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
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?
Are you interested in the writings Dr. David Brin? Or in SF & Fantasy in
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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_,
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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
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