[DWJ] Tropes

Minnow minnow at belfry.org.uk
Thu Dec 7 15:45:01 EST 2006

>On Thu, Dec 07, 2006 at 08:08:12PM -0000, Dorian E. Gray wrote:
>>When an author tells me that the heroine's spaceship is eleventy-billion
>>kilometres from the other spaceship, I tend to snarl, "why can't you use
>>light-years, you stupid bugger?", and to decide that the stupid bugger
>>probably thinks a light-year is a unit of time.

(oh, let's not be pikers: if one is really lucky they talk about billions
of light-years, and can be ignored to a man, woman and bug-eyed monster.  A
billion light-years away just means "further than the corner-shop".)

Roger wrote:

>Well, there's still a factor of nearly 10,000 difference between 10^9km
>and one light year.

I want these measurements in heavy years dashitall, I'm *sure* that is what
true aliens use for travel.  FTL-travelling twelve-foot-tall spiders of the
universe unite!

>Of course, what matters isn't the distance at all - it's the time it
>would take to cover that distance. Fictional spacedrives vary so much
>that one author's quarter-AU can be a longer distance than another's
>seventeen parsecs...

Seventeen parsecs being the time he takes to do the Kessel run, I take it?

I would expect one quarter of one-tenth of a nanometre to be rather shorter
than anyone's parsec, but I'm sure you're right.


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