SCIENCE | THE WRITER’S LIFE
I said in my last blog post that we live in exciting times. Ours is the technological age and the technological revolution we’re at the brink of in many areas will be far more reaching than the industrial age which preceded it. This is not science fiction any more. This is a part of the very exciting future: NASA’s Electomagnetic Drive works.
Otherwise known as an RF resonant cavity thruster, those inclined might care to gain a better scientific understanding of the concept through a Wikipedia article. Others less inclined would do well to familiarise themselves with current affairs. Few people have the time or resource. Some at least go so far as to trust others to research and suggest informed opinions. Given all of the rhetoric surrounding reporting sources (I’ve written about false journalism myslef on this blog), it’s important to have a reliable and trusted source. For me, that’s The Guardian, Snopes and all the other freelancer’s resources. To readers, I aim to be as trustworthy as my sources. So even though I’m a science fiction writer, this can be taken on trust and checked as being genuine. It is not virtual reality. It’s almost reality. All we have to do is build it.
It’s a bit Steampunk, isn’t it? A little neo-Victorian? History repeats, as any history scholar will confirm. I’m not a history scholar but I’m a writer and I wrote Master Yehudi’s Flying Circus and A Steam Punk Romance. I also have a history graduate in my inner circle, who would agree that our vocations are conjoining again.
The full article from Sciencealert.com is below. What the EM drive means though, is things like this:
It means that Mars is 70 days away. That means the physiological problems associated with long space missions for humans are reduced. It means that we can establish an outpost on Mars, for further space exploration. We can better explore our solar neighbour for potentially valuable resources, even life. This will happen in my children’s lifetimes.
It means Proxima Centauri – our nearest stellar neighbour – is a matter of months away (4.2 light years). Proxima B, the earth-like planet orbiting that star could be populated by humans of my grand children’s generation. Of course, Proxima B could already be occupied, by a human ancestor, a mother race; Or something completely different; Or nothing at all.
If there’s anyone watching, this could be the quantum leap they were waiting for us to make before they make contact, allow us to make contact with them, or reveal themselves among us.
It’s an antidote to the destruction here on non-fiction earth but the fiction lines are blurring.
This could be a new awakening. But I doubt it. For all the science fiction which may now become fact, there is now much more near-future speculation, about dark scenarios: Who gets to go? Could the last few hundred years on planet earth merely be a prequel to what we might see if we continue to explore? But the desire for discovery cannot be dampened in us. Now it’s down to how we deal with things, more than ever. Co-operative, liberal, democratic thinking might start the ball rolling. It’s the kind of model which led to a new world order, observed in the Star Trek franchise was based upon. And look what Picard and co achieved.
Make it so:
Equally important to the advance itself is that this is just the beginning. This is a new technology. Interstellar travel is now possible. It may not be long before interstellar gives way to inter-galactic.
This is a quantum leap. This is like comparing rocket fuel to steam. This is the start of interstellar travel. This could be the salvation of humanity. This is why we like science. This is why we write.
Parts of science fiction become fact. When they do, we have far more to contemplate.
Arthur, Gene, Douglas and many more dreamed of this day. Bowie provided the music. The thing is, I think they’re all watching, perfectly aware, and waiting. Others will gain Nobel prizes. Science fiction writers are furiously knocking one out.
This is mind-boggling. To sum up, it’s a peer-reviewed, published scientific paper on a new propulsion technology: The EM drive. It broke some of Einstein’s and physics’ rules but the research continued and the anomalies addressed. It fucking works. It’s nothing short of a science fiction writer’s dream come true:
Quite simply, this is a game-changer. This is as significant as our ancestors’ discovery of fire.
This means that myself and my peers are primitively wetting ourselves.