Alright, I want to make a case here for decent science in science fiction.
Imagining a just about unlimited power source as dilithium crystals is just not science to me and so I have a problem calling Startrek science fiction. It is future fiction, a fictitious story taking place on a spaceship somewhere in the future. It is as ‘real’ to me as imagining a solid gold interstellar drive the way Douglas Adams did in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Yes, I know that Li2 exists in gaseous form and that it might possibly be crystallized somewhere on another planet, but the leap is just too big for me to take. And yes, I know that technically the tri-hidrogen I noted in ‘Foothold of Tethys‘ and is discovered in the prequel ‘Children of the Moon’ as a source of power also doesn’t exist in a stable form, but at least science knows how to create it and what it needs to stay stable: an atmosphere of almost absolute zero, where it can possibly be found and how much energy it could yield. The only step between current life and the hydrogen engine is that the cost of making H2 out of H2O is still too high for it to be of any practical use. I believe that when mankind just dares to venture out into space just hours away from our own planet we will find the solution to our energy crisis. Yes, the change of power source might have dire consequences, but that is where the fiction part comes in as this is speculation. But to crystallize dilithium or find it on another planet is still a long way away. And no, the use of (stable) wormholes, eddies or whatever also doesn’t constitute as science to me, not to mention holes in reality and into other dimensions that might be close to ours or totally different as in The Number of the Beast by Robert A. Heinlein. I know I am stepping on the toes of the masters here, but I never believed someone should be considered holy because of something they wrote or did.
Now I don’t mind future fiction, but always cringe when it is claimed to be science fiction as to me there is just a limit to the amount of bullshit I am willing to take for the sake of the story. There is no science in anything that starts with ‘here we have this spaceship see’ or ‘in a galaxy far far away from here’. Now I know that making this distinction means that Frankenstein’s Monster by Mary Shelley was science fiction in it’s time as back then electricity was seen as a wonder of science, but it has been overtaken by time and actual science. Steampunk on the other hand is NOT science fiction, as it was invented much later and NOT in the era when the steam engine was on the rise.
If you agree with my words here then pass it on, reblog my blog, or not… whatever.