September 23rd, 2007, 03:44 PM
This review of The Mars Imperative is from Tower of Light fantasy magazine. The first paragraph is a bit wishy-washy, but the rest of the review is very positive: http://members.cavtel.net/msouth847. (The review is the first link in the table of contents.)
Be sure to read the rest of the magazine. There are some terrific fantasy stories there.
September 23rd, 2007, 05:40 PM
September 24th, 2007, 12:51 PM
Cool Mark! Cheerleader
September 24th, 2007, 12:56 PM
Very nice review. Congratulations. And I'd always thought a space elevator was just one that had lots of room :)
September 24th, 2007, 11:46 PM
Thanks, Karenne! The great reviews just keep rolling in. Now if I can only get a review from Asimov's or Analog....
BTW: How did you train those carrots to dance???
September 24th, 2007, 11:47 PM
September 25th, 2007, 12:00 AM
SJ: :) A space elevator is a pretty cool thing. Imagine you're spinning a ball around your head on the end of a long piece of string. Now imagine that ball is a satellite in geostationary orbit and your head is the Earth. Rather than having a big steel structure to hold the elevator up, the string (super strong) actually keeps the satellite/space station from flying off into space. Now add one or more maglev cars running up and down along that string and voila, you have a space elevator. Until the discovery of carbon nanotubes, there was no substance known that was both light enough and strong enough to do the job. But using CNTs, a ribbon cable a meter wide by a few microns thick has a sufficient strength-to-weight ratio. A study commissioned by NASA in 2000 suggests that a space elevator could be built in the next 30-50 years. My story is set in 2174, so that gives them plenty of time to work the kinks out. (My elevators have 24 cables with six cars per cable, and the space stations are thriving ecosystems with hundreds of permanent residents and throusands more travelers passing through on the way to Mars and other destinations.
Another neat thing about a space elevator is as a launch platform. Picture again that ball swinging around your head. If you let go of the string, the ball will fly off a a great rate of speed, due to centrifugal force. Likewise, if you stick a marble to the ball and then detach the marble, it will fly off at exactly the same speed as the ball would have. Using a space station at approximately 78,000 kilometers altitude, the centrifugal force imparted would launch a ship at over 20,000 kph, without using engines (and even faster with engines, naturally). That offers the possibility of "space trains", or unmanned cargo vessels "slingshotted" from Earth to other parts of the solar system, without the need for crew, engines, fuel, life support, etc. (Of course, you'd need a sort of tugboat at the other end to dock with the train and then slow it down and bring it into port on the other end.)
In my novel, there are five space elevators orbiting Earth and two more over Mars, with ships and cargo going back and forth constantly.
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