17 hours ago
Saturday, June 29, 2013
Victory Conditions by Elizabeth Moon
This is the cover to an audio edition, but I like it better than the one that actually got used on my copy. This is the last of Ms. Moon's tough-space-chick novels. After this she got into fantasy. I don't like fantasy, I like science. I want particle beam weapons and spaceships that can travel faster than light. It's all fantasy of course, you just get to believe in different imaginary stuff. I will probably start reading her fantasy at some point because I really like her writing.
Her stories all seem to be about personal interactions, how people react to situations. The villains and heroes are painted in bright primary colors, there is no mistaking who are the good guys and who are the bad guys.
One thing she glosses over is the gravity well problem. There are shuttles that carry people from a planet's surface to orbit, but they may as well be magic as there is no explanation of how they work. Of course, there is no explanation of how the faster-than-light travel works either, or the artificial gravity, so you just have to believe they have it under control.
The gravity well problem is the first major problem in space travel. The second one is how to survive in space for a long period of time. Once you have mastered the survival part, and gotten into orbit, you really don't need to go back down to a planet's surface. You also wouldn't want to go back down because getting back into orbit is such an energy expensive undertaking.