Tough SF

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

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

Saturday, 29 October 2016

The Hydrogen Steamer: Stealth Spaceship Concept

Further to the Stealth in Space discussion, we found a type of spaceship perfectly suited to moving about the Solar System undetected. It is called the 'Hydrogen Steamer', and relies on using large amounts of liquid hydrogen.

Here is a discussion of the mechanisms involved, the capabilities and potential designs for the Hydrogen Steamer. 

Friday, 21 October 2016

Thursday, 13 October 2016

How to live on Other Planets: Mercury

Nuclear war. Collapse of the biosphere. Catastrophic global warming. Space elevators. Whatever the reason, Earth is no longer green and friendly. Many want to live on other planets, and have the resources necessary to go. So how will life on other planets look like?

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

The solution to long range space combat

A short analysis of the challenges the different weapons in realistic SF face when trying to deal damage at long ranges, and a proposed solution.


Space Warship Design IV: Complete Examples

In this post, we'll use the numbers we've put together so far, and the baseline spaceship from the last post, to create three 'complete' space warship designs.