed, and together they constitute an established systemwide transit infrastructure serving as a sort of "interstate highway" system to facilitate travel. There are high-efficiency plasma drives for when you're really in a hurry and nothing else will do, but the fastest and most capable ships are the ones that can take advantage of as many different propulsion methods as possible -- e.g. getting a push Sunward from a drive beam, letting Solar gravity accelerate and slingshot you, thrusting hard on plasma drive to maintain momentum as you rise out of the Sun's gravity well, then catching a Bolasat at a fairly high tether radius so it'll swing you on course for your target habitat, then braking against its drive beam to slow for rendezvous. So shipboard "gravity" tends to be highly variable and intermittent.
     
  4. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

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    Does that mean there's anything inherently disadvantageous about an object being in geosynchronous orbit?
     
  5. trash80

    trash80 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Another very well written book by the author and a good series though i didn't like this one quite as much, mostly as i find the Ware a bit dull
     
  6. Idran

    Idran Commodore Premium Member

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    Some smaller bodies actually have no valid synchronous orbital solution, because the necessary altitude would actually be outside the body's Hill Sphere, the range within which the body is the dominant gravitational attractor. Mostly moons, that, but it can happen for planets as well; Mercury and Venus have no valid synchronous orbit, because if you were at the proper distance for a synchronous orbit, the Sun would have a stronger gravitational effect than the planet and you wouldn't really be orbiting them.

    Other than that, not really, though if you mean stationary rather than synchronous (that is, a synchronous orbit that it stays in the same position relative to a point on the surface) then as previously mentioned you're restricted to just an orbit in 0 inclination, one directly above a point on the body's equator. It's impossible to have a stationary orbit in any other way.
     
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  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I don't follow the question. There are countless communication, weather, and GPS satellites in geosynchronous orbit -- we probably couldn't be having this conversation without them.
     
  8. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    GPS satellites are in 12 hour sidereal orbits,AFAIR.
     
  9. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    So did it Ware you out, then? :vulcan:
     
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  10. Sto-Vo-Kory

    Sto-Vo-Kory Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I FINALLY got to read* this book.

    [Thank you for providing the annotations, Christopher.]

    Another excellent Enterprise novel. The resolution to the Ware storyline was devastating, yet satisfying because it felt authentic to the story. The narrative drifts into Klingon territory were always enjoyable to read. The slew of Andorian characters introduced should have blurred together but they remained fairly distinctive in my imagination.

    The Vol'Rala and her crew were far-and-away the highlight of this book.

    The Denobula story wasn't my cup of tea, to be honest. It was a nice little bit of world-building, but the family drama didn't grab me.

    I think someone asked this upthread already, but it didn't get a response: @Christopher Any chance the role-playing game from ENT - By the Book making a cameo in a future RotF novel? It was a silly bit of filler in the novel but I always thought it was a cool detail about everyday life aboard a starship.



    *Thanks to the S&S ebook sale, I read this novel on my Kindle with its larger font option, which made my reading experience all the more enjoyable.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Glad to hear it!


    Oh, well, I did what I could. I just felt it was time we finally saw Denobula.


    I've never actually read that book, and I've almost never played any RPGs. So it's unlikely.
     
  12. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Christopher are you going to have a new Enterprise novel coming out in 2017?
     
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  13. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

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    Sorry to derail this thread's topic, but I'm trying to argue on Facebook with a guy I semi-know who believes transgender people are confused people and are not the true men and women they are. Christopher and the fans here came to mind. Can anyone here help me find scientific articles and stuff like that to use against him?
     
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  14. KnightRider378

    KnightRider378 Cadet Newbie

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    I've recently read a few snippets from Live by the Code and I spotted something fairly interesting and had a question about it. While discussing Starfleet's modernization and shipbuilding efforts, you mentioned ships like the Poseidon-class from Star Trek: Legacy and the Marshall-class from one of the old RPGs. Since the Marshall's design is so different from what we know of as contemporary human starship designs, I was wondering if you maintained the sort of rocket shaped profile from the RPGs, or if you envisioned them with a more modern, canon-friendly appearance.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    RPG? The Marshall class is a Rick Sternbach design from the Star Trek Spaceflight Chronology. It was referenced in Federation: The First 150 Years as a design used during the Romulan War, so I decided to throw in a little nod to that, even though F150Y's version of the Romulan War is completely incompatible with the novels.

    And since it's an older ship design, I have no problem with it having a different look. Early human starship designers would probably have experimented with a variety of different configurations.
     
  16. KnightRider378

    KnightRider378 Cadet Newbie

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    Wow, thanks for the quick response!

    Yeah, I knew it was from an older source, just couldn't remember which one. Your explanation makes sense, although now I wonder about the number built. The Spaceflight Chronology mentions something around 2,900, but I wouldn't think that'd be accurate with war time pressures and all that.

    I suppose it'd be too much to ask for some detail on the Ceres-class, considering how early it is in the design phase? :p
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Mar 15, 2001
    I believe I said in the Acknowledgments where I borrowed the Ceres class from, so you can probably find it online.
     
  18. KnightRider378

    KnightRider378 Cadet Newbie

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    Ah, thank you, I'll have to check it out.
     
  19. borgboy

    borgboy Commodore Commodore

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    Maybe just tell him to mind his own business and not worry about other people so much.
     
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  20. Kertrats47

    Kertrats47 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I am way behind in my reviews! Finally got this one written, working to get caught up on the others.

    Really enjoyed this one! ROtF, along with the Voyager relaunch, are really becoming some of my favourite novels in the rotation.

    My review.
     
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