Discussion:
[Because My Tears Are Delicious To You] Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, June 1977 edited by Ben Bova
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James Nicoll
2018-06-03 02:15:11 UTC
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Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, June 1977 edited by Ben Bova

https://jamesdavisnicoll.com/review/nothing-without-a-woman-or-a-girl
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
D B Davis
2018-06-03 15:09:24 UTC
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Post by James Nicoll
Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, June 1977 edited by Ben Bova
https://jamesdavisnicoll.com/review/nothing-without-a-woman-or-a-girl
incel? You've got to be kidding me? (No, they kid me not.) Apparently
incelesque "logic" is relatively common with some strains of murderous
psychopathy.
"The Screwfly Solution" (Raccoona AKA Alice Sheldon AKA Tiptree)
showcases Alice's own "brand" of misogyny. Sheldon's warped, but there's
something about her twisted writing that attracts me like a moth to a
flame. Others who can't stand the Sheldon heat need to get out of her
kitchen. ROTFL.
IIRC Silverberg writes about how "Tip" had three typewriters set up
in her study. One typewriter for "Tip," another for "Raccoona," and the
third for "Alice." The typewriters enabled "Tip" to get-into-character
in order to create characters, so to speak.



Thank you,
--
Don
b***@dontspam.silent.com
2018-06-03 20:27:34 UTC
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Post by James Nicoll
Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, June 1977 edited by Ben Bova
https://jamesdavisnicoll.com/review/nothing-without-a-woman-or-a-girl
There is a talk by Michael Ovenden on his "non-consensus science"
theory that a Saturn-sized planet between Mars and Jupiter exploded.

https://open.library.ubc.ca/collections/citraudio/items/1.0135218
Robert Carnegie
2018-06-03 21:58:37 UTC
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Post by b***@dontspam.silent.com
Post by James Nicoll
Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, June 1977 edited by Ben Bova
https://jamesdavisnicoll.com/review/nothing-without-a-woman-or-a-girl
There is a talk by Michael Ovenden on his "non-consensus science"
theory that a Saturn-sized planet between Mars and Jupiter exploded.
https://open.library.ubc.ca/collections/citraudio/items/1.0135218
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titius–Bode_law
refers to the 18th century prediction of a planet
between Mars and Jupiter so that planets would
scale nicely (less important in modern astrophysics),
the satisfaction of discovering Ceres in the indicated
space, and re-evaluation when lots more bodies were
found there, declared "minor planets" or "asteroids".

I presume that almost immediately, those asteroids -
there are others - were treated as either the equivalent
of a missing planet, prevented from coming together by
Jupiter's gravity, or the /wreckage/ of a missing planet.
It's certainly been used a number of times in science
fiction, not necessarily the best stuff. List time?

I know that a fifth planet had been destroyed in the
setting of W. E. Johns's 1950s _Kings of Space_ by
their own super-weapon, leaving convenient asteroids.
This mainly comes out in the sequels.

In a Doctor Who story, __Image of the Fendahl_,
the fifth planet had been destroyed by the Time Lords
because of the Fendahl.

It would be available to H. G. Wells, for instance
in _The War of the Worlds_, but I don't think it
came up that time. We assumed that the invaders
had originated on Mars.

A past celestial war was described in C. S. Lewis's
_Out of the Silent Planet_, but it might be "limited"
to blighting Mars and blockading Earth.

I think a fifth planet may have copped it in
the prequel parts of the Lensmen series, but
I dunno. Atlantis is involved, and the lost
fifth planet is basically Atlantis in space;
if you set aside Aquaman and Namor in comics,
who each rule a modern Atlantis undersea but
inhabited by unconcerned mermen, the only basic
"fact" of Atlantis is that it went splat overnight;
it's a fable of cosmic insecurity; geological,
anyway.

Anyway, the lost planet wasn't new in the 1970s,
and it isn't now.
Dimensional Traveler
2018-06-03 22:49:57 UTC
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Post by Robert Carnegie
It would be available to H. G. Wells, for instance
in _The War of the Worlds_, but I don't think it
came up that time. We assumed that the invaders
had originated on Mars.
In H. G. Wells' original, Earth astronomers observed flashes and plumes
on Mars that corresponded with the launches of Martian canisters.
--
Inquiring minds want to know while minds with a self-preservation
instinct are running screaming.
h***@gmail.com
2018-06-03 23:42:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by b***@dontspam.silent.com
Post by James Nicoll
Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, June 1977 edited by Ben Bova
https://jamesdavisnicoll.com/review/nothing-without-a-woman-or-a-girl
There is a talk by Michael Ovenden on his "non-consensus science"
theory that a Saturn-sized planet between Mars and Jupiter exploded.
https://open.library.ubc.ca/collections/citraudio/items/1.0135218
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titius–Bode_law
refers to the 18th century prediction of a planet
between Mars and Jupiter so that planets would
scale nicely (less important in modern astrophysics),
the satisfaction of discovering Ceres in the indicated
space, and re-evaluation when lots more bodies were
found there, declared "minor planets" or "asteroids".
I presume that almost immediately, those asteroids -
there are others - were treated as either the equivalent
of a missing planet, prevented from coming together by
Jupiter's gravity, or the /wreckage/ of a missing planet.
It's certainly been used a number of times in science
fiction, not necessarily the best stuff. List time?
Background in Stranger in a Strange land, largely because of how it became no longer a planet.
iirc made an appearance in some other Heinlein, might be in Space Cadet where they investigate a missing ship in the asteroid belt.
Greg Goss
2018-06-04 04:23:39 UTC
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Post by Robert Carnegie
Anyway, the lost planet wasn't new in the 1970s,
and it isn't now.
Heinlein's "Space Cadet"s were on a research mission that discovered
that the people of the missing planet did it to themselves. I think
that it's mentioned in passing in several other of his juvies.

Hogan's work is pretty jumbled in my memory, but at least one of them
featured such an explosion scattering debris across the solar system.
I have the impression that the moon was moved to its current position
by the disaster, though you have the Velikovsky-defeating
responsibliity of circularizing the orbit after capture.
--
We are geeks. Resistance is voltage over current.
h***@gmail.com
2018-06-04 04:29:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greg Goss
Post by Robert Carnegie
Anyway, the lost planet wasn't new in the 1970s,
and it isn't now.
Heinlein's "Space Cadet"s were on a research mission that discovered
that the people of the missing planet did it to themselves.
iirc they were actually sent on a rescue mission for a missing spaceship and found that it had made the discovery before events caught up with it...
Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2018-06-04 04:30:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greg Goss
Post by Robert Carnegie
Anyway, the lost planet wasn't new in the 1970s,
and it isn't now.
Heinlein's "Space Cadet"s were on a research mission that discovered
that the people of the missing planet did it to themselves. I think
that it's mentioned in passing in several other of his juvies.
Hogan's work is pretty jumbled in my memory, but at least one of them
featured such an explosion scattering debris across the solar system.
I have the impression that the moon was moved to its current position
by the disaster, though you have the Velikovsky-defeating
responsibliity of circularizing the orbit after capture.
That's the "Giants" series, including his breakthrough first book
_Inherit The Stars_. In retrospect, I think it was also his best.

One of the Winstons concerned the missing planet as well.
--
------
columbiaclosings.com
What's not in Columbia anymore..
Sjouke Burry
2018-06-04 20:44:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greg Goss
Post by Robert Carnegie
Anyway, the lost planet wasn't new in the 1970s,
and it isn't now.
Heinlein's "Space Cadet"s were on a research mission that discovered
that the people of the missing planet did it to themselves. I think
that it's mentioned in passing in several other of his juvies.
Hogan's work is pretty jumbled in my memory, but at least one of them
featured such an explosion scattering debris across the solar system.
I have the impression that the moon was moved to its current position
by the disaster, though you have the Velikovsky-defeating
responsibliity of circularizing the orbit after capture.
Also in the Perry rhodan series,about 200.000 years in the past,
The planet was called Zeut i think, google.....

CREST-Datei - Perry Rhodan - Zeut
www.crest-datei.de/index.php?Thema=pr&Rubrik=welten...zeut
Translate this page
Ehemals der 5. Planet des Sol-Systems, von den Takerern Taimon genannt.
Er wurde im Haluter-Krieg zerstört, ungefähr im Jahr 50.068 v.Chr. Die
dabei ...
Robert Carnegie
2018-06-04 20:47:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greg Goss
Post by Robert Carnegie
Anyway, the lost planet wasn't new in the 1970s,
and it isn't now.
Heinlein's "Space Cadet"s were on a research mission that discovered
that the people of the missing planet did it to themselves. I think
that it's mentioned in passing in several other of his juvies.
Hogan's work is pretty jumbled in my memory, but at least one of them
featured such an explosion scattering debris across the solar system.
I have the impression that the moon was moved to its current position
by the disaster, though you have the Velikovsky-defeating
responsibliity of circularizing the orbit after capture.
--
We are geeks. Resistance is voltage over current.
Points for both the Heinlein references, and Hogan.
In what seems to be the relevant part of Wikipedia's
article on Velikovsky, I don't see this planet
mentioned, but planets keep popping out of gas giants
and falling into the Sun, so it's hard to keep track.
And he is named in the article on "Phaeton".
Greg Goss
2018-06-07 03:00:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Carnegie
[velikovskianism reference]
Points for both the Heinlein references, and Hogan.
In what seems to be the relevant part of Wikipedia's
article on Velikovsky, I don't see this planet
mentioned, but planets keep popping out of gas giants
and falling into the Sun, so it's hard to keep track.
And he is named in the article on "Phaeton".
He claimed that Venus originated in Jupiter and was circularized
later.

The "good" phaeton article seems to have aged off the web when I went
looking for it a couple of weeks ago.
--
We are geeks. Resistance is voltage over current.
Default User
2018-08-18 20:01:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Carnegie
Anyway, the lost planet wasn't new in the 1970s,
and it isn't now.
Coming in a few months late, but Jack Wiliamson's "SeeTee" stories
featured a rogue planet from outside the Solar System colliding with
the former fifth planet. As the interloper was antimatter
(contraterrene->CT->SeeTee) most of the two bodies were annhilated
leaving behind a jumble of matter and antimatter bodies and dust. I'm
not sure what the energy release of that explosion would have been, but
. . . considerable, let's say.

Williamson seems to have been cognizant of the fact that the mass of
the asteroid belt is pretty small. A quick web search says 4% of the
mass of Earth's Moon.

One of Asimov's Black Widowers stories featured Professor Moriarty
being responsible for the destruction, which is what Dynamics of the
Asteroid was really about.


Brian
James Nicoll
2018-08-18 20:57:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Default User
Post by Robert Carnegie
Anyway, the lost planet wasn't new in the 1970s,
and it isn't now.
Coming in a few months late, but Jack Wiliamson's "SeeTee" stories
featured a rogue planet from outside the Solar System colliding with
the former fifth planet. As the interloper was antimatter
(contraterrene->CT->SeeTee) most of the two bodies were annhilated
leaving behind a jumble of matter and antimatter bodies and dust. I'm
not sure what the energy release of that explosion would have been, but
. . . considerable, let's say.
Williamson seems to have been cognizant of the fact that the mass of
the asteroid belt is pretty small. A quick web search says 4% of the
mass of Earth's Moon.
Weird coincidence: an upcoming tor piece mentions the SeeTee stories.
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
Robert Carnegie
2018-08-18 21:02:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Default User
Post by Robert Carnegie
Anyway, the lost planet wasn't new in the 1970s,
and it isn't now.
Coming in a few months late, but Jack Wiliamson's "SeeTee" stories
featured a rogue planet from outside the Solar System colliding with
the former fifth planet. As the interloper was antimatter
(contraterrene->CT->SeeTee) most of the two bodies were annhilated
leaving behind a jumble of matter and antimatter bodies and dust. I'm
not sure what the energy release of that explosion would have been, but
. . . considerable, let's say.
Williamson seems to have been cognizant of the fact that the mass of
the asteroid belt is pretty small. A quick web search says 4% of the
mass of Earth's Moon.
One of Asimov's Black Widowers stories featured Professor Moriarty
being responsible for the destruction, which is what Dynamics of the
Asteroid was really about.
I remember that one - except that it wasn't Moriarty
of Victorian London, but, presumably, Ytrairom of Nodnol,
an equally Lex Luthor type living on planet five who
invented and used the Solar Decimator, and whose existence
but presumably not the method was detected by Moriarty.
All of this being fiction about fiction about fiction...
Dimensional Traveler
2018-08-18 21:31:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Default User
Post by Robert Carnegie
Anyway, the lost planet wasn't new in the 1970s,
and it isn't now.
Coming in a few months late, but Jack Wiliamson's "SeeTee" stories
featured a rogue planet from outside the Solar System colliding with
the former fifth planet. As the interloper was antimatter
(contraterrene->CT->SeeTee) most of the two bodies were annhilated
leaving behind a jumble of matter and antimatter bodies and dust. I'm
not sure what the energy release of that explosion would have been, but
. . . considerable, let's say.
I once calculated that turning a 200 pound mass into "pure energy" would
be the equivalent of a two GIGAton nuclear explosion. You're talking
about something so, so many orders of magnitude larger that I think
"astronomical" is at least a few orders too small.
--
Inquiring minds want to know while minds with a self-preservation
instinct are running screaming.
Default User
2018-08-18 21:38:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Default User
Post by Robert Carnegie
Anyway, the lost planet wasn't new in the 1970s,
and it isn't now.
Coming in a few months late, but Jack Wiliamson's "SeeTee" stories
featured a rogue planet from outside the Solar System colliding with
the former fifth planet. As the interloper was antimatter
(contraterrene->CT->SeeTee) most of the two bodies were annhilated
leaving behind a jumble of matter and antimatter bodies and dust.
I'm not sure what the energy release of that explosion would have
been, but . . . considerable, let's say.
I once calculated that turning a 200 pound mass into "pure energy"
would be the equivalent of a two GIGAton nuclear explosion. You're
talking about something so, so many orders of magnitude larger that I
think "astronomical" is at least a few orders too small.
Yeah, that was my opinion. I don't think the "SeeTee drift" would have
been left in place. There were even some intact bits of alien tech that
eventually turned up.


Brian
Dimensional Traveler
2018-08-19 01:47:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Default User
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Default User
Post by Robert Carnegie
Anyway, the lost planet wasn't new in the 1970s,
and it isn't now.
Coming in a few months late, but Jack Wiliamson's "SeeTee" stories
featured a rogue planet from outside the Solar System colliding with
the former fifth planet. As the interloper was antimatter
(contraterrene->CT->SeeTee) most of the two bodies were annhilated
leaving behind a jumble of matter and antimatter bodies and dust.
I'm not sure what the energy release of that explosion would have
been, but . . . considerable, let's say.
I once calculated that turning a 200 pound mass into "pure energy"
would be the equivalent of a two GIGAton nuclear explosion. You're
talking about something so, so many orders of magnitude larger that I
think "astronomical" is at least a few orders too small.
Yeah, that was my opinion. I don't think the "SeeTee drift" would have
been left in place. There were even some intact bits of alien tech that
eventually turned up.
I'm guessing that there wouldn't be a _Solar System_. My suspicion is
that we're talking greater than supernova levels of power.
--
Inquiring minds want to know while minds with a self-preservation
instinct are running screaming.
J. Clarke
2018-08-19 04:14:37 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 18 Aug 2018 18:47:58 -0700, Dimensional Traveler
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Default User
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Default User
Post by Robert Carnegie
Anyway, the lost planet wasn't new in the 1970s,
and it isn't now.
Coming in a few months late, but Jack Wiliamson's "SeeTee" stories
featured a rogue planet from outside the Solar System colliding with
the former fifth planet. As the interloper was antimatter
(contraterrene->CT->SeeTee) most of the two bodies were annhilated
leaving behind a jumble of matter and antimatter bodies and dust.
I'm not sure what the energy release of that explosion would have
been, but . . . considerable, let's say.
I once calculated that turning a 200 pound mass into "pure energy"
would be the equivalent of a two GIGAton nuclear explosion. You're
talking about something so, so many orders of magnitude larger that I
think "astronomical" is at least a few orders too small.
Yeah, that was my opinion. I don't think the "SeeTee drift" would have
been left in place. There were even some intact bits of alien tech that
eventually turned up.
I'm guessing that there wouldn't be a _Solar System_. My suspicion is
that we're talking greater than supernova levels of power.
A "foe", the unit of energy release used to discuss supernovas, is 200
times the amount of energy that would be released if the mass of the
Earth were turned entirely into energy. The energy release of a type
I supernova is about 1 foe, a type II is about 100 foe, a hypernova
may goe 10,000 foe or more.
Dimensional Traveler
2018-08-19 06:02:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
On Sat, 18 Aug 2018 18:47:58 -0700, Dimensional Traveler
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Default User
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Default User
Post by Robert Carnegie
Anyway, the lost planet wasn't new in the 1970s,
and it isn't now.
Coming in a few months late, but Jack Wiliamson's "SeeTee" stories
featured a rogue planet from outside the Solar System colliding with
the former fifth planet. As the interloper was antimatter
(contraterrene->CT->SeeTee) most of the two bodies were annhilated
leaving behind a jumble of matter and antimatter bodies and dust.
I'm not sure what the energy release of that explosion would have
been, but . . . considerable, let's say.
I once calculated that turning a 200 pound mass into "pure energy"
would be the equivalent of a two GIGAton nuclear explosion. You're
talking about something so, so many orders of magnitude larger that I
think "astronomical" is at least a few orders too small.
Yeah, that was my opinion. I don't think the "SeeTee drift" would have
been left in place. There were even some intact bits of alien tech that
eventually turned up.
I'm guessing that there wouldn't be a _Solar System_. My suspicion is
that we're talking greater than supernova levels of power.
A "foe", the unit of energy release used to discuss supernovas, is 200
times the amount of energy that would be released if the mass of the
Earth were turned entirely into energy. The energy release of a type
I supernova is about 1 foe, a type II is about 100 foe, a hypernova
may goe 10,000 foe or more.
Okay then, we'd have the singed remains of a solar system.
--
Inquiring minds want to know while minds with a self-preservation
instinct are running screaming.
Default User
2018-08-19 15:50:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by J. Clarke
A "foe", the unit of energy release used to discuss supernovas, is
200 times the amount of energy that would be released if the mass
of the Earth were turned entirely into energy. The energy release
of a type I supernova is about 1 foe, a type II is about 100 foe, a
hypernova may goe 10,000 foe or more.
Okay then, we'd have the singed remains of a solar system.
I don't recall what the masses of the two planets were in the stories,
or if that information was provided. That would obviously be a critical
component.


Brian
Dimensional Traveler
2018-08-19 17:23:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Default User
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by J. Clarke
A "foe", the unit of energy release used to discuss supernovas, is
200 times the amount of energy that would be released if the mass
of the Earth were turned entirely into energy. The energy release
of a type I supernova is about 1 foe, a type II is about 100 foe, a
hypernova may goe 10,000 foe or more.
Okay then, we'd have the singed remains of a solar system.
I don't recall what the masses of the two planets were in the stories,
or if that information was provided. That would obviously be a critical
component.
And how long ago it happened. Current theories (as best as I know) are
that the planetary orbits "wander" over billions of years. From what I
understand one of the best computer models shows that Jupiter and Saturn
spiraled in much closer to the sun before some gravitational interaction
moved them both out to their current orbits; and we had to have had
three ice giants originally and one got slingshot out of the solar
system around the same time that Uranus and Neptune switched places in
orbital order.
--
Inquiring minds want to know while minds with a self-preservation
instinct are running screaming.
Default User
2018-08-19 21:07:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Default User
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by J. Clarke
A "foe", the unit of energy release used to discuss supernovas,
is 200 times the amount of energy that would be released if the
mass of the Earth were turned entirely into energy. The energy
release of a type I supernova is about 1 foe, a type II is
about 100 foe, a hypernova may goe 10,000 foe or more.
Okay then, we'd have the singed remains of a solar system.
I don't recall what the masses of the two planets were in the
stories, or if that information was provided. That would obviously
be a critical component.
And how long ago it happened. Current theories (as best as I know)
are that the planetary orbits "wander" over billions of years. From
what I understand one of the best computer models shows that Jupiter
and Saturn spiraled in much closer to the sun before some
gravitational interaction moved them both out to their current
orbits; and we had to have had three ice giants originally and one
got slingshot out of the solar system around the same time that
Uranus and Neptune switched places in orbital order.
I did a bit of online searching and found a scan of the original
Astounding story, "Opposites -- React!" as by Will Stewart. In there,
it only says that the "Invader" planet came into our system 87,000
years ago and collided with the "trans-Martian" planet. The fragments
formed the asteroid belt. It seems like, at least originally,
Williamson did not consider the resulting annihilation. In the story
the Invaders survive but their seetee ships then are destroyed in
attempting to enter the atmospheres of the planets.

I don't know if the fix-up novel reads the same. Maybe I just imagined
the other parts, or as an Astrophyisics student at the time I just
extrapolated that part.


Brian
Quadibloc
2018-08-22 04:44:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Default User
One of Asimov's Black Widowers stories featured Professor Moriarty
being responsible for the destruction, which is what Dynamics of the
Asteroid was really about.
While that certainly is a notion that sort of suggests itself, there seems to be a
basic problem with it. Either Moriarty is not what he seems, or one has to explain
why the ancient Greeks and others did not include the fifth planet as one of the
basic visible bodies in the sky.

John Savard
David Johnston
2018-08-22 05:52:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Quadibloc
Post by Default User
One of Asimov's Black Widowers stories featured Professor Moriarty
being responsible for the destruction, which is what Dynamics of the
Asteroid was really about.
While that certainly is a notion that sort of suggests itself, there seems to be a
basic problem with it. Either Moriarty is not what he seems, or one has to explain
why the ancient Greeks and others did not include the fifth planet as one of the
basic visible bodies in the sky.
John Savard
He got it wrong. Moriarity only figured out why the "fifth planet"
broke up, with the implication that knowing that could eventually lead
to knowing how to duplicate it.
Robert Woodward
2018-08-23 04:54:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Johnston
Post by Quadibloc
Post by Default User
One of Asimov's Black Widowers stories featured Professor Moriarty
being responsible for the destruction, which is what Dynamics of the
Asteroid was really about.
While that certainly is a notion that sort of suggests itself, there seems to be a
basic problem with it. Either Moriarty is not what he seems, or one has to explain
why the ancient Greeks and others did not include the fifth planet as one of the
basic visible bodies in the sky.
John Savard
He got it wrong. Moriarity only figured out why the "fifth planet"
broke up, with the implication that knowing that could eventually lead
to knowing how to duplicate it.
I don't think very much of that interpretation of "The Dynamics of an
Asteroid" (the actual title as related in chapter 1 of _The Valley of
Fear_). My reading is more prosaic; I believe that the Professor
invented statistics and used an arbitrary asteroid as an example of its
use (I don't know if late Victorian astronomy was up to the task, but
you can use variations of the magnitude of an asteroid to determine its
rotation period and the orientation of the spin axis).
--
"We have advanced to new and surprising levels of bafflement."
Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan describes progress in _Komarr_.
—-----------------------------------------------------
Robert Woodward ***@drizzle.com
Robert Carnegie
2018-08-23 09:26:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Woodward
Post by David Johnston
Post by Quadibloc
Post by Default User
One of Asimov's Black Widowers stories featured Professor Moriarty
being responsible for the destruction, which is what Dynamics of the
Asteroid was really about.
While that certainly is a notion that sort of suggests itself, there seems to be a
basic problem with it. Either Moriarty is not what he seems, or one has to explain
why the ancient Greeks and others did not include the fifth planet as one of the
basic visible bodies in the sky.
John Savard
He got it wrong. Moriarity only figured out why the "fifth planet"
broke up, with the implication that knowing that could eventually lead
to knowing how to duplicate it.
I don't think very much of that interpretation of "The Dynamics of an
Asteroid" (the actual title as related in chapter 1 of _The Valley of
Fear_). My reading is more prosaic; I believe that the Professor
invented statistics and used an arbitrary asteroid as an example of its
use (I don't know if late Victorian astronomy was up to the task, but
you can use variations of the magnitude of an asteroid to determine its
rotation period and the orientation of the spin axis).
Elegant, but surely a planet blowing up is more dynamic??

In pastiche novel _The Seven-Per-Cent Solution_,
I think the asteroid isn't addressed but Professor Moriarty
disclaims any special knowledge of the Binomial Theorem,
for which Holmes gave him credit. In this novel, Holmes
is now an insane cocaine addict, hence the title, and
Moriarty is not a criminal mastermind but Holmes's
mathematics teacher, and resented for that reason.

In fact, of course, Moriarty's original creator was just using references that readers would recognise but not
understand, to present the message that Moriarty is a
dangerously clever criminal.

Robert Carnegie
2018-06-03 22:15:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by b***@dontspam.silent.com
Post by James Nicoll
Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, June 1977 edited by Ben Bova
https://jamesdavisnicoll.com/review/nothing-without-a-woman-or-a-girl
There is a talk by Michael Ovenden on his "non-consensus science"
theory that a Saturn-sized planet between Mars and Jupiter exploded.
https://open.library.ubc.ca/collections/citraudio/items/1.0135218
Oh, here's an article all about that planet.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phaeton_%28hypothetical_planet%29>
"Hypothetical" seem generous.

And a link to a list of its appearances in sci-fi.
NO PEEKING before posting what you remember.
Quadibloc
2018-08-22 05:12:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by b***@dontspam.silent.com
There is a talk by Michael Ovenden on his "non-consensus science"
theory that a Saturn-sized planet between Mars and Jupiter exploded.
https://open.library.ubc.ca/collections/citraudio/items/1.0135218
What's unusual in his theory is that the planet was about the size of Saturn.
Maybe the violence of the explosion also explains why Mars is so small.

As noted, ever since Bode's Law, which was formulated even before the first
asteroids were discovered - and which prompted the search for them - the idea
that there was once one bigger planet in that slot, just like in all the others,
and some disaster broke it up, was a *natural* one.

The idea that, instead, Jupiter's gravity prevented a planet from being formed
there (and explains why Mars isn't bigger than the Earth, and, for that matter,
why Earth isn't bigger than Venus) may have been also around a long time, but it
only became the mainstream explanation much later, when we gained a more
sophisticated understanding of how the Solar System formed.

After all, it wasn't _that_ long ago that the theory that a passing star dragged
material out of the Sun, making our system one of a *very few* with planets, was
considered a serious contender. Back in the 1930s, say, it was still around.

John Savard
Michael F. Stemper
2018-08-22 15:30:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Quadibloc
Post by b***@dontspam.silent.com
There is a talk by Michael Ovenden on his "non-consensus science"
theory that a Saturn-sized planet between Mars and Jupiter exploded.
https://open.library.ubc.ca/collections/citraudio/items/1.0135218
What's unusual in his theory is that the planet was about the size of Saturn.
Maybe the violence of the explosion also explains why Mars is so small.
As noted, ever since Bode's Law, which was formulated even before the first
asteroids were discovered - and which prompted the search for them - the idea
that there was once one bigger planet in that slot, just like in all the others,
and some disaster broke it up, was a *natural* one.
Kepler expressed this idea as "Inter Jovem et Martem planetam
interposui", which RAH later used as a chapter title in _The Rolling
Stones_.
Post by Quadibloc
The idea that, instead, Jupiter's gravity prevented a planet from being formed
there (and explains why Mars isn't bigger than the Earth, and, for that matter,
why Earth isn't bigger than Venus)
Well, that last bit certainly qualifies as "non-consensus" science.
Post by Quadibloc
After all, it wasn't _that_ long ago that the theory that a passing star dragged
material out of the Sun, making our system one of a *very few* with planets, was
considered a serious contender. Back in the 1930s, say, it was still around.
And used by Doc Smith as part of the cosmology of the Lensmen series,
put into the mouth of Kimball Kinnison in Chapter 5 of _Gray Lensman_.
(Supported by Wacky Williamson, a science fiction writer)
--
Michael F. Stemper
Always use apostrophe's and "quotation marks" properly.
Quadibloc
2018-08-22 05:00:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Nicoll
Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, June 1977 edited by Ben Bova
https://jamesdavisnicoll.com/review/nothing-without-a-woman-or-a-girl
I can't comment too much without reading the actual issue instead of your column.

But while the point in the essay "Tunnel Visionaries" is certainly valid, I can
quite understand why such issues are hardly ever discussed.

For one thing, the people doing the discussing feel themselves competent to deal
with the rockets and the rivets. For another, once we actually *have* the
ability to build... a space station, or a generation ship to Alpha Centauri...
then discussing how to organize its crew or inhabitants will be a practical
exercise instead of a fantasy.

The first story you mention, Eyes of Amber, has a premise that seems odd to me
at first glance. If, on Titan, there is political intrigue leading to people
getting killed, then obviously the moral imperative is to put a stop to such
goings-on and turn Titan into a thoroughly peaceful and thoroughly democratic
realm.

Assuming there's some sort of non-interference rule in place, then the idea of
pruriently mining Titan for high drama ought to be a non-starter. Not
particularly for moral reasons: if you're going to stand idly by and let
innocent alien intelligent beings be murdered, televising the proceedings is but
adding insult to injury.

Instead, the rationale would be the following:

Given that one other intelligent race has been found, the possibility that yet
others exist, including some that are far more advanced than Earth's humans,
suggests itself.

If a non-interference principle is considered the normal Galactic way of doing
things, they may not have shown themselves to humans.

Now then: if political intrigue on Titan is being used as a source of
entertainment on Earth, what does this indicate about the motivations of Earth
in not interfering in politics on Titan?

In other words, instead of worrying about moral ideals, which as far as anyone
knows, aren't being _enforced_, shouldn't they be worried about Earth's
*reputation* in the Galaxy at this point?

Of course, to be fair, stories written by *men* with far larger plot holes are
easy to find.

John Savard
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