Tough SF

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

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Space Warship Design II: Guns and Shields

We will continue looking at the vital systems you need to design to complete your space warship.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Space Warship Design: A Process

In these posts, we'll go through the process of designing a space warship from A to Z. We'll start from the initial brainstorming session, and end with multiple models easily derived from our baseline.

Of course, many methods exist. Even if you apply the exact same steps described here, you might end up with a very different result. Nonetheless, please use this as a 'worked example' from which you can build your own method, or simply as inspiration if you find yourself in a tight spot!

Sunday, 24 July 2016

You are wrong about nanotechnology

Nanotechnology. The foremost buzzword of the 2000s, holding the promise of a technology that could make anything, with little input other than raw materials. A liquid factory, in a sense. Others saw it as the precursor to the singularity, with resource scarcity becoming a thing of the past.

Here on TSF, we'll take a closer look at this mainstay of science fiction.

Friday, 15 July 2016

A Constellation of Warships II

Here, will will continue the discussion on space fleet composition and formations.

Friday, 8 July 2016

A Constellation of Warships

So, you've designed a spaceship to fight your wars in space. It can travel between planets, perform multiple missions and is based on NASA reports and real, hard science. You've estimated your nation's military budget, and come out with a fleet capacity and a number of spaceships.

But then... your glorious collection of spaceships fly out in Napoleonic square formation. Or was it pre-WWI lines of battle? Maybe it's Star-Wars-esque clumps of capital ships with space fighters swarming around them. No, you need the ToughSF approach.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Gun Fusion: Two barrels to the stars

To start a fusion reaction, you have to create extreme conditions. A combination of stellar temperatures, incredible pressures and lightning-quick energy dumps have all been tried to create these conditions, with varying degrees of success.


In this post, we'll look at a low-cost, low-energy method of achieving nuclear fusion. It's not Cold Fusion, it's Gun Fusion.


Friday, 17 June 2016

The Nuclear Spear: Casaba Howitzer

When a nuclear technology has been kept classified since the 60s, you know that it is worth looking into. The Casaba Howitzer is one configuration for a nuclear shaped charge, that can concentrate the power of an atom bomb into a narrow cone.

In this post, we'll look at its potential configurations, its advantages and limits, and how it can be applied to both propulsion and warfare.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Saving the planet with alcohol: An Ethanol Energy Economy

In this post, we'll detail how an ethanol economy might arise, its advantages and its effects on the environment and the world economy.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Why go?

Why aren't we going to space? Where are the fleets of space stations promised in the '50s? Where are the dozens of flights a month the Space Shuttle was designed for? Why has there never been more than 13 people at once in orbit?

In this post, we'll tackle one of the major questions that hard science fiction has to confront, and that is creating a setting with appropriate motivation for going into space.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Battleships of the Future

Naval warfare has been defined by transitions, all triggered by major advances in technology. Steam power, radar, aircraft... all have led to drastic changes.

Today, we are on the verge of another such transition.