Re: The Archangel Syndrome v1/v2

Lovely. Thank you, TD. Demi works as a short version, which Joseph will (probably) change to Demona as soon as he learns the girl is evil.

227 (edited by Dirk B. 2023-04-01 23:22:32)

Re: The Archangel Syndrome v1/v2

Quasi-science question. My starlanes Galactipedia writeup says there is a web of naturally occurring wormholes that pervade the galaxy. That's the huge handwavy part of how ships are able to travel from system to nearby system in mere minutes. However, in order to make the concept work for the story, I stated that the mouths of wormholes are naturally closed and are opened/closed by jump gates at either end of a wormhole. I wrote it that way to explain why we haven't found such wormholes in our solar system. Basically, they're closed and the jump gate shrinks to a ten meter wide ring when closed. The rings are made of many interconnected metal pieces that spread out when a ship with a stardrive approaches, essentially "pulling" the mouth of the wormhole open.

Question: Does the idea of wormholes with closed mouths even make sense? Can a wormhole exist when it's mouths are closed? If not, then I could replace wormholes with some other handwavy concept that allows for a web of natural tunnels that bypass spacetime. Since the latter tunnels are total hocus pocus, I would be free to say they are naturally closed and require a jump gate to open/close them.


228 (edited by George FLC 2023-04-01 20:19:06)

Re: The Archangel Syndrome v1/v2

If a wormhole is naturally closed, then is it somehow naturally opened? It does not make sense for a naturally closed wormhole. I'm not sure how much of this makes sense except that a wormhole is a wormhole because it is open. If it's closed, then it's nothing more than billions of kilometers through space.

Re: The Archangel Syndrome v1/v2

The wormhole needs to be naturally closed so that we don't discover it for hundreds more years. If it's anything like the opening at Deep Space 9, we would almost certainly detect it before then. The fact that it's closed is part of my initial handwaving, but that's not possible if wormholes with closed mouths can't exist. I've looked at the pictures, too, which is why the question came to mind.

Re: The Archangel Syndrome v1/v2

One possible modification to what I've written is that jump gates work to instantaneously transport ships to their destinations (i.e., no tunnel). However, I need > 0 travel time to get from one system to some other distant system. That's easy to do if I keep the concept of star-hopping. In other words, jump gates only work to transport you to nearby systems (for reasons unknown), then you have to travel at sublight through the nearby system to take you to another jump gate to another nearby system. Repeat as needed until you get to the final destination system.

The problem with this approach is that I'm pretty sure it's been done. Do I get a cease and desist letter from whoever dreamed up the concept, or can I do like George Lucas, who "borrowed" concepts from Asimov and Frank Herbert? I'm guessing lawsuits were less likely back then. These days, the intellectual property rights are usually owned by some large corporation with deep pockets to guard their I.P.

Re: The Archangel Syndrome v1/v2

I changed my answer above and you did not get the change before you answered. I also added another thought and that disappeared. Hmm. I wonder what happened. I wrote that if you create this from a energy point of view then it takes more energy to jump across the galaxy than to jump 1 meter. That is why you need these to be near stars or black holes.

IP is a bit spooky from a money point of view.

Re: The Archangel Syndrome v1/v2

My first involvement with space jumping was with tesseracts in "A Wrinkle in Time". Anyone remember that?

233 (edited by George FLC 2023-04-01 20:45:00)

Re: The Archangel Syndrome v1/v2

Wormholes are 'common' theoretical things. Can't we use them without fear of lawsuits?

Re: The Archangel Syndrome v1/v2

I don't create wormholes. They're naturally occurring, which is loads of b.s. too, but I'm willing to overlook that provided you can have a closed wormhole. If not, then I can either go with instantaneous jumps to nearby systems or some other kind of tunnels that aren't related to wormholes.

235 (edited by George FLC 2023-04-01 21:08:06)

Re: The Archangel Syndrome v1/v2

Dirk B. wrote:

or some other kind of tunnels that aren't related to wormholes.

How about a worm-corkscrew? Or a worm-twister? It twists down to a point and then twists back up again - The outer envelope is the same as a wormhole.

I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore, Joseph.

236 (edited by Dirk B. 2023-04-01 23:29:04)

Re: The Archangel Syndrome v1/v2

If I have to go away from wormholes, then I wouldn't use any wormlike terminology. I'm beginning to like the idea of jump gates that are instantaneous. It's basically the same as what I have now but with no need for wormholes in between. If you're going to make [censored] up, you might as well go all out. Jump gates would still connect nearby star systems to each other, and you have to travel at sublight through a star system to get from jump gate A to B. I think I also need a unique name for jump gates. The latter term is too closely associated with Babylon 5. The nice thing about instantaneous jump gates is that they don't operate like the Babylon 5 gates, which are just openings into hyperspace.

flashgate, instagate, jiffygate, rapigate - probably none of these since they still use the word gate
flash portal, insta-portal, jiffy-portal, etc. Jiffy-portal might be good slang for whatever the official term is, although it's ling
leap-of-faith - this is great, albeit a bit long and perhaps confusing.

Does anyone know of any popular sci-fi series/novels that use the term gateway as a jump gate? I like the simplicity of that term.
orifice? This one is good too. Sufficiently associated with body orifices to be a little silly.

Hinklee hole, Hinklee portal, Hinklee leap, etc.

237 (edited by George FLC 2023-04-01 23:08:52)

Re: The Archangel Syndrome v1/v2

There was once a computer called the Gateway 2000. Now it's called Gateway.
Starlane, Farlane, Galane, Galaxway, Gaxway, Faraway, Time Dimension (TimDim), Time and Dimension Jump, TADJump

I'm tired so my current favorite one is the Hinklee Hole or H2 for short.

238 (edited by Dirk B. 2023-04-02 00:25:11)

Re: The Archangel Syndrome v1/v2

I like Leap-of-Faith (formal, only appears in Galactipedia) and Hinklee Leap & Leap (everyday usage). Leap-of-Faith would have come about because it took a daring leap of faith for Hinklee to enter the first gateway. It also ties loosely to the religious theme of the book. Of course this begs the question how Hinklee's famous equation (N=j*c^2) fits into these creator-made instant gateways. Perhaps the equation is used (don't ask me how) to locate leap points in star systems. Hinkley Leaps only exist/work at a star system's leap points. Seems ok, but what keeps leap points from changing with time as stars drift apart or together?


Re: The Archangel Syndrome v1/v2 … uture.html

At this point, you can imagine what you want.

Are your unopened wormholes fixed, or do they move?  Relative to what?

240 (edited by Dirk B. 2023-04-02 00:16:54)

Re: The Archangel Syndrome v1/v2

Another issue with jump gates is that if the gates in a star system are too far apart, then the sublight travel time becomes a significant factor in trip time. My current writeup assumed that travel time between two closely spaced systems is minutes to perhaps half an hour. That means total trip times in the story are potentially huge (days or weeks, depending on sublight speeds involved). This would be true regardless of whether or not I use wormholes. Yet another reason to get rid of them.

241 (edited by Dirk B. 2023-04-02 00:19:20)

Re: The Archangel Syndrome v1/v2

Thanks for the link, njc. Having thought about this this afternoon, I decided to drop having countless natural wormholes as part of the story. The jump gates are still included, but they allow for instantaneous travel between closely spaced star systems where jump gates (called Hinklee Leaps) exist. Somehow, the N=j*c^2 equation can be used to solve for the location of leap points in any star system. Hinklee Leaps only exist/work at leap points. Different leap points take you to different nearby systems as long as there are jump gates at the leap points.

Re: The Archangel Syndrome v1/v2

I suppose if I position all the jump gates close enough together (e.g., near each system's star), then the end-to-end travel time to get from Earth to New Bethlehem (in 3 star hops), which in the story is supposed to take about two hours, might still be doable. But it would require that ships moving at sublight within a given star system, going from one jump gate to another to make the next hop, would really have to move like a fart in a whirlwind. I won't even bother trying to explain how come ships are able to move at a sizeable fraction of lightspeed (say 20%). It's the year 4017 and it's space opera; Hinklee figured it out.


Re: The Archangel Syndrome v1/v2

Wormholes need not be visible (à la DS9). They could be simply invisible and negligible energy. Our telescopes would have trouble spotting one; we'd have a hard time quantifying it if we did. (For example … posed.html)

I wrote it that way to explain why we haven't found such wormholes in our solar system. Basically, they're closed and the jump gate shrinks to a ten meter wide ring when closed

Ten metres is huuuuge given scientists are arguing about a rock the size of a football orbiting Jupiter (Is it a moon? What's the minimum size of a moon?)

Does anyone know of any popular sci-fi series/novels that use the term gateway as a jump gate?

Popular? No, not off the top of my head. But a "tire" needn't have an original / unique name if it's just a tire.

I suppose if I position all the jump gates close enough together...

As with time travel, the more moving science-parts you add, the more it detracts from the character arcs. The more it draws attention, and the more problems arise which need to be patched requiring more moving parts. A vicious cycle. I recommend to parcel the handwavium into a small package and let it sit slightly out of the spotlight (I'm thinking about Apollo's missing scene, here).

244 (edited by njc 2023-04-02 05:30:39)

Re: The Archangel Syndrome v1/v2

In one of Craig Shaw Gardener's Ebenezum novels, a send-up of Sword and Sorcery, two mages hurl curses at each other, curses with outlandish names like "the Cows of Crombundik" (I just made that up) whereupon a panicked herd of cows appear to trample the opponent (pretty sure I've got that right).

So yeah, piling on tech that reads like a chemistry glossary (metal-catalyzed C-N couplings, Suzuki-Miyaura coupling, Birch reduction,  Nozaki-Hiyama-Kishi reaction, Suzuki coupling, asymmetric Pictet-Spengler, 1,3-dipolar cycloadditions, Diels-Alder reactions, ...) is probably going to change the way your readers regard the story.

Re: The Archangel Syndrome v1/v2

I'm actually trying to simplify things. I realized a web of natural wormholes didn't add anything above and beyond instantaneous jump gates. The only potential advantage was that no one has ever used a massive web of natural wormholes as an FTL travel solution. Possibly because it's so outlandish. :-)

Instantaneous jump gates for ships aren't that common as an FTL solution as far as I know. I skimmed through Wikipedia articles about hyperspace and didn't see anything. The closest, popular version of jump gates was in Babylon 5, but those merely opened a door into hyperspace. I hope to bypass that entirely with a network of gates that link closely spaced star systems. I do need > 0 travel time from Earth to New Bethlehem, but that's already part of the jump gate solution since you have to travel at sublight speed as you travel in-system from gate to gate as part of star hopping.

The only outstanding issue as far as I can tell is how to integrate the N=jc^2 equation into the network of jump gates. Off the top of my head, the equation is used to predict the location of jump points , which is where Hinklee found jump gates created by the ancient gate creators that fanned out throughout the galaxy building the network. It'll be a very similar writeup to the one I just did involving wormholes, only simpler.

246 (edited by Dirk B. 2023-04-03 18:09:57)

Re: The Archangel Syndrome v1/v2

This is the initial portion of the revised writeup. Hopefully it holds together.

The human race has been capable of practical interstellar travel since 2342 CE, shortly after the discovery of alien-built gateways to other star systems. A gateway is an ancient portal in space, which allows interstellar vessels (starships and autonomous drones) to make an instantaneous jump to a nearby star system. The gateway, sometimes referred to as a Hinklee Leap, is paired with another in the destination star system, allowing vessels to also jump back. In general, each gateway always leads to the same star system.

Multiple gateways exist in most systems charted by humans, each gateway connecting to a different nearby system. This creates a network throughout the galaxy, allowing vessels to travel to distant star systems by “star-hopping” from one nearby system to the next until the ultimate destination is reached. To do so, a vessel jumps to a nearby system, travels to another gateway at traditional sublight speeds, then jumps again, repeating this process until it reaches its final destination. For voyages to distant systems, the total trip time is the sum of the time required to travel to every gateway in a journey at sublight.

Each gateway, which looks like a ten meter-wide, black metal ring, is actually constructed of many interconnecting segments, each about fifty centimeters on a side. An interstellar vessel activates the gateway using its stardrive, which envelops the vessel in a protective jump shield and causes the ring’s segments to spread out in space, forming a virtual ring wide enough for the vessel to pass through. In effect, the vessel “enters” the gateway at the origin and “exits” its paired gateway at the destination. The origin and destination rings always expand in tandem.

The upper limit on how far a ring will expand is unknown. All existing vessels with a sufficiently powerful stardrive to power their jump shields, are able to pass through easily. A ring even expands to accommodate multiple vessels passing through simultaneously, whether moving through the gateway from the origin, the destination, or both. Each vessel must have its own stardrive, though.

Rings absorb virtually all the radiation they receive, including light and heat from the local star. The remainder, about one thousandth of one percent, is reflected back into space, making rings difficult to detect, especially from long distances.

Gateways are known to automatically move within a star system, adjusting for the shifting positions of neighboring stars over time. This movement is the result of the attraction of two paired gateways to each other and requires no form of propulsion.

The operating range of a gateway appears to be about twenty lightyears. This is based on the fact no functioning gateways have ever been found linking to star systems beyond that distance. Also, no gateway has ever been found operating more than fifty million kilometers from its star, roughly one-third the distance between the Earth and its sun. These observations on gateway limits are, however, based on the relatively small number of star systems charted to date, about 150,000.

If a star system has more gateways than there are nearby stars, some of those gateways fall dormant. And if a star system has fewer gateways than nearby stars, then not every neighboring star can be reached directly, although the remaining stars may be reachable by star-hopping.

The possible locations of functioning gateways in a star system are computable relative to that star and the neighboring stars to which the gateways connect. The equations used for this were developed by the brilliant physicist Professor Elroy Hinklee, whose most famous equation, N=j*c^2, proved his Connectedness Theory of Stars. Per the theory, each pair of neighboring stars has one computable connection point in each of the two systems. Hinklee correctly theorized that there existed some important relationship between each pair of points.

Originally dismissed as little more than random points predicted by quack mathematical formulas, Hinklee’s equations were used by him to mount an exploratory mission of the Solar System to look for any unusual, natural phenomena at the computed locations. As he and his team neared the first such point, they discovered the first gateway, including the alien technology on which all stardrives are based. This technology has been found near most known gateways, suggesting the beings responsible for their creation expected them to eventually be found and used by other races. Hinklee’s team quickly found other gateways as predicted by his equations.

Hinklee led the study of these finds and eventually developed a prototype stardrive capable of creating the required jump shield and activating the gateway. He personally piloted the first interstellar starship through a gateway leading to Proxima Centauri.

Exploration of other star systems near Earth soon followed, and colonization of the stars commenced with the terraforming of Proxima Prime starting in 2393 CE.

Re: The Archangel Syndrome v1/v2

I'm wondering if I should rename gateways to something a little more creative. I had called them Leaps (short for Leap-of-Faith or Hinklee Leap), but Leap is also a verb, so it didn't read right. My thesaurus yields zilch in the way of interesting words that haven't been used before, probably many times. I'd prefer to avoid "jumping" terminology if I can. Transporting is a possibility, but still rather derivative.

248 (edited by Dirk B. 2023-04-04 00:24:07)

Re: The Archangel Syndrome v1/v2

Launcher, perhaps...
Hurler, flinger, caster, catapult...
Portal seems good.

Re: The Archangel Syndrome v1/v2

Star Portal, portal for short, aka a Hinklee Leap


Re: The Archangel Syndrome v1/v2

interstitial superoptical acceleration geyser (I.S.A.G. commonly, star geyser or eye-sags)