Tough SF

A blog dedicated to helping writers and worldbuilders create consistent, plausible Science Fiction.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Interstellar Trade is Possible Part III: Threats, Strategy and Evolution

Interstellar trade does not happen in a vacuum.
The colony will be face multiple threats, to be defended against as it evolves into a more and more significant part of human civilization.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Interstellar Trade Is Possible Part II: Travel

This is Part 2 of the series focusing on realistic Interstellar Trade. Here we will look at the various propulsion systems available and discuss which are appropriate in different settings and futures. Summary at the end.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Interstellar Trade Is Possible

In this post, we will detail a method for developing interstellar trade using near-future technologies and commercially realistic requirements. We will then look at the various outcomes, challenges and development models that will follow the first interstellar operation.

There is now a Summary at the end of the post.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Laser Launch into Orbit

In this post, we will look at laser launch systems, how they would look like and perform, and how they might be applied to reach orbit and beyond.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

How to Live on Other Planets: Jupiter

A look at how we could colonize Jupiter and its Moon. Fittingly long for our largest planet!

Thursday, 26 January 2017

The Orbital Runway - two more improvements

In this post, we will describe two improvements to the Boosted Orbital Tether design. One allows for propellant-less acceleration of a payload into orbit, the other vastly reduces the braking intensity required.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Boosted Orbital Tether - a fishing line in space!

The Boosted Orbital Tether is a less extreme version of the space elevator. A rocket is launched on a vertical trajectory to an altitude of several hundred kilometres. An orbiting mass drags a line and hook to catch the rocket and spends momentum to bring the rocket into orbit.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Expansion-cooled, Curved-nozzle stealth rocket

Here, we will look at a design for engines that can accelerate a spacecraft without producing detectable emissions. It is best fitted to a stealth spaceship described in 'The Hydrogen Steamer: Stealth Spaceship Concept'.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

An Artificially Managed Society

Software is pervasive in today's world. We listen to what computers have to say, and the results printed on a screen are considered more reliable and consistent than human intuition. Artificial intelligence has started replacing human minds entirely, known as expert systems. If these trends continue, what do we end up with?

This post discusses the prospect of an Artificially Managed Society.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016