rec.arts.sfscience- newsgroup hilights

$0 - B


An Old Friend
On star trek technology
The rate of technological progress in popular SF
["popular SF" can mean books, films, or TV]

If you look at Star Trek's Federation, it doesn't seem like much
improved in the 80 or so years between Kirk's Enterprise and
Picard's Enterprise. The D/E models are bigger, and can
apparently go faster in warp without risking an explosion, but
like their predecessors they still have phasers and photon
torps, transporters, etc. Picard's ships have holodecks of
course, but overall you'd think eighty years' worth of innovation
would have produced some much more advanced techs.

And don't get me started on the rather ineffective small-arms
accessories-no personal shields? Smart grenades? Multi-
stream phasers for taking out whole squads of enemies at
once? Personal stealth a la Predators? Instead they just
shoot it out with the bad guys like in any 50's Western. I
guess it gives the battles a more "human" feel for dramatic
purposes, instead of your smart bombs and his smart bombs
richocheting back and forth while the protagonists just hunch
down helpless...

But, artistic license aside, would there be roadblocks, limits to
developing faster ships, better defenses, more powerful weapons?
Take how little jet fighter technology has progressed in the past
quarter-century or so (relatively speaking). Or should we chalk
up the above to unimaginative writers?

John DiFool


An Old Friend
Same group
Announcing Brin-L, the David Brin Mailing List
Are you interested in the writings Dr. David Brin? Or in SF & Fantasy in
general? Then you are invited to to join Brin-L, the David Brin Mailing

Brin-L is an e-mail discussion list aimed at discussing the works of
award-winning science-fiction author David Brin. Secondary aim is the
discussion of the works of all three Killer-B's (David Brin, Greg Bear, Greg
Benford). However, discussions of any other topic (be it science-fiction,
science, politics, home cooking, or whatever) are also more than welcome.

David Brin, Ph.D, has a triple career as scientist, public speaker, and
author. Several of his novels, such as _The Postman_ and _The Uplift War_,
have been New York Times Bestsellers and won multiple Hugo, Nebula and
American Library Association awards. His 1989 ecological thriller, _Earth_,
foreshadowed global warming, cyberwarfare and near-future trends like the
World Wide Web. A 1997 movie, directed by Kevin Costner, was loosely based
on _The Postman_. Another novel, _Startide Rising_, is in pre-production at
Paramount Pictures.

Subscribing to Brin-L is free and easy: just send a blank e-mail to, wait for the Confirmation Request message,
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With regards,

Jeroen van Baardwijk
Listowner, Brin-L