Discussion:
Tis the Season for a Christman Story
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p***@hotmail.com
2019-12-25 11:28:37 UTC
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This is a reposting with some updates. This story takes place in the world of
the 1998 movie version of _Lost in Space_, in which the starship Jupiter 2 was
lost both in space and in time. Back when the television program _Lost in Space_
was first broadcast, Isaac Asimov, in a 1966 article in _TV Guide_, was very
critical of the handling of astronomy in a second season episode, writing:

"So to suppose that one false move instantly sends a spaceship out of the Galaxy
is about like supposing that a kid on a tricycle, pedaling down main street in
Emporia, Kan., and forgetting to make a turn at the end of the block, instantly
goes shooting off the edge of the North American continent."

The 1998 movie specifically satisfies the question of how a ship traveling at
the stated speed can get lost so quickly, by means of an established science
fiction trope, but one that has not been over-used: an uncontrolled jump through
hyper-space. The first example I know of was in Edward E. Smith's 1934 novel
_The Skylark of Valeron_, where Richard Seaton and party use it to escape
from the pure intellects. Smith used it again in _Second Stage Lensmen_(1941)
where the Galactic Patrol ship Dauntless is transiting an enemy hyperspatial
tube when the tube's generators are shut down, sending the Dauntless into
a different universe. In Bob Shaw's 1967 novel _Night Walk_ hyper drive sends
the ship using it instantaneously to a seemingly random point in the Galaxy,
but a jump from any specific location always goes to the SAME point. Since
a jump takes very little energy and jumps can be made in rapid succession this
becomes a workable means of interstellar travel giving access to a subset of
the stars in the Galaxy. In Heinlein's _Starman Jones_ a ship that exceeds
the speed of light at a location other than a plotted congruency travels
to some place unknowable in advance and usually doesn't return. Poul Anderson
wrote a story whose title I forget where an explosion in its engine room
sends a ship instantly to a place so far outside their known space that
they cannot return at normal FTL speeds within the crew's lifetimes.
These are the only examples of this trope that come to mind; I am interested
in hearing of any others.

The writers of _Lost in Space_ also came up with their own reason why
a ship would have such a drive: a controlled hyperspace jump IS possible
but only between two "hypergates". They are travelling at sub-light speed
to an observed exoplanetary system to set up a hypergate there, allowing
two-way travel and colonization.

Now, the Christmas story:

The Jupiter 2 emerged from a semi-controlled hyper space jump into our solar
system in or near the year zero, CE. This was actually not such a bad situation
when you consider where they'd been so far, and they evaluated the possibility
of placing the ship in a distant cometary orbit and putting themselves into
cryogenic suspended animation until 2158, the year they left Earth. This was a
much longer interval than had been done before, but their medical officer,
Dr. Judy Robinson, was one of the people who had developed suspended animation
in the first place so it seemed that it might be possible.

Meanwhile, exploring the Earth from orbit and with drones, they found that
events in the middle east seemed to be a fairly close match to the Christian
nativity stories. There was a woman in the last stages of pregnancy and her
husband staying in a stable in the village of Bethlehem. They continued
surveillance and, as the woman went into labor, it become apparent the there
were complications and that both the mother and child would die without medical
intervention. The required intervention was well within the capabilities of
Dr. Judy Robinson and the resources of the ship, but should they? Was time
immutable, so that the Jupiter 2 party had always been part of the origin of
Christianity? If they didn't intervene would this change history? Had
Christianity been, over all, a force for good or for ill when you considered
such things as religious wars and the Spanish Inquisition? ( Ha! I'll bet you
didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition!) The philosophical implications alone
were staggering.

They finally decided that they couldn't let the woman and child die. They put
the needed equipment into one of the shuttlecraft and, the region being sparsely
populated, were able to land near Bethlehem and walk in, with the robot carrying
the heavier gear, effectively disguised as a hand-cart. The middle east has long
been a cross-roads of three continents, and the contemporary mind-set was
accepting both of people with odd clothing from far-off lands and healers with
miraculous powers. Between the members of the landing party they had enough
knowledge of classical languages to make themselves understood. The local
midwives had of course realized that the situation was dire and were glad to
accept the help of the competent and confident seeming strangers. The situation
was in fact routine for Dr. Robinson, and in due course the birth was successful
and both mother and son were doing well. Although Judy would continue to monitor
the new family for several weeks, she did not think that further intervention
would be necessary.

At that point, Will Robinson said, "All we need now is a place to put the baby."

The robot replied, "Manger, Will Robinson! Manger!"

A merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Peter Wezeman
anti-social Darwinist
D B Davis
2019-12-26 02:01:31 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by p***@hotmail.com
This is a reposting with some updates. This story takes place in the world of
the 1998 movie version of _Lost in Space_, in which the starship Jupiter 2 was
lost both in space and in time. Back when the television program _Lost in Space_
was first broadcast, Isaac Asimov, in a 1966 article in _TV Guide_, was very
"So to suppose that one false move instantly sends a spaceship out of the Galaxy
is about like supposing that a kid on a tricycle, pedaling down main street in
Emporia, Kan., and forgetting to make a turn at the end of the block, instantly
goes shooting off the edge of the North American continent."
The 1998 movie specifically satisfies the question of how a ship traveling at
the stated speed can get lost so quickly, by means of an established science
fiction trope, but one that has not been over-used: an uncontrolled jump through
hyper-space. The first example I know of was in Edward E. Smith's 1934 novel
_The Skylark of Valeron_, where Richard Seaton and party use it to escape
from the pure intellects. Smith used it again in _Second Stage Lensmen_(1941)
where the Galactic Patrol ship Dauntless is transiting an enemy hyperspatial
tube when the tube's generators are shut down, sending the Dauntless into
a different universe. In Bob Shaw's 1967 novel _Night Walk_ hyper drive sends
the ship using it instantaneously to a seemingly random point in the Galaxy,
but a jump from any specific location always goes to the SAME point. Since
a jump takes very little energy and jumps can be made in rapid succession this
becomes a workable means of interstellar travel giving access to a subset of
the stars in the Galaxy. In Heinlein's _Starman Jones_ a ship that exceeds
the speed of light at a location other than a plotted congruency travels
to some place unknowable in advance and usually doesn't return. Poul Anderson
wrote a story whose title I forget where an explosion in its engine room
sends a ship instantly to a place so far outside their known space that
they cannot return at normal FTL speeds within the crew's lifetimes.
These are the only examples of this trope that come to mind; I am interested
in hearing of any others.
Early in the Third Power cycle, Perry Rhodan's /Stardust/ ship finds
itself lost beyond the galaxy in a sky with only sixty forlorn stars.
The activation of an alien device known as an impulsator teleports the
ship to this uncharted region of the universe.
It's part of a series of tests devised by "an unknown being who
possessed technical powers beyond comprehension." By design, the tests
discern those sentient lifeforms worthy of eternal life.



Thank you,
--
Don.......My cat's )\._.,--....,'``.
telltale tall tail /, _.. \ _\ (`._ ,.
tells tall tales.. `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
p***@hotmail.com
2019-12-27 08:49:22 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by p***@hotmail.com
This is a reposting with some updates. This story takes place in the world of
the 1998 movie version of _Lost in Space_, in which the starship Jupiter 2 was
lost both in space and in time. Back when the television program _Lost in Space_
was first broadcast, Isaac Asimov, in a 1966 article in _TV Guide_, was very
"So to suppose that one false move instantly sends a spaceship out of the Galaxy
is about like supposing that a kid on a tricycle, pedaling down main street in
Emporia, Kan., and forgetting to make a turn at the end of the block, instantly
goes shooting off the edge of the North American continent."
The 1998 movie specifically satisfies the question of how a ship traveling at
the stated speed can get lost so quickly, by means of an established science
fiction trope, but one that has not been over-used: an uncontrolled jump through
hyper-space. The first example I know of was in Edward E. Smith's 1934 novel
_The Skylark of Valeron_, where Richard Seaton and party use it to escape
from the pure intellects. Smith used it again in _Second Stage Lensmen_(1941)
where the Galactic Patrol ship Dauntless is transiting an enemy hyperspatial
tube when the tube's generators are shut down, sending the Dauntless into
a different universe. In Bob Shaw's 1967 novel _Night Walk_ hyper drive sends
the ship using it instantaneously to a seemingly random point in the Galaxy,
but a jump from any specific location always goes to the SAME point. Since
a jump takes very little energy and jumps can be made in rapid succession this
becomes a workable means of interstellar travel giving access to a subset of
the stars in the Galaxy. In Heinlein's _Starman Jones_ a ship that exceeds
the speed of light at a location other than a plotted congruency travels
to some place unknowable in advance and usually doesn't return. Poul Anderson
wrote a story whose title I forget where an explosion in its engine room
sends a ship instantly to a place so far outside their known space that
they cannot return at normal FTL speeds within the crew's lifetimes.
These are the only examples of this trope that come to mind; I am interested
in hearing of any others.
The writers of _Lost in Space_ also came up with their own reason why
a ship would have such a drive: a controlled hyperspace jump IS possible
but only between two "hypergates". They are travelling at sub-light speed
to an observed exoplanetary system to set up a hypergate there, allowing
two-way travel and colonization.
The Jupiter 2 emerged from a semi-controlled hyper space jump into our solar
system in or near the year zero, CE. This was actually not such a bad situation
when you consider where they'd been so far, and they evaluated the possibility
of placing the ship in a distant cometary orbit and putting themselves into
cryogenic suspended animation until 2158, the year they left Earth. This was a
much longer interval than had been done before, but their medical officer,
Dr. Judy Robinson, was one of the people who had developed suspended animation
in the first place so it seemed that it might be possible.
Meanwhile, exploring the Earth from orbit and with drones, they found that
events in the middle east seemed to be a fairly close match to the Christian
nativity stories. There was a woman in the last stages of pregnancy and her
husband staying in a stable in the village of Bethlehem. They continued
surveillance and, as the woman went into labor, it become apparent the there
were complications and that both the mother and child would die without medical
intervention. The required intervention was well within the capabilities of
Dr. Judy Robinson and the resources of the ship, but should they? Was time
immutable, so that the Jupiter 2 party had always been part of the origin of
Christianity? If they didn't intervene would this change history? Had
Christianity been, over all, a force for good or for ill when you considered
such things as religious wars and the Spanish Inquisition? ( Ha! I'll bet you
didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition!) The philosophical implications alone
were staggering.
They finally decided that they couldn't let the woman and child die. They put
the needed equipment into one of the shuttlecraft and, the region being sparsely
populated, were able to land near Bethlehem and walk in, with the robot carrying
the heavier gear, effectively disguised as a hand-cart. The middle east has long
been a cross-roads of three continents, and the contemporary mind-set was
accepting both of people with odd clothing from far-off lands and healers with
miraculous powers. Between the members of the landing party they had enough
knowledge of classical languages to make themselves understood. The local
midwives had of course realized that the situation was dire and were glad to
accept the help of the competent and confident seeming strangers. The situation
was in fact routine for Dr. Robinson, and in due course the birth was successful
and both mother and son were doing well. Although Judy would continue to monitor
the new family for several weeks, she did not think that further intervention
would be necessary.
At that point, Will Robinson said, "All we need now is a place to put the baby."
The robot replied, "Manger, Will Robinson! Manger!"
A merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
I have been able to identify the Poul Anderson story; it is _Gypsy_, first
published in _Astounding_ in January, 1950, anthologized several times, and available here:

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Astounding_Science_Fiction/Volume_44/Number_05/Gypsy

The author sets up the situation very economically:

"I still don't understand how they ever lost Earth," he said.

"Nobody does," I said. "The Traveler was carrying a load of colonists to
Alpha Centauri—that was a star close to Sol—and men had found the hyperdrive
only a few years before and reached the nearer stars. Anyway, something
happened. There was a great explosion in the engines, and we found ourselves
somewhere else in the Galaxy, thousands of light-years from home. We don't
know how far from home, since we've never been able to find Sol again. But
after repairing the ship, we spent more than twenty years looking. We never
found home." I added quickly, "Until we decided to settle on Harbor. That
was our home."

"I mean, how'd the ship get thrown so far off?"

I shrugged. The principles of the hyperdrive are difficult enough, involving as they do the concept of multiple dimensions and of discontinuous psi
functions. No one on the ship—and everyone with a knowledge of physics had
twisted his brains over the problem—had been able to figure out what catastrophe
it was that had annihilated space-time for her. Speculation had involved space
warps—whatever that term means, points of infinite discontinuity, undimensional
fields, and Cosmos knows what else. Could we find what had happened, and
purposefully control the phenomenon which had seized us by some blind accident,
the Galaxy would be ours. Meanwhile, we were limited to pseudovelocities of a
couple of hundred lights, and interstellar space mocked us with vastness.

But how explain that to a nine-year-old? I said only: "If I knew that, I'd be
wiser than anyone else, Einar. Which I'm not."

This is part of Anderson's "Psychotechnic League" series. I note that, in the
years since _Gypsie_ was written, the study and knowledge of other galaxies has
advanced to the point that it is hard to imagine that a star ship in this
situation couldn't determine its position using other galaxies as references.

Peter Wezeman
anti-social Darwinist
D B Davis
2019-12-29 16:51:38 UTC
Reply
Permalink
***@hotmail.com wrote:

<snip>
Post by p***@hotmail.com
I have been able to identify the Poul Anderson story; it is _Gypsy_, first
https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Astounding_Science_Fiction/Volume_44/Number_05/Gypsy
"I still don't understand how they ever lost Earth," he said.
"Nobody does," I said. "The Traveler was carrying a load of colonists to
Alpha Centauri-that was a star close to Sol-and men had found the hyperdrive
only a few years before and reached the nearer stars. Anyway, something
happened. There was a great explosion in the engines, and we found ourselves
somewhere else in the Galaxy, thousands of light-years from home. We don't
know how far from home, since we've never been able to find Sol again. But
after repairing the ship, we spent more than twenty years looking. We never
found home." I added quickly, "Until we decided to settle on Harbor. That
was our home."
"I mean, how'd the ship get thrown so far off?"
I shrugged. The principles of the hyperdrive are difficult enough, involving
as they do the concept of multiple dimensions and of discontinuous psi
functions. No one on the ship—and everyone with a knowledge of physics had
twisted his brains over the problem—had been able to figure out what catastrophe
it was that had annihilated space-time for her. Speculation had involved space
warps—whatever that term means, points of infinite discontinuity, undimensional
fields, and Cosmos knows what else. Could we find what had happened, and
purposefully control the phenomenon which had seized us by some blind accident,
the Galaxy would be ours. Meanwhile, we were limited to pseudovelocities of a
couple of hundred lights, and interstellar space mocked us with vastness.
But how explain that to a nine-year-old? I said only: "If I knew that, I'd be
wiser than anyone else, Einar. Which I'm not."
This is part of Anderson's "Psychotechnic League" series. I note that, in the
years since _Gypsie_ was written, the study and knowledge of other galaxies has
advanced to the point that it is hard to imagine that a star ship in this
situation couldn't determine its position using other galaxies as references.
Alanna stayed home on the excuse that she had to prepare dinner,
though I knew of her theory that the proper psychodevelopment of
children required a balance of paternal and maternal influence.
Since I was away so much of the time, out in space or with one
of the exploring parties which were slowly mapping our planet,
she made me occupy the center of the screen whenever I was home.

It often rolls that way in my home state of Wyoming. The father, the
provider, spends most of his working week(s) "on the road" away from
home. Sometimes his destination's a man camp next to a derrick in the
middle of nowhere, at other times it's a motel in a tiny town hundreds
of miles from home.

This is my first exposure to Anderson's "Psychotechnic League" series.
Both the series name and the "discontinuous psi functions" led me to
believe that there ought to be some parapsychological phenomena in the
story. Yet there's no such element to be found.

OTOH Perry Rhodan inextricably ties hyperspace to the paranormal with
the help of its fifth dimension. As alien Arkon Khrest reveals:

... "Telepathic influence can be detected by certain brains
even if they are not the intended target against which it
is directed. Hypnotic influence is also a five-dimensional
sending-and-receiving process. There are some secondary
areas due to dispersion, although a good telepath will
usually work in a sharply delineated beam.

If you made it this far with me, it's time for the pièce de résistance.
"Der Overhead" ("The Menance of the Mutant Master" [1]) has a character
named Monerny (who's an analog of Sherlock Holmes' Moriarity) arise as a
parapsychological nemesis to the New Power. Monerny's able to almost
instantaneously impose his will on others. A Rhodan operative named
Nyssen is dispatched to surveil the situation. He is given a gadget to
protect him from Monerny:

Lastly [Nyssen] received a device, developed and perfected
the previous day, which would protect him against any hypnotic
influence. When he was shown the new device he started to
laugh. The instrument was nothing but a glittering metal
helmet which fitted over the entire skull and was capable of
producing an anti-hypnotic field with the help of a tiny
generator. "Am I supposed to run around with that contraption
on my head?" He wanted to know.
Rhodan nodded. "Yes, from the very moment that you have
the impression that the unknown enemy has become aware of
your presence. I'd strongly suggest you wear this helmet.
You know only too well what happens to unprotected persons."

The helmet in question seems to appear on the cover of Nr. 25. [2].
Naturally Nyssen neglects to have it handy when it's most needed.

Note.

1. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1004416.Menace_of_the_Mutant_Master
2. https://www.perrypedia.de/wiki/Der_Overhead



Thank you,
--
Don.......My cat's )\._.,--....,'``.
telltale tall tail /, _.. \ _\ (`._ ,.
tells tall tales.. `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Dimensional Traveler
2019-12-29 20:19:35 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by D B Davis
<snip>
Post by p***@hotmail.com
I have been able to identify the Poul Anderson story; it is _Gypsy_, first
https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Astounding_Science_Fiction/Volume_44/Number_05/Gypsy
"I still don't understand how they ever lost Earth," he said.
"Nobody does," I said. "The Traveler was carrying a load of colonists to
Alpha Centauri-that was a star close to Sol-and men had found the hyperdrive
only a few years before and reached the nearer stars. Anyway, something
happened. There was a great explosion in the engines, and we found ourselves
somewhere else in the Galaxy, thousands of light-years from home. We don't
know how far from home, since we've never been able to find Sol again. But
after repairing the ship, we spent more than twenty years looking. We never
found home." I added quickly, "Until we decided to settle on Harbor. That
was our home."
"I mean, how'd the ship get thrown so far off?"
I shrugged. The principles of the hyperdrive are difficult enough, involving
as they do the concept of multiple dimensions and of discontinuous psi
functions. No one on the ship—and everyone with a knowledge of physics had
twisted his brains over the problem—had been able to figure out what catastrophe
it was that had annihilated space-time for her. Speculation had involved space
warps—whatever that term means, points of infinite discontinuity, undimensional
fields, and Cosmos knows what else. Could we find what had happened, and
purposefully control the phenomenon which had seized us by some blind accident,
the Galaxy would be ours. Meanwhile, we were limited to pseudovelocities of a
couple of hundred lights, and interstellar space mocked us with vastness.
But how explain that to a nine-year-old? I said only: "If I knew that, I'd be
wiser than anyone else, Einar. Which I'm not."
This is part of Anderson's "Psychotechnic League" series. I note that, in the
years since _Gypsie_ was written, the study and knowledge of other galaxies has
advanced to the point that it is hard to imagine that a star ship in this
situation couldn't determine its position using other galaxies as references.
Alanna stayed home on the excuse that she had to prepare dinner,
though I knew of her theory that the proper psychodevelopment of
children required a balance of paternal and maternal influence.
Since I was away so much of the time, out in space or with one
of the exploring parties which were slowly mapping our planet,
she made me occupy the center of the screen whenever I was home.
It often rolls that way in my home state of Wyoming. The father, the
provider, spends most of his working week(s) "on the road" away from
home. Sometimes his destination's a man camp next to a derrick in the
middle of nowhere, at other times it's a motel in a tiny town hundreds
of miles from home.
This is my first exposure to Anderson's "Psychotechnic League" series.
Both the series name and the "discontinuous psi functions" led me to
believe that there ought to be some parapsychological phenomena in the
story. Yet there's no such element to be found.
OTOH Perry Rhodan inextricably ties hyperspace to the paranormal with
... "Telepathic influence can be detected by certain brains
even if they are not the intended target against which it
is directed. Hypnotic influence is also a five-dimensional
sending-and-receiving process. There are some secondary
areas due to dispersion, although a good telepath will
usually work in a sharply delineated beam.
If you made it this far with me, it's time for the pièce de résistance.
"Der Overhead" ("The Menance of the Mutant Master" [1]) has a character
named Monerny (who's an analog of Sherlock Holmes' Moriarity) arise as a
parapsychological nemesis to the New Power. Monerny's able to almost
instantaneously impose his will on others. A Rhodan operative named
Nyssen is dispatched to surveil the situation. He is given a gadget to
Lastly [Nyssen] received a device, developed and perfected
the previous day, which would protect him against any hypnotic
influence. When he was shown the new device he started to
laugh. The instrument was nothing but a glittering metal
helmet which fitted over the entire skull and was capable of
producing an anti-hypnotic field with the help of a tiny
generator. "Am I supposed to run around with that contraption
on my head?" He wanted to know.
Rhodan nodded. "Yes, from the very moment that you have
the impression that the unknown enemy has become aware of
your presence. I'd strongly suggest you wear this helmet.
You know only too well what happens to unprotected persons."
The helmet in question seems to appear on the cover of Nr. 25. [2].
Naturally Nyssen neglects to have it handy when it's most needed.
Which is unsurprising since one would expect that the first impression
he would have had that the enemy was aware of him was being hypnotically
controlled.
--
"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"
D B Davis
2019-12-29 21:39:39 UTC
Reply
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by D B Davis
OTOH Perry Rhodan inextricably ties hyperspace to the paranormal with
... "Telepathic influence can be detected by certain brains
even if they are not the intended target against which it
is directed. Hypnotic influence is also a five-dimensional
sending-and-receiving process. There are some secondary
areas due to dispersion, although a good telepath will
usually work in a sharply delineated beam.
If you made it this far with me, it's time for the pièce de résistance.
"Der Overhead" ("The Menance of the Mutant Master" [1]) has a character
named Monerny (who's an analog of Sherlock Holmes' Moriarity) arise as a
parapsychological nemesis to the New Power. Monerny's able to almost
instantaneously impose his will on others. A Rhodan operative named
Nyssen is dispatched to surveil the situation. He is given a gadget to
Lastly [Nyssen] received a device, developed and perfected
the previous day, which would protect him against any hypnotic
influence. When he was shown the new device he started to
laugh. The instrument was nothing but a glittering metal
helmet which fitted over the entire skull and was capable of
producing an anti-hypnotic field with the help of a tiny
generator. "Am I supposed to run around with that contraption
on my head?" He wanted to know.
Rhodan nodded. "Yes, from the very moment that you have
the impression that the unknown enemy has become aware of
your presence. I'd strongly suggest you wear this helmet.
You know only too well what happens to unprotected persons."
The helmet in question seems to appear on the cover of Nr. 25. [2].
Naturally Nyssen neglects to have it handy when it's most needed.
Which is unsurprising since one would expect that the first impression
he would have had that the enemy was aware of him was being hypnotically
controlled.
The helmet's by Nyssen's side in a hotel room when he first suspects
trouble. He realizes something's wrong after his man Michikai fails to
pickup the phone in a restaurant at a prearranged time. Then Nyssen
breaks one of his own rules to reconnoiter the restaurant. Upon his
return he runs into a couple of Monerny operatives who've just deposited
Michikai's corpse in the hotel room. At that point it's too late don the
helmet.
Of course, the author telegraphs all of the above to readers in
order to make them feel superior. Everyone mentally screams, "Grab your
helmet!"
In the scheme of things, however, Nyssen's small fry. Much too
insignificant for the big cheese, Monerny to directly confront.



Thank you,
--
Don.......My cat's )\._.,--....,'``.
telltale tall tail /, _.. \ _\ (`._ ,.
tells tall tales.. `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
p***@hotmail.com
2020-01-12 05:11:41 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by D B Davis
<snip>
Post by p***@hotmail.com
I have been able to identify the Poul Anderson story; it is _Gypsy_, first
https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Astounding_Science_Fiction/Volume_44/Number_05/Gypsy
"I still don't understand how they ever lost Earth," he said.
"Nobody does," I said. "The Traveler was carrying a load of colonists to
Alpha Centauri-that was a star close to Sol-and men had found the hyperdrive
only a few years before and reached the nearer stars. Anyway, something
happened. There was a great explosion in the engines, and we found ourselves
somewhere else in the Galaxy, thousands of light-years from home. We don't
know how far from home, since we've never been able to find Sol again. But
after repairing the ship, we spent more than twenty years looking. We never
found home." I added quickly, "Until we decided to settle on Harbor. That
was our home."
"I mean, how'd the ship get thrown so far off?"
I shrugged. The principles of the hyperdrive are difficult enough, involving
as they do the concept of multiple dimensions and of discontinuous psi
functions. No one on the ship—and everyone with a knowledge of physics had
twisted his brains over the problem—had been able to figure out what catastrophe
it was that had annihilated space-time for her. Speculation had involved space
warps—whatever that term means, points of infinite discontinuity, undimensional
fields, and Cosmos knows what else. Could we find what had happened, and
purposefully control the phenomenon which had seized us by some blind accident,
the Galaxy would be ours. Meanwhile, we were limited to pseudovelocities of a
couple of hundred lights, and interstellar space mocked us with vastness.
But how explain that to a nine-year-old? I said only: "If I knew that, I'd be
wiser than anyone else, Einar. Which I'm not."
This is part of Anderson's "Psychotechnic League" series. I note that, in the
years since _Gypsie_ was written, the study and knowledge of other galaxies has
advanced to the point that it is hard to imagine that a star ship in this
situation couldn't determine its position using other galaxies as references.
Alanna stayed home on the excuse that she had to prepare dinner,
though I knew of her theory that the proper psychodevelopment of
children required a balance of paternal and maternal influence.
Since I was away so much of the time, out in space or with one
of the exploring parties which were slowly mapping our planet,
she made me occupy the center of the screen whenever I was home.
It often rolls that way in my home state of Wyoming. The father, the
provider, spends most of his working week(s) "on the road" away from
home. Sometimes his destination's a man camp next to a derrick in the
middle of nowhere, at other times it's a motel in a tiny town hundreds
of miles from home.
This is my first exposure to Anderson's "Psychotechnic League" series.
Both the series name and the "discontinuous psi functions" led me to
believe that there ought to be some parapsychological phenomena in the
story. Yet there's no such element to be found.
"Psychotechnic" here refers to a method of calculating the interactions
of groups of people and predicting the probable future of societies. This
is similar in concept to Isaac Asimov's psychohistory. In Poul Anderson's
series this is developed shortly after a nuclear war, and is used by a
clandestine organization to guide the redevelopment of civilization
along what they consider to be desirable paths. As far as I can remember
telepathy, psychokinesis, clairvoyance, or other psionic powers are
never used in the series.

Peter Wezeman
anti-social Darwinist

p***@hotmail.com
2019-12-31 06:49:54 UTC
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Post by p***@hotmail.com
Post by p***@hotmail.com
This is a reposting with some updates. This story takes place in the world of
the 1998 movie version of _Lost in Space_, in which the starship Jupiter 2 was
lost both in space and in time. Back when the television program _Lost in Space_
was first broadcast, Isaac Asimov, in a 1966 article in _TV Guide_, was very
"So to suppose that one false move instantly sends a spaceship out of the Galaxy
is about like supposing that a kid on a tricycle, pedaling down main street in
Emporia, Kan., and forgetting to make a turn at the end of the block, instantly
goes shooting off the edge of the North American continent."
The 1998 movie specifically satisfies the question of how a ship traveling at
the stated speed can get lost so quickly, by means of an established science
fiction trope, but one that has not been over-used: an uncontrolled jump through
hyper-space. The first example I know of was in Edward E. Smith's 1934 novel
_The Skylark of Valeron_, where Richard Seaton and party use it to escape
from the pure intellects. Smith used it again in _Second Stage Lensmen_(1941)
where the Galactic Patrol ship Dauntless is transiting an enemy hyperspatial
tube when the tube's generators are shut down, sending the Dauntless into
a different universe. In Bob Shaw's 1967 novel _Night Walk_ hyper drive sends
the ship using it instantaneously to a seemingly random point in the Galaxy,
but a jump from any specific location always goes to the SAME point. Since
a jump takes very little energy and jumps can be made in rapid succession this
becomes a workable means of interstellar travel giving access to a subset of
the stars in the Galaxy. In Heinlein's _Starman Jones_ a ship that exceeds
the speed of light at a location other than a plotted congruency travels
to some place unknowable in advance and usually doesn't return. Poul Anderson
wrote a story whose title I forget where an explosion in its engine room
sends a ship instantly to a place so far outside their known space that
they cannot return at normal FTL speeds within the crew's lifetimes.
These are the only examples of this trope that come to mind; I am interested
in hearing of any others.
The writers of _Lost in Space_ also came up with their own reason why
a ship would have such a drive: a controlled hyperspace jump IS possible
but only between two "hypergates". They are travelling at sub-light speed
to an observed exoplanetary system to set up a hypergate there, allowing
two-way travel and colonization.
The Jupiter 2 emerged from a semi-controlled hyper space jump into our solar
system in or near the year zero, CE. This was actually not such a bad situation
when you consider where they'd been so far, and they evaluated the possibility
of placing the ship in a distant cometary orbit and putting themselves into
cryogenic suspended animation until 2158, the year they left Earth. This was a
much longer interval than had been done before, but their medical officer,
Dr. Judy Robinson, was one of the people who had developed suspended animation
in the first place so it seemed that it might be possible.
Meanwhile, exploring the Earth from orbit and with drones, they found that
events in the middle east seemed to be a fairly close match to the Christian
nativity stories. There was a woman in the last stages of pregnancy and her
husband staying in a stable in the village of Bethlehem. They continued
surveillance and, as the woman went into labor, it become apparent the there
were complications and that both the mother and child would die without medical
intervention. The required intervention was well within the capabilities of
Dr. Judy Robinson and the resources of the ship, but should they? Was time
immutable, so that the Jupiter 2 party had always been part of the origin of
Christianity? If they didn't intervene would this change history? Had
Christianity been, over all, a force for good or for ill when you considered
such things as religious wars and the Spanish Inquisition? ( Ha! I'll bet you
didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition!) The philosophical implications alone
were staggering.
They finally decided that they couldn't let the woman and child die. They put
the needed equipment into one of the shuttlecraft and, the region being sparsely
populated, were able to land near Bethlehem and walk in, with the robot carrying
the heavier gear, effectively disguised as a hand-cart. The middle east has long
been a cross-roads of three continents, and the contemporary mind-set was
accepting both of people with odd clothing from far-off lands and healers with
miraculous powers. Between the members of the landing party they had enough
knowledge of classical languages to make themselves understood. The local
midwives had of course realized that the situation was dire and were glad to
accept the help of the competent and confident seeming strangers. The situation
was in fact routine for Dr. Robinson, and in due course the birth was successful
and both mother and son were doing well. Although Judy would continue to monitor
the new family for several weeks, she did not think that further intervention
would be necessary.
At that point, Will Robinson said, "All we need now is a place to put the baby."
The robot replied, "Manger, Will Robinson! Manger!"
A merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
I have been able to identify the Poul Anderson story; it is _Gypsy_, first
https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Astounding_Science_Fiction/Volume_44/Number_05/Gypsy
"I still don't understand how they ever lost Earth," he said.
"Nobody does," I said. "The Traveler was carrying a load of colonists to
Alpha Centauri—that was a star close to Sol—and men had found the hyperdrive
only a few years before and reached the nearer stars. Anyway, something
happened. There was a great explosion in the engines, and we found ourselves
somewhere else in the Galaxy, thousands of light-years from home. We don't
know how far from home, since we've never been able to find Sol again. But
after repairing the ship, we spent more than twenty years looking. We never
found home." I added quickly, "Until we decided to settle on Harbor. That
was our home."
"I mean, how'd the ship get thrown so far off?"
I shrugged. The principles of the hyperdrive are difficult enough, involving as they do the concept of multiple dimensions and of discontinuous psi
functions. No one on the ship—and everyone with a knowledge of physics had
twisted his brains over the problem—had been able to figure out what catastrophe
it was that had annihilated space-time for her. Speculation had involved space
warps—whatever that term means, points of infinite discontinuity, undimensional
fields, and Cosmos knows what else. Could we find what had happened, and
purposefully control the phenomenon which had seized us by some blind accident,
the Galaxy would be ours. Meanwhile, we were limited to pseudovelocities of a
couple of hundred lights, and interstellar space mocked us with vastness.
But how explain that to a nine-year-old? I said only: "If I knew that, I'd be
wiser than anyone else, Einar. Which I'm not."
This is part of Anderson's "Psychotechnic League" series. I note that, in the
years since _Gypsie_ was written, the study and knowledge of other galaxies has
advanced to the point that it is hard to imagine that a star ship in this
situation couldn't determine its position using other galaxies as references.
I have reviewed available material on the Psychotechnic League series,
and in subsequent stories Poul Anderson established that the Traveler
had run into a "trepidation vertex". This is a semi-permanent disturbance
in space-time, large enough to engulf a star system, and having itself
a net sub-light velocity. A ship entering a vertex under hyper-drive
will usually be destroyed outright, but sometimes can be transported
up to thousands of light years.

I think that _The Peregrine_, also published as _Star Ways_, is the last
Psychotechnic League story in internal chronology, set around the
year 3150 by Sandra Miesel's estimate, and at that time there is
no way to generate any kind of controlled trepidation vertex to propel
a ship, or to use a natural vertex as any kind of gateway or wormhole.
People have learned to track and avoid vertexes as we avoid hurricanes.
In _Virgin Planet_ a vertex wrecks a ship on the planet Atlantis and
interdicts the survivors from contact for three hundred years, so that
the first explorer to land after the vertex has moved on finds that
human culture there has developed in interesting ways.

Peter Wezeman
anti-social Darwinist
Chrysi Cat
2019-12-27 11:15:02 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by p***@hotmail.com
This is a reposting with some updates. This story takes place in the world of
the 1998 movie version of _Lost in Space_, in which the starship Jupiter 2 was
lost both in space and in time. Back when the television program _Lost in Space_
was first broadcast, Isaac Asimov, in a 1966 article in _TV Guide_, was very
"So to suppose that one false move instantly sends a spaceship out of the Galaxy
is about like supposing that a kid on a tricycle, pedaling down main street in
Emporia, Kan., and forgetting to make a turn at the end of the block, instantly
goes shooting off the edge of the North American continent."
The 1998 movie specifically satisfies the question of how a ship traveling at
the stated speed can get lost so quickly, by means of an established science
fiction trope, but one that has not been over-used: an uncontrolled jump through
hyper-space. The first example I know of was in Edward E. Smith's 1934 novel
_The Skylark of Valeron_, where Richard Seaton and party use it to escape
from the pure intellects. Smith used it again in _Second Stage Lensmen_(1941)
where the Galactic Patrol ship Dauntless is transiting an enemy hyperspatial
tube when the tube's generators are shut down, sending the Dauntless into
a different universe. In Bob Shaw's 1967 novel _Night Walk_ hyper drive sends
the ship using it instantaneously to a seemingly random point in the Galaxy,
but a jump from any specific location always goes to the SAME point. Since
a jump takes very little energy and jumps can be made in rapid succession this
becomes a workable means of interstellar travel giving access to a subset of
the stars in the Galaxy. In Heinlein's _Starman Jones_ a ship that exceeds
the speed of light at a location other than a plotted congruency travels
to some place unknowable in advance and usually doesn't return. Poul Anderson
wrote a story whose title I forget where an explosion in its engine room
sends a ship instantly to a place so far outside their known space that
they cannot return at normal FTL speeds within the crew's lifetimes.
These are the only examples of this trope that come to mind; I am interested
in hearing of any others.
The writers of _Lost in Space_ also came up with their own reason why
a ship would have such a drive: a controlled hyperspace jump IS possible
but only between two "hypergates". They are travelling at sub-light speed
to an observed exoplanetary system to set up a hypergate there, allowing
two-way travel and colonization.
<SNIP possibly the worst feghoot I've read in at least 15 years>

As long as we're including TV, doesn't "Where No One Has Gone Before"
[TNG 1 x 06] qualify as well? Or maybe it simply stuck harder in my head
than anyone else's. Even if the Traveler has some ability to teleport
HIMSELF, it's indicated that he needed some of the engineering equipment
to function in order to strand the Enterprise outside the Milky Way and
arguably outside of timespace itself!
--
Chrysi Cat
1/2 anthrocat, nearly 1/2 anthrofox, all magical
Transgoddess, quick to anger.
Call me Chrysi or call me Kat, I'll respond to either!
Chrysi Cat
2019-12-27 11:16:06 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Chrysi Cat
Post by p***@hotmail.com
This is a reposting with some updates. This story takes place in the world of
the 1998 movie version of _Lost in Space_, in which the starship Jupiter 2 was
lost both in space and in time. Back when the television program _Lost in Space_
was first broadcast, Isaac Asimov, in a 1966 article in _TV Guide_, was very
"So to suppose that one false move instantly sends a spaceship out of the Galaxy
is about like supposing that a kid on a tricycle, pedaling down main street in
Emporia, Kan., and forgetting to make a turn at the end of the block, instantly
goes shooting off the edge of the North American continent."
The 1998 movie specifically satisfies the question of how a ship traveling at
the stated speed can get lost so quickly, by means of an established science
fiction trope, but one that has not been over-used: an uncontrolled jump through
hyper-space. The first example I know of was in Edward E. Smith's 1934 novel
_The Skylark of Valeron_, where Richard Seaton and party use it to escape
from the pure intellects. Smith used it again in _Second Stage Lensmen_(1941)
where the Galactic Patrol ship Dauntless is transiting an enemy hyperspatial
tube when the tube's generators are shut down, sending the Dauntless into
a different universe. In Bob Shaw's 1967 novel _Night Walk_ hyper drive sends
the ship using it instantaneously to a seemingly random point in the Galaxy,
but a jump from any specific location always goes to the SAME point. Since
a jump takes very little energy and jumps can be made in rapid succession this
becomes a workable means of interstellar travel giving access to a subset of
the stars in the Galaxy. In Heinlein's _Starman Jones_ a ship that exceeds
the speed of light at a location other than a plotted congruency travels
to some place unknowable in advance and usually doesn't return. Poul Anderson
wrote a story whose title I forget where an explosion in its engine room
sends a ship instantly to a place so far outside their known space that
they cannot return at normal FTL speeds within the crew's lifetimes.
These are the only examples of this trope that come to mind; I am interested
in hearing of any others.
The writers of _Lost in Space_ also came up with their own reason why
a ship would have such a drive: a controlled hyperspace jump IS possible
but only between two "hypergates". They are travelling at sub-light speed
to an observed exoplanetary system to set up a hypergate there, allowing
two-way travel and colonization.
<SNIP possibly the worst feghoot I've read in at least 15 years>
As long as we're including TV, doesn't "Where No One Has Gone Before"
[TNG 1 x 06] qualify as well? Or maybe it simply stuck harder in my head
than anyone else's. Even if the Traveler has some ability to teleport
HIMSELF, it's indicated that he needed some of the engineering equipment
to function in order to strand the Enterprise outside the Milky Way and
arguably outside of timespace itself!
And admittedly, not "worst in terms of story quality". Just the most
deadly groaner of a pun in history.
--
Chrysi Cat
1/2 anthrocat, nearly 1/2 anthrofox, all magical
Transgoddess, quick to anger.
Call me Chrysi or call me Kat, I'll respond to either!
p***@hotmail.com
2019-12-27 18:13:40 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Chrysi Cat
Post by Chrysi Cat
Post by p***@hotmail.com
This is a reposting with some updates. This story takes place in the world of
the 1998 movie version of _Lost in Space_, in which the starship Jupiter 2 was
lost both in space and in time. Back when the television program _Lost in Space_
was first broadcast, Isaac Asimov, in a 1966 article in _TV Guide_, was very
"So to suppose that one false move instantly sends a spaceship out of the Galaxy
is about like supposing that a kid on a tricycle, pedaling down main street in
Emporia, Kan., and forgetting to make a turn at the end of the block, instantly
goes shooting off the edge of the North American continent."
The 1998 movie specifically satisfies the question of how a ship traveling at
the stated speed can get lost so quickly, by means of an established science
fiction trope, but one that has not been over-used: an uncontrolled jump through
hyper-space. The first example I know of was in Edward E. Smith's 1934 novel
_The Skylark of Valeron_, where Richard Seaton and party use it to escape
from the pure intellects. Smith used it again in _Second Stage Lensmen_(1941)
where the Galactic Patrol ship Dauntless is transiting an enemy hyperspatial
tube when the tube's generators are shut down, sending the Dauntless into
a different universe. In Bob Shaw's 1967 novel _Night Walk_ hyper drive sends
the ship using it instantaneously to a seemingly random point in the Galaxy,
but a jump from any specific location always goes to the SAME point. Since
a jump takes very little energy and jumps can be made in rapid succession this
becomes a workable means of interstellar travel giving access to a subset of
the stars in the Galaxy. In Heinlein's _Starman Jones_ a ship that exceeds
the speed of light at a location other than a plotted congruency travels
to some place unknowable in advance and usually doesn't return. Poul Anderson
wrote a story whose title I forget where an explosion in its engine room
sends a ship instantly to a place so far outside their known space that
they cannot return at normal FTL speeds within the crew's lifetimes.
These are the only examples of this trope that come to mind; I am interested
in hearing of any others.
The writers of _Lost in Space_ also came up with their own reason why
a ship would have such a drive: a controlled hyperspace jump IS possible
but only between two "hypergates". They are travelling at sub-light speed
to an observed exoplanetary system to set up a hypergate there, allowing
two-way travel and colonization.
<SNIP possibly the worst feghoot I've read in at least 15 years>
As long as we're including TV, doesn't "Where No One Has Gone Before"
[TNG 1 x 06] qualify as well? Or maybe it simply stuck harder in my head
than anyone else's. Even if the Traveler has some ability to teleport
HIMSELF, it's indicated that he needed some of the engineering equipment
to function in order to strand the Enterprise outside the Milky Way and
arguably outside of timespace itself!
I remember that episode. It was written by Diane Duane and incorporated
aspects of her excellent Star Trek TOS novel _The Wounded Sky_.
Post by Chrysi Cat
And admittedly, not "worst in terms of story quality". Just the most
deadly groaner of a pun in history.
Thank you; I do my best.

Peter Wezeman
anti-social Darwinist
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