[DWJ] Tropes

Minnow minnow at belfry.org.uk
Thu Dec 7 17:19:10 EST 2006

>Minnow said...
>> >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".)

Dorian -- I think Dorian may have exploded...

>A billion light-years away means "further away than can be reached in a
>human lifetime", and how can you even see the other sodding spaceship at
>that distance?  Even if you have a nifty FTL drive that lets you cover those
>billion light-years in two days, why do you care how far away the other
>space-ship is until you're close enough to crash into it (or shoot at it)?

That's what I said: "further than the corner-shop".  It's just another way
of saying "a long way".  [note nobility and *not* starting a riff about
"Space is big.  Really, really big..."]  Anyone who is Anyone travels by
tesseract or irrelevancy drive (OMT) or something anyway, or teleports, and
arrives (in a relative way) on the previous night.  And can always talk the
local language when they get there, too.

>On a mildly random note, my very favourite measure of velocity is furlongs
>per fortnight.  I think more writers ought to use it in their SF.  (The
>speed of light is about 1.8 terafurlongs per fortnight, btw.)

One of my friends has "The speed of light is 1,802,617,500,000 furlongs per
fortnight" as a .sig, and I never had the heart to try to find out whether
he's right or not.  I don't mean by experiment, I mean by asking someone to
do the arithmetic for me!


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