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I couldn't finish two of the other three I started to read.

I don't know what the future will bring, but if I'm going to read about it, I want it to be optimistic. Because even if the future is dystopian, I am going to meet it head held high and determined to be in good spirits.

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My philosophy precisely.

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If your novel is of such quality I hope you are working on publishing it.

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Good stuff. I want a prequel where the storming of Area 51 yields memory metal! ;)

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Oh that's there in the background, as is the sacking of the Vatican library and the discovery of certain revealing documents.

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Love this vision! Way more optimistic than me - which is very refreshing.

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Yin and Yang. I like both. Dystopian works engage my dark side and stimulate thinking along the lines of how would I fare in these conditions, what would I do, would I be a heroine or clinger to the resident evil. Then, to awaken the senses and engage with the romantic vision of new hope, new quests, heroic actions by strong, magnificent, fearless blazers into the unknown - well, then, I'm off to my happy place.

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I love grimdark dystopia, but these are such depressing times in so many ways - so I had a feeling that most of the contributions in this series would fall into that genre to some degree. So I swam in the other direction. There's been a vast amount of ink spilled (well, electrons - no one uses ink anymore) articulating what we don't like about today's world, and where it seems to be headed. That's been incredibly important. But I really think it's time now for positive visions of alternative futures. We need goals to work and fight for, not just dangers to avoid.

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"We were all pessimists back then, in the very early days of the Soul War, when we didn’t even realize it was a war, when the species was just starting to notice the vampire squid that had been wrapped around its face since the Bronze Age." This SO GOOD!

I'm telling myself I'm going have to record a reading.

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This is my favorite! This is the kind of future I want to help manifest. Reminds me of Robert Heinlein at his best, e.g. Farnham's Freehold / Moon is a Harsh Mistress level envisioning.

I think I'll bask in your vision again, now, before celebrating it on my platforms.

The historical prerequisites you mention help explain how it could turn out so well. I dare not name them here. I thank you for alluding to them. I pray we have more men like you.

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Loved Heinlein as a kid. Was also kinda channeling Farmer in the Sky here ;)

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Beautifully written.

Alas, I am not as optimistic about living in space colonies as I was when young and a member of the L5 society. It was Larry Niven and Gregory Benford's "Bowl of Heaven" that made me do some calculations. Those cylindrical O'Neill colonies would pop like balloons. As radius of cylinder goes up, radius of curvature goes down, which means tension needs to go up. Tightropes have to be tight to avoid sagging.

A cylinder holding air is like a bunch of rope bridges anchored at the two ends like you seen in old jungle adventurer movies. Except those ropes need to hold the weight of 30 feet of water. Even if the "ropes" consists of quality steel cables one millimeter apart, this is still challenging unless you have significant sag (== small cylinder).

A ring topology is more promising, as the "cylinder" diameter can be kept smaller. But still: notice the thickness of the cylinder walls of a commercial jet. Those walls don't have to handle full vacuum on the outside. (But they do need to handle air turbulence.) The required thickness of the metal balloon goes up in proportion to the ring's cross section diameter. (There's bound to be a better name for this. I'm not a topologist.)

But we haven't factored in cosmic rays yet! We on Earth are protected by both a magnetic field and the equivalent of 30 feet of water. Equivalent shielding for a spinning habitat -- be it cylinder or ring -- is a LOT of spinning weight.

The writers of [the original] Star Trek may have gotten it right when they kept most of the action on planets. Living in space for long periods of time may well require deflector shields and artificial gravity.

Such calculations make me greener than my younger self. Terraforming Mars and Venus are going to be double plus long projects. We need to keep Earth operational in the meantime.

Maybe I'm just turning into an Olde Phaerte.

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I consider those to be engineering problems amenable to material science solutions, rather than insoluble dilemmas. If we can build a space elevator using carbon nanotube ropes, for example, we can certainly maintain tensile strength in a spinning hab. Although, you'll notice that Tom's muscles still degenerated: the hab ring on his ship didn't rotate fast enough to provide a full g of artificial gravity.

Radiation from cosmic rays and space weather is of course a major threat. The ship dealt with that via magnetic shielding - the same field that kept the hab ring anchored to the engineering neck. Putting water tanks on the outer skin of the hab ring would also suffice. Cosmic rays have a very short mean free path once they encounter anything more substantial than atmosphere.

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Artificial gravity with a hub and spoke arrangement is feasible. After all, we have elevators and suspension bridges on Earth. With cable spokes, the artificial gravity pulls in the same direction as the cable.

What becomes problematic is a ring or cylinder which holds itself together by its edge, like in Ringworld or the O'Neill cylinders. There, leverage works against you to the point of needing unobtanium as you scale up. Tension is nearly perpendicular to the artificial gravity. Only the curvature gives you any perpendicular component.

A spinning torus with spoke cables can give you full gravity. What gets really challenging is making the torus fat enough to be an artificial world, one worth bringing kids to. The leverage problem comes from air pressure, which is once again, perpendicular to the skin of the donut.

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Well Ringworld literally required unobtanium, given its radius of 1 AU and the absolutely ridonculous tension implied by rotation sufficient to generate 1 g of centrifugal gravity. If I recall from the novel the material it was built from blocked 40% of neutrinos over a short distance, which, yeah.

One of the big questions about space colonization is whether humans NEED 1 g, or if we can get away with less than that. If it turns out that there are really serious issues, particularly developmental issues, at lower gravity, then the only way to colonize the solar system is with artificial habitats.

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Feb 2, 2023Liked by John Carter

Yes, but the big problem with space is that the earth is flat

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Spherecucks and flatfags are both wrong. The Earth's surface is a fractal.

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Feb 12, 2023Liked by John Carter

Ah, I always knew it 😅

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Feb 1, 2023Liked by John Carter

I enjoyed the "vision" of the future John. I wish you had added a plausible explanation of how we get human IQ levels back up.

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It's implicit in the billion who died during the bad years, plus the use of IVF, which probably doesn't stop at egg fertilization ;)

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I could stand some more of this story. Brought back younger days, buried in the latest ERB, imagining myself the heroine in distress, fighting a losing battle, perhaps near death, knowing rescue by her hero was surely to come....allowing myself just one more chapter before I had to tear myself away for homework or some such dreadful mundane task. Ahhh, those were the days, and memories I thank you for awakening. You created a vivid picture of your characters and excited one's desire to get to know them. That's what a true story-teller does.

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Thanks! I had a lot of fun with this. There was a bit more exposition than was appropriate to a vignette, I think - but the story was a skeleton on which to sketch the world, and the kinds of men and women that it produced. It's the kind of world I want to live in, populated by the kind of people I'd like to know - and I wanted the reader to feel the same way.

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Mission accomplished.

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John, will be linking all six articles today in a special edition of https://nothingnewunderthesun2016.com/

Wiil be reading all over the next few days when I get some time.

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Thank you, from all of us!

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So good! I recorded a reading for those who prefer to be read to: https://heroesvsvillains.substack.com/p/inspiring-short-story-2043-heroes

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Thanks, man!

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Feb 4, 2023Liked by John Carter

Wow, really good story. So good...I’m a paid subscriber now ;)

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Thank you! Hope to see you over at Deimos, my friend.

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Feb 3, 2023Liked by John Carter

You left out the creation of the primarchs and their scattering across the galaxy,but other than that very nice. : )

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That happens about 30k years after the events in this story ;)

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That backstory is so tantalising. I want to know all about it, but this way I have to make it myself. It's better this way, it gives me something to fight for.

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Mission accomplished.

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Thinking some more about it, there is something here which betrays your worldview here. In this story, the cause of our predicament is so far as I can see described as something demonic and extrahuman. An esoteric cause. But if we where to put on our materialist analysis of history googles, while retaining our Platonist metaphysics we instead see things like fiat money, ie debt itself being the cause. And debt, rentier class activity and ultimatly what we end up with is the bourgois ethos, and a bourgois worldview. Ie, thje root cause here is cities, but not any cities: Maritime Cities. The Bank is named after the bank of the river for a reason.

The entire ethos of getting your ship and venturing out to sea in order to find riches (by either trade, conquest or plunder) is rooted upon that very same ethos of private enterprise which is baked into our profoundly maritime and ultimatly Norse worldview.

The civilisation thus created is the one built from the banks of the river Thames. A civilisation of conquest of new lands, of adventure and private enterprise financed by debt, charter companies or privateering. A heroic metaphysics reduced to institutional materialism, because spiritual treasures can never balance the books of the Gringotts Goblin Bankers (GB for short).

So my critique here, is that you wish to reset the system to start the same game all over again. It's a revolution, ie another turn of the wheel. Sure, the current elite may be sclerotic, risk adverse and lacking inspired vision.

And sure, their inspiration is of a satanic nature, but could their metaphyscis ever be different given the institutions they are caretaking? They are literally beancounters, endlessly counting and balancing the ledger, Kronos incarate, but where is Jupiter ascendant?

Are the riches found by Hercules conquering the stars entered into the books as wordly riches? Or are we simply to forgive all debts and instead count our blessings?

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Saw someone say that this reminded them of Heinlein. I thought kind of the same thing with a little bit of Frank Herbert thrown in and a dash of Edgar Rice Burroughs. But I should know "My Favorite Martian" would have to have a touch of Burroughs added in. Not sure I liked the ending, would have liked to see Tom perhaps make a change to where he is at. A new beginning here and rather than away and then perhaps Azadeh could still see the stars without leaving. Perhaps a sequal would change my mind. You are the second of the six that I have read, still have four more to go. Good read!!!

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It's never an easy decision to leave the settled life for the frontier. I imagine many tears were shed in all of our family histories when the patriarch elected to trade the comfort and safety of the civilized world for the raw opportunity of the unsettled wilderness. I wanted to portray that dynamic with as much emotional honesty as I could. Optimism doesn't always mean unadulterated happiness.

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Feb 2, 2023·edited Feb 2, 2023Liked by John Carter

Well, now, out of 5 posts I've read, there's 2 novels I want to read.

This is a great one!

Edit: Make that 3 novels I want to read.

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I'm not sure why people find this so optimistic. I see a contentious and aggressive marriage, in which decisions are ultimately reached through forced submission, whether it be her or him doing the forcing. I find little reason to have hope for them.

It's well-written, nonetheless.

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Feb 2, 2023Liked by John Carter

Ahhh. Sometimes women struggle to see the bigger picture. I understand.

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You don't think there's good faith room to view things differently?

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Feb 12, 2023Liked by John Carter

My friend. The family dynamic presented in this story is the least important aspect of it, and not even approaching the purpose of the writing. You are like someone transported to a new and alien world and only noticing that the coffee is not made to your liking. Don’t drink it. The coffee is not what is important in this vision 😅

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No relationship is free of conflict, particularly when both parties are strong-willed and stubborn. In this case, the conflicts arise not because one is trying to selfishly force their will on the other, but because they have differing ideas of what is best for the family.

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It's true no relationship is free of conflict, but the way that conflict is managed matters.

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Feb 12, 2023Liked by John Carter

Actually, my current relationship is completely free of conflict. She follows me on everything. I think she’s madly in love with me. Deeply troubling. If she doesn’t yell at me soon I may have to break things off.

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I always get uneasy if there isn't a scrap at least once in a while. Just feels wrong. Plus, makeup sex.

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Absolutely.

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