Blog-A-Day Challenge

The Fiction Writers Group on Facebook is running a blog-a-day challenge for the next fifteen days. I'm giving it a shot, although it's going to be tough to get something down every day for the next fourteen days. Yes, that means this is the first of the fifteen. Each day I can pick from one of fifteen prompt pictures as inspiration, similar to the group's weekly flash fiction prompt. Since I intend to continue doing that prompt each week also, my blog entries for this blog-a-day challenge will be quite a bit different.

I intend, and I stress the word intend, to write about something I've been thinking about for years--maybe decades. These entries won't be stories. Instead,they will be fodder for stories. Still creative, but without a story structure, per se. These entries will discuss, in as much detail as I can muster in a single day, the fictional mechanics of space travel. I say "fictional" mechanics because, except for tomorrow's entry, each piece will discuss either a method of space travel I've read about over many decades or an approach I've come up with myself.

This series--the whole series, actually--is inspired by the first photo prompt below.

This picture of a little girl casually setting off on a journey with planets in tow seemed, to me at least, the perfect metaphor for this series. How cool would it be if we could just as casually set off on a journey to those very same planets, or even beyond them to other stars with their own planets circling them? Pretty damned cool, I think.

So, over the next couple of weeks, I'll try my best to tell you my thoughts on the following topics. I haven't mapped them to any of the other prompt pictures yet, and I'm afraid some of those relationships will be strained at best. But, if you'll bear with my tenuous tie-ins, we may all foster some ways to use these suborbital, orbital, planetary, and interstellar propulsion schemes in our own future stories. That is the point of the entries in this series, after all. So if you see in one or more of them a way to move your characters from point A to point B, regardless of how far apart A and B are, feel free to borrow any or all.

In no particular order, I hope to cover:

- Suborbital boosters

- Single-stage to orbit reusable launch vehicles

- Something I call the "Screamer"

- Light sails for interplanetary trips

- Ion drives for interplanetary, and possibly decades-long interstellar flights

- Ram fusion drives (thank-you Larry Niven)

- My own "L-4 Drive"

- Star Trek's warp drive

- Wormholes (based on my own extension of String Theory)

- Teleportation (same theory allows this)

- Folding space (ala Frank Herbert's Guild Navigators)

- Asimov's jump drive (same theory works here, too)

- Non-observable dimensional transit (yes, via my e-Strings)

- Quantum Extrusion (verrry far out there)

Wow, this is gonna be hard, but fun. At least for me. I hope it is for you, too!

Rob Johnson

May 16, 2020


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