Friday, September 23, 2011

Fantastic Future Friday: I have a formula for my pain and it is E=MC2

One big pain in writing near future science fiction is the slow speed of light.

I have been struggling over a part in my WIP where the hero is traveling from Mercury at the speed that an electron moves through a computer chip and talks to the villainess on the way. But the speed of light is so slow that there is a half hour lag in their conversations.

Imagine Khan was talking to Kirk. “I've done far worse than kill you, I've hurt you. And I wish to go on hurting you. I shall leave you as you left me, as you left her. Marooned for all eternity, at the center of a dead planet. Buried alive.”

Khan then walks around the bridge, chit-chats with the ten members of his crew that aren't doing anything. Plays computer solitaire for awhile until the signal returns so he can hear, “Khaaaaaaannnnnn!”

It loses it's dramatic touch a little.

However there is a possibility that the time lag could be shortened. At CERN they have reported that they may have gotten a neutrino to move faster than the speed of light. It will be years before this is confirmed. Only two other labs can test it and one was damaged by the earthquake in Japan. But if it is true it is great news for Science Fiction writers.

Oh, and the fact that once we figure out how it is done we will have a much greater understanding of the universe which will lead to breakthroughs in all areas of science giving us technology we can't even begin to imagine, will be nice as well.

I hope that they are on to something as Relativity is fine for making the Universe behave in an orderly fashion, but it really plays havoc with dialog in science fiction.

If CERN has found a way to break the light barrier, it will lead to a Fantastic Future.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of I KILLED THE MAN THAT WASN'T THERE

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