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Do you like to hear about potential errors in your books?
I seem to be good at finding things.
I left an earlier note on good reads, but I found something else.
I am now reading ALICE – 9.
In chapter 9 Sara is riding with her abductors.
When they first approach the stadium she figures out what it was.
“She was sure that at some time in the past, it was a kind of sports arena.”
In the next paragraph you say almost the same thing.
“Eventually, they turned and headed up a roadway that led straight to what Sara was sure was, at one time, some former stadium.”
This probably got missed in editing,
Yes I am always open to input like this!! As an indie I walk the fine line between what a traditional editor costs vs what I can afford so readers assistance is very welcome.
just wanted to say it was great that you named one of the squadrons after my own, I was in VF84 from 1987 until 1991
That’s totally awesome. I was at El Toro for about 3 years in the 80’s myself and lifted a few of the squadrons from my time there 🙂
AL:ICE is a great set of books. I enjoyed them a lot and continue to enjoy them as a kind of white noise when I sleep.
My only nit was that projectile weapons don’t work in space. They do as they have their own oxidizers.
Yes that was news to me at the time, the latest edition of the book explains Jake was unsure of their abilities and thus went for a sure thing 🙂 Thanks for the feedback. I should have known better as I was well aware they work underwater.
I’ve just completed the Alice Series audiobooks, they are really good, and I’m really excited for what comes next. Do you have more of those books in the works?
I have a couple of concerns and criticisms
The FTL… I know the explanation is growing over time and that you’ve made big changes over the course of the series (going from multiple galaxies run by the Nee Haw to something smaller, a few dozen sectors with a handful of enhabited stars each probably thousands of systems in total), it does feel wrong that there’s only a handful of FTL access locations per solar system but I bet you could justify it. My question is more about why discovering new star systems would be an aimless flight with no expectation of what you might find at a system (or how long to travel there) Sure stars move a lot but Stars don’t move that much relatively speaking to one another on the order of 60 years, and there are some ~700 stars that close to earth and the series only talks about maybe 20 star systems… all but a handful in one direction (the Nee Haw empire)
Napkin Math: Stars local to us might move around relative to the sun at 50km/s, The sun’s gravity well (as determined by the Oort cloud’s outer edge) is ~5e10, so in about 100 years a star only moves about 1/3 of that distance.
So point and FTL should realistically find you within a star’s gravity well for more than 300 near by stars. Most of which I think we’ve catalogued for planets too… though I totally understand not wanting to equate real stars with your story.
The resources… I don’t get how the earth would be so much richer in resources than any other nearby star we all came from the same stellar nursery, would be interesting to find out how that happened
Hey Bob, thanks for reaching out, I always love hearing from the readers. If you have been using the audiobooks I wonder if you have reached ALICE: Explorer as it addresses some of what you ask.
For this conversation it helps to think of Ne Haw space as known space with established routes of travel and unknown space is the unexplored regions beyond those borders in all directions. next think of one sector of space as a cargo container, stacked side by side, to the front and rear and one on top of the next. traveling from one container to another on the far side of the stack involves 3D vector navigation plus a distance magnitude. Now add that for every star you intersect on that direction vector you will drop out of FTL and navigate around the gravity well before you can continue. The Ne Haw would have mapped the most expeditious routes long ago and set them as travel routes, limiting the number of times you needed to go around stars.
Remember earth is at the edge of Ne Haw known space, a cargo container on the outside edge of the pile, so much of the travels to known worlds and races would be in one direction. Much of the early books only talks about the known space travel lanes as its interacting with existing races. like you say of the 700+ stars closest to us it’s my understanding the percentage of habitable worlds would still be low in that number. solar systems filled with Saturn, Jupiter and mercury would not be of great value.
Book 6 takes on the concept of traveling blindly into unknown space by noting you can’t run into a star before you drop from FTL due to the influence of the star gravity well. basically, from a known starting point you fly in a straight line at a known rate of speed until you drop from FTL because of a star. map the area, change direction and repeat the process.
As for resources, the thought was Ne Haw dominated planets and regions are tens of thousands of years old, maybe more. the over mining and depletion of those worlds in comparison to earth’s mere thousand or two of human plundering is pretty dramatic. Imagine earth ten thousand years from now, just about every means of locating and removing valuable resources would leave us devoid of natural materials and metals.
Hope this sheds some light?
I have read Explorer but I think maybe part of the explanation didn’t sink in while taking in the story
That makes a lot of sense for the travel to earth from other Ne Haw sectors, and assuming that none of the named races have a direct line of sight to earth… Space is big, really big, you just won’t believe how unfathomably big it is… I have this sense that you’re making the gavity wells substantial, perhaps to the point that within galaxies there’s about equal space that’s FTLable and in a gravity well which would make FTLable space similar to the surface of foam, if you’re coming from one end of a set of bubbles the easiest and fastest way to get there would be predetermined paths with long straight lines if possible. Even more so if it’s fastest the further you are from the edges of the gravitywells
Doesn’t necessarily solve the whole FTL hopping around the edge of a system for Annie or even an invading fleet, after the first time you know that there’s an Alpha or Alice-3 at the Classic FTL drop zone for earth you pull back by a few seconds in FTL (or rather drop out of FTL outside any detection range) hop a few minutes on the plane perpendicular to the sun, and hop back into the system completely bypassing the defences, you’re a further away than the moon is from earth, and the defences are on the back foot if everyone takes a different angle defending the earth from invaders at the edge of the system would be exceptionally hard to defend there. But it does make sense for the gross travel to be predictable.
As for resources, I agree with you that to our knowledge right now very few systems would have habitable planets, but Solar Systems filled with Mercurys and Marses, or the moons of Jupiter or Saturn, or asteroid belts can also be mined they don’t have to be strictly habitable to do that. Really we’ve not touched any of the resources of our solar system, there’s more Gold, Silver, Copper, Platinum, etc in the asteroid belt than the earth’s crust and that mineral wealth is relatively easily accessible for space-faring civilisations (Scoop, crunch, smelt, eject waste, repeat), Mars, Venus and Mercury likely have the same access to mineral deposits as us, on that basis there should be no reason to leave a system ignored in known space, if there are no habitable planets take all the easy to access resources anyway, The NeHaw have automated Mining Machines just drop them on a planet come back 50 years later for the loot, this is why I’m questioning the resource availability to the Ne Haw, they’ve got trillions or quadrillions of people sure but they’ve got access to the mineral wealth of a billion earths across all the systems they’ve visited.
Ten thousand years from now assuming humanity still exists, I have no doubt that we’ll have disassembled the asteoid belt, and whole planets for the resources inside (we can build space stations with the livable surface area of billions of earths out withn just the contents of mercury) So long as we’re limited to planetary surfaces for most habitation 10,000 years from where we are now doesn’t lead to more scarecity either unless the resources are litterally horded in private hands unable to be utilised. I did the math on this last year:
The solar system has approximately 10^23 Tonnes of materials that humans could harvest (the mass of the solar system minus the masses of the Sun and all the planetary bodies) Gold makes up about 0.3ppm solar system wide which means there’s aproximately 3×10^16 Tonnes of ‘accessable’ Gold in the solar system without dismantalling anything large enough to become spherical under it’s own mass. Assuming that the Ne Haw are lazy and only go for the easiest 0.01% of resources the NeHaw should get 10^13 Tonnes of Gold from any solar system that’s at least as big as ours, with just one system and a quadrillion NeHaw that’s still 10 kg of just gold per individual Ne Haw (on average). There’s 5 stripped systems in our secrtor, there’s got to be hundreds of stripped systems in NeHaw space and NeHaw are Lazy maybe, but they’re definitely greedy, I don’t actually believe they’d walk away from more than half of the accessible gold in any system.
This is why I think that The NeHaw empire has either a huge problem with accumulated wealth that cannot be taxed or all systems on the NeHaw side of earth have significantly less original resource wealth than earth.