I’m having my wisdom teeth out tomorrow. This is a bit of a short update, but I’m trying to get a little ahead on the word count for the week in case I don’t feel much like writing tomorrow. I also wanted to mention that last Friday I released Book 5 in my Seamus Chronicles sci-fi series. It’s called Exploration and is on sale for $0.99 for a few more days.
My Off Earth series is coming along nicely, I’m past the half-way point! One of the things I’ve been thinking about recently is how fighter ships will work in space.
From an action and excitement perspective I love space fighters and the cool pilots that fly them. As a kid I had X-wing and Y-wing fighters to play with. The BattleStar Galactica vipers were on almost every drawing I made from third through fifth grade. Afterburners, thrusters, and the control stick hard right or left inducing a roll is an adrenaline pumping scene.
Unfortunately, from a reality perspective I doubt that humans will be sitting at the controls of s a space ship with windows and guns. It makes sense to me that artificial intelligence will handle the bulk of flight control in space (and soon on Earth as well). And a big part of me thinks that artificial intelligence won’t want to conduct combat missions that have a real possibility of failure.
So where does the space battle action come from? For me it comes from an alien encounter (new data set) and AI instances struggling to learn. The humans are urging them to make exceptions to both comfort and safety protocols but the ships are reluctant to listen.
In the Off Earth Series I’ve decided my ships have commanders, not pilots. The commander directs the AI flight control and at times is required to persuade the AI to go against it’s programming. For example, if the odds of success are below twenty percent an AI flight controller might refuse to do a maneuver that could stop or destroy and alien star ship. It’s up to the human commander to override that decision, because the fate of the human race rests in their hands. This is a gray area that comes into play in other places.
As for the windows I don’t feel like those are going to be common in space. More likely are monitors that show a visualization of what the ship perceives to be outside the hull. They are already talking about doing this in airplanes and I think it makes even more sense in space. For my characters in They Awake, their salvage ships, the Cthulhu ships, have a small circle of port holes around the body. These are because the ships were designed and built by an Earthling who had grown up driving cars. He didn’t trust AI or computer representations to be one hundred percent reliable so there were small windows built into the ship, though rarely needed. Except of course in an emergency.
For those following along for the numbers update on the Off Earth Series progress –
Book 1 – They Awake
Target release date – 4/13/2018 On schedule
Last weeks word count/target – 25,723/22,000
This weeks word count target – 22,000 words
Total words/projected – 59,708/95,000