Literature Skylark Series Discussion

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03:47:42 PM Feb 16th 2015
I'd like to delete this part...

"Note: the acceleration felt by the protagonists is 12g. It's made very clear in the dialogue describing the ship that the actual accelerations are vastly higher, and special designs were made for the ship to allow people to survive the actual forces. Smith's description of the acceleration ("acceleration of several lights", in which he means "light-speeds") is mangled, but one can figure out what he meant by it, if one goes through the few numbers provided and it is in fact something monstrously high (over a hundred thousand gs). Basically, Smith was describing Inertial Dampening before he came up with a much superior version, which he used in the Lensman series. See also note under Science Marches On."

... since it is simply not true. The part where the protagonistes accelarate with 12 gees comes from the first book, Skylark of Space. At that time in the continuity, the only inertial dampening that takes place is done with metal springs underneath the floor. Acceleration of several "lights" i.e. velocities of more than one lightspeed per second (I'm sure that way of expressing is would appall a physicist) come much later, I think in Skylark Three when they copy tech from the Fenachrone which makes it possible to not only accelerate a vessel, but also every single atom of matter within that vessel, thereby practically dampening inertia (and also losing artificial gravity).

There is nothing whatsoever in the first novel that suggests a dampening of inertia or that the acceleration felt by the protagonists is any different from the actual acceleration. Doc Smith even somewhat acknowledged the faulty math in regards to a reader's letter in an ebook-edition of the book that I have.

tl;dr: whoever wrote the quote I've provided got a little mixed up with the different Skylarks an the Lensman Arms Race therein, so I'd like to delete that part.
11:21:25 AM Aug 7th 2013
  • The whole discussion of qualia seems to be unsupported philosophical rambling about something that requires singularity-level technology to resolve, and should be removed.
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