Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Real science amidst the fiction!

More excerpts from 'The Calling' which is (honestly!) nearing the end of its last revision. I think science fiction for any age group can be liberally spiced with real science to feed the mind. It makes the fiction more solid, too.

Then he turned the SHF receiver dial and listened for the space communications traffic he occasionally heard during his flights, usually as he was approaching Elmara City. He loved to hear the chatter of pilots coming in from deep space to Elmarune's only orbital station, known by the call sign E-One. Even the shuttle pilots making their scheduled lifts and drops in and out of Elmara City could be interesting to listen to. The best reception of these microwave signals was at the lower end of the band, up to 10 or 15 gigahertz, since at much higher frequencies the moisture in the atmosphere tended to spoil the signal, and the voices of the flight controllers on the ground would fade in and out....

He powered off the radio and pushed the MR-65 into a steep climb. Before he engaged the return-to-base autopilot he wanted to do a little flying. Heading east, the interceptor shot towards the outer reaches of the atmosphere. The planet rotated towards the east, and heading that way meant Valin was already travelling at great speed. Elmarune was boosting him into orbit. The cockpit shook, and the details of the land slowly disappeared into haze. He spared quick glances outside, and otherwise kept his eyes on the instruments: hull temperature still rising as the airspeed increased, reactor field strength steady, exhaust temperature normal, magnetic heading 83 degrees east; then altitude, atmospheric pressure, vertical acceleration, angle of attack, pitch… there was plenty to watch. His eyes flicked back and forth, constantly responding to the ship's slow drifting by adjusting the power or the steering yoke.

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