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Re: STL travel

From: "Evan Powles" <epowles@p...>
Date: Mon, 2 Nov 1998 09:21:54 +1100
Subject: Re: STL travel

> From: Nyrath the nearly wise <>
> To:
> Subject: Re: STL travel
> Date: Friday, 30 October 1998 12:10
> Thomas Anderson wrote:
> > also a teeny bit like larry niven's ubiquitous gravity polariser -
> > there's a drive! i think the idea was you could flip the sign of the
> > between you and a big mass, and so use it to generate lift.
>	Well, actually, that turns out not to be the case.
>	Niven's gravity polarizer had much the same limitations
>	of a parachute.
>	You could go any direction, as long as the direction
>	was "down".
>	It would convert your motion relative to a gravity well
>	into waste heat.  So you could hover or fall slowely,
>	but you could not rise.

As I remember it, the polariser is a fully functional spacedrive (Kzinti
warships being the most notable users of this technology), the more
system you describe is the gravity drag used in one of the Beowulf
Schaeffer stories (and maybe elsewhere as well). I think the short story
"The Warriors" has a Kzin ship pulling tens of gees while light-years
any star. Presumably the polariser is very expensive or restricted
technology since despite its fabulous performance it is rarely seen in
stories set later in the history of Known Space.

Evan Powles

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