Faster than light! Sign me up!
- Light Speed
- Warp Drive
The great thing about speculative fiction is it has no bounds. We can travel millions of light years across the galaxy. We can jump so far in the future and out in space that Earth is nothing more than mythology (I’m thinking Foundation here and also Orson Scott Card’s Homecoming series). We can have voyages that last lifetimes, and we can have instantaneous trips that jump us from one part of the galaxy to another.
With speculative fiction, reality is only bound by our minds.
So how far are we, the reader, willing to stretch our minds? How much are we willing to believe? As far as I know, light travel is not possible for anything except…well…light (yes, fellow scientists, please correct me here if I’ve got the facts wrong).
If we’ve met life on another planet, we’ve let our minds stretch.
If we’ve settled another planet besides Earth, we’ve let our minds stretch.
What makes the stretch believable? What elements does the author need to line up to make the theory possible?
In the Foundation books, the main thing that made me believe was how much time had passed. Earth was only a whisper in the dark. No one even believed it existed. That’s how long ago people had lived there. And with that much passage of time, technology was bound to have advanced.
What other books can you think of that have faster-than-light travel, and what made them work? What made them not work? And how can we, as authors, make our stories reach that level where readers want the let their minds stretch to encompass our rules?
PJ Hoover wonders which would be better: hyperspace travel or teleportation. She’d be willing to try both.