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Big mistakes in sf.

Stig

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Many writers are scientists - and many are 'scientists'.
But what makes Frank Herbert make it possible to freeze a poison to -400 K.
Any bigger mistakes around?
My grammar may be a little wrong, just as my spelling. Sorry, English/American is not my natural language.
 

Ice fyre

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Black will do till they invent a darker colour. U
Now I dont know how true this is but someone once told me that people used to sneak up behind Frank Herbert and whisper OXYGEN to him, as Dune has no oceans or forests where most of our gas exchange appears to happen.

Now I am totally willing to be corrected on this as it wasnt a very reliable source.:)

Oh and Ace is from Scotland, Perth in Australia was named after it.

I assume that's what you mean.:D
 

Stig

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I used a ?. The shield looks Perthian. A joke.
No mistakes anywhere?
 

Dave

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Plenty of mistakes if that is what you are looking for. Any story set on a planet in our solar system and written pre- Pioneer and Voyager probes is completely wrong. But you can't fault that, they were written with the best science available at that time.

We already have a number of threads here, where the authors/producers/directors really should have done better homework. These are just a few:

http://www.chronicles-network.com/forum/36180-silly-science-in-science-fiction.html?
http://www.chronicles-network.com/forum/14765-13-technical-mistakes-made-in-apollo-13-a.html?
http://www.chronicles-network.com/forum/30912-independance-day-aviation.html?
http://www.chronicles-network.com/forum/29945-independance-day-cliches.html?
 

Rane Longfox

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I thought the whole point of Science Fiction was Fictional Science... but there we go - as for mistakes. Well, every story they travel faster than light, for one.
 

hypocriticHarkonnen

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galacian girls/will do it for pearls/and the arrak
I do agree that when it comes to sf, even Frank Herbert can get a little too carried away with his writing. But I guess that's why I enjoy reading these books so much, that they're so far-fetched to the point of fantasy.

Ice_fyre, that's an interesting story! I wonder what Frank Herbert thought whenever people did that to him LOL :D
 

baldur27

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to answer the oxygen question the worms produce it as a biproduct of spice
 

gully_foyle

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to answer the oxygen question the worms produce it as a biproduct of spice
Problem solved. I wonder what Tatooine does. I guess it has its own variation on sandworms so they could be oxygen belchers as well. (Rumour has it that Arrakis is actually Tatooine, or is it the other way around?) I wonder where the oxygen on Hoth comes from.

Actually, oxygen is pretty abundant. It's number 3 in the universe, admittedly usually locked up with hydrogen or carbon (which is way less abundant). So maybe some planets start with the life sustaining atmosphere first, rather than building it up slowly, with the help of anaerobic bacteria, like poor old earth had to.
 

Kostmayer

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(Rumour has it that Arrakis is actually Tatooine, or is it the other way around?)

Never heard that one. The Sarlac could be a vertcally buried worm I suppose. Or the worms could have evolved from Sarlacs, Star Was set a long time ago..
 

Dave

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The first time I ever saw Star Wars (and I was one of the people in the queues around the block) I thought that Tatooine was Arrakis. The Sarlac in Return of the Jedi only confirmed it for me.

I also thought that Hoth was the ice kingdom of Frigia, that Endor was the forest kingdom of Arora combined with the jungle kingdom of Tropica, that Cloud City was the flying city of the Hawkmen, and that Naboo was the undersea kingdom of the Shark Men, all from Flash Gordon. But maybe I was just too cynical. :rolleyes:
 

j d worthington

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The first time I ever saw Star Wars (and I was one of the people in the queues around the block) I thought that Tatooine was Arrakis. The Sarlac in Return of the Jedi only confirmed it for me.

I also thought that Hoth was the ice kingdom of Frigia, that Endor was the forest kingdom of Arora combined with the jungle kingdom of Tropica, that Cloud City was the flying city of the Hawkmen, and that Naboo was the undersea kingdom of the Shark Men, all from Flash Gordon. But maybe I was just too cynical. :rolleyes:
Hmmm. I'm still waiting for the spirit of H. Beam Piper to rise up and clonk Lucas over the head, myself.....;)
 

Timewalker

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(Rumour has it that Arrakis is actually Tatooine, or is it the other way around?)

Never heard that one. The Sarlac could be a vertcally buried worm I suppose. Or the worms could have evolved from Sarlacs, Star Was set a long time ago..
Dune was published in the '60s; Star Wars came out in the late '70s. From a RL perspective, it could be speculated that Lucas may have read Dune and thought, "Sandworms, cool idea -- I'll borrow it!"

From the perspective of linking the two for fanfic purposes... no. There is no connection. Arrakis is not located in another galaxy, and you don't see any Tatooine people running around with blue-in-blue eyes, or any mention of spice. People seem able to exist there quite well without benefit of stillsuits, there are no worms cruising around the desert, and Arrakis doesn't have any nonhumans that remotely resemble those found on Tatooine.

(yes, I know that in fanfic one is free to speculate, but in my opinion good fanfic has to be consistent with what has been established in the original universe)
 

Marvolo

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I like SF&F
Many writers are scientists - and many are 'scientists'.
But what makes Frank Herbert make it possible to freeze a poison to -400 K.
Any bigger mistakes around?
My grammar may be a little wrong, just as my spelling. Sorry, English/American is not my natural language.
I believe he did that as a way to show how uber their technology was. In these books people also see the future as well as fold space to travel many lightyears extremely fast.

C'mon, its a fiction novel.
 

j d worthington

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I believe he did that as a way to show how uber their technology was. In these books people also see the future as well as fold space to travel many lightyears extremely fast.

C'mon, its a fiction novel.
Indeed. I think I'd also add that he was showing that they had a differently-based technology, with a different understanding of physics and how the universe worked, which allowed them to do things that are outside our abilities because of our own blinders. It's impossible for us to do such a thing because of our understanding of physics; this does not mean it is impossible under any conditions which may exist in the universe -- so he was also approaching the epistemological aspect of things here, arguing (and this has a fair amount of truth to it in some ways) that a civilization's basic understanding of reality helps to determine what they can do with the basic substance of that reality.
 

pyan

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he was showing that they had a differently-based technology, with a different understanding of physics and how the universe worked, which allowed them to do things that are outside our abilities because of our own blinders.
Like the Little People, the native Venerians in RAH's Space Cadet (1948), who could liquefy air and extract the oxygen with no apparent technology whatsoever, and replicate maple syrup with the authentic flavour.
It's postulated that they are true chemists, using catalysts and room temperature processes, worked out because of the lack of metal on that particular Venus.
 
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