KSK

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  1. KSK

    Another poll

    I think that last sentence sums up the problems involved in finding a story that everyone can get behind. Personally, I have no problems with the 'kerbals like snacks' meme - I think of them as sort of space Hobbits; peaceable sorts who like their food and drink. But the 'Minmus is minty icecream' meme has long outstayed it's welcome in my opinion. There's humorous, there's quirky, then there's plain dumb. In a similar vein, I don't mind the 'junkyard space program' meme within reason but a lot of other folks are vehemently opposed to it. So even with the current barebones canon, there's much to disagree over, let alone an official storyline. As for fan-fiction, you make a fair point but If there's one thing that fanfic writers tend to be pretty good at, it's warping official canon to suit their needs. I know that I'm too far up my, into my own story at this point for an official story to make the slightest bit of difference in how I intend to finish it and I can't imagine I'm the only one. For anyone starting a new tale after any official one is released - play as fast and loose with the official setting as you like, call your version an Alternate Universe story and you're good to go.
  2. Okay, so this thread is mostly about people asking for help to improve their writing and other people offering that help in various measures. There's one thing though that we can all do to improve. It's not glamorous, it aint a quick fix, I can't offer you one weird tip to improve your writing (whether or not it makes published authors hate you). However it is reliable and I'm betting that pretty much all published authors recommend it. We can practice. We can write more. It's as simple - and as hard - as that. But then again, this shouldn't really be a surprise. Practice is the same way that you'd improve any other art, craft or skill. You can read all the textbooks and self-help guides you like but in the end, there's no substitute for actually busting out that paintbrush, hammer and chisel, wheelbarrow, or whatever the tools of your particular chosen craft are, and putting in the hours of practice. Why should writing be any different? Let me give you a (fictional) example. I'm 45, greying and in the midst of a full-blown midlife crisis. I decide to solve said crisis by making my long overdue bid for rock stardom. Yeah - I'm gonna be the next Brian May. Heck, I've got the hair already, KSK would make a killer stage name and that old leather jacket in the back of closet still fits right? How hard can this be? Well, to tell you the truth, I don't actually know much about playing guitar, so it's time to hit the local library and do some research on this. Luckily, the library comes up trumps: Rock Guitar for Dummies. Sounds like a good place to start. Waking up the Neighbours - Powerchords 101. Oh yeah, I need that. Beyond the Status Quo - Play Your Way to Stardom with Four Easy Chords. Sounds legit. So I check out all three books. I devour those suckers end-to-end and upside down. I get more books and read those too. I've got this. Eventually I buy my guitar, an amp, a tuner, one of those clamp things that I can never quite remember the name of. I lug the whole lot out to my garage and set up. I pull on my lucky Queen t-shirt. Quick straw poll. Who thinks this is going to go well? Yeah - I thought so. I improvise a spotlight out of my old desk lamp. I strike that perfect 'Rock God' pose. I raise my hand, bring it crashing down onto the strings... SPRAAAANNNNNGGGGGG. SCREEEEEEEEEEE. SPRRAAANGGgggg-ggggg-gggg. Well this guitar is magic. I can tell that because the darn thing seems to have turned all my fingers into thumbs. The next door neighbour's dog is howling along with me and I wouldn't care but the mutt is holding a better tune than me too. The next door neighbours on the other side - the ones with the son who's learning to play the bagpipes - are knocking on the door, politely asking me to turn it down a bit. All in all, it doesn't take me long to figure out that a) turning the amp up to 11 was a bad idea and b) forget about Rock Godhood - it's gonna take me a ton of practice to knock out a halfway decent cover of Bohemian Rhapsody. But so it goes. A rock god's gotta do what a rock god's gotta do.
  3. KSK

    SpaceX Discussion Thread

    Seems legit given that they're on a solid 2 per month cadence at the moment.
  4. Another problem is that you're assuming your readers know the memes - which might not be the case. For example in your prologue, you refer to Darbels and TX. I can figure out what (or who) the Darbels are from context but I have no clue what TX is. I have to admit that I'm not quite sure what to make of Project Seekers so far. It seems to be a mashup of relatively serious, mostly text based story (Prologue, Chapter 1, Chapter 6), illustrated mission story (Chapter 4), "how I did this stuff in KSP" with all the blueprints and staging diagrams (Chapter 2 and Chapter 4), and slightly oddball comedy (Chapter 3), the whole thing being sprinkled with fourth wall breaches. Each of those can be made to work well in isolation and I could find examples of all of them in the Fanworks and Mission Reports forums. Put them all together though and they break up the flow of the story and make it disjointed and hard to read. I would suggest picking what story type you really want to write and focus on that, rather than trying to juggle all those different styles of writing at once. Which you pick is entirely up to you but I think that ditching the blueprints and staging diagrams might be an easy way to start. Or, if you really, really like your Kronal blueprints, try working them into a picture somewhere, rather than just pasting them in as a separate image. Maybe have a couple of your characters talk about the staging sequence instead of presenting that as a separate image. And, whichever style you pick - slow down a little. Give your characters some screen time, give your readers some time to engage with them, see how they respond to what's happening in the story and maybe even how their reactions to events drives the story. Take Chapter 1 for example. It's a great, attention grabbing opening - and then nothing happens. Now, this may be something you plan to return to in later chapters but right now, KSC Tracking Station is out of action, Gene is missing, presumed dead - and nobody seems to care all that much. Chapter 2 kicks off with an 'everything has gone wrong - what will our heroes do next, dun...dun....dun' kind of opening, and then just jumps right into building the biggest spacecraft that Kerbin has ever seen. Then Chapter 3 takes an odd detour into Wernher and Bill talking about some advanced parts, which are only really advanced for KSP parts - fill gauges and drain valves aren't particularly unusual real-world features. Then we're into the launch, run an EVA - and still nobody seems particularly worried about poor Gene or the wrecked Tracking Station.
  5. I'm not sure how up to date or valid it is but I found this calculator pretty useful when thinking about a grav-wheel equipped spacecraft for a story plot.
  6. KSK

    SpaceX Discussion Thread

    Probably. Although cargo Dragon has to be attached, and open to, the Space Station, so I would have thought the pressure requirements for that were pretty stringent. *shrugs* I dunno. I just had no idea where Plum Brook was, so I looked it up. I understand why NASA has facilities scattered every which way but it did bring home the logistical absurdities involved. I mean, c'mon, what next. Ship Crew Dragon to Fairbanks to test the avionics then back to Bob's Body Shop (space capsules our speciality!) in New Jersey to touch up the paintwork?
  7. KSK

    SpaceX Discussion Thread

    Can't get a sense of scale on that at all. If it wasn't for the impeccable source, I'd think that was a really weird mockup. Does anyone know why they're shipping it all the way out to Plum Brook? I would have thought that SpaceX have their own testing facilities for the current Dragon capsule that would do the job. Better facilities at Plum Brook, or an excess of customer caution?
  8. KSK

    Ozone oxidiser?

    I'm not sure either but Ignition did mention that compared to liquid ozone, HTP had all the sensitivity of a pro-wrestler. Or words to that effect.
  9. Glad we have the Word of God there - trying to keep all that straight was just murder. Not sure it matters - a cartridge ejecting water gun probably doesn’t count as a non-lethal weapon anyway.
  10. KSP is a very flexible setting. Squad have given us almost no lore about the kerbals, Kerbin and the other planets in the stock game (let alone modded in planets), so you're free to make up whatever you need for your story. I doubt anybody's going to complain about the accuracy of your KSP lore because there's nothing official to compare it to. So rather than worrying about tying the GFU into KSP, I would just tie KSP into the GFU. If the GFU is too detailed for your story, that doesn't matter - just reveal as much of it as you need. From your prologue, it looks like a lot of the story is probably going to be about the kerbals going interstellar and experiencing some of the marvels of other planets and alien cultures for the first time. Which is great - your readers will be able to see your universe through the eyes of a species that's completely new to it all. Edit: Even when there is an official lore of sorts, there's no particular reason why you can't ignore it. Be inspired by KSP but don't feel that you have to stick rigorously to what we see in-game. For example, in my own story, I've completely disregarded the various Easter Eggs scattered around the game. This is in complete contrast to @Just Jim's Saga of Emiko Station where the Easter Eggs (and even some in-game graphical glitches) play a very large part in the story indeed. In other examples, some folks choose to imagine the kerbals living underground because all we see in-game is the KSC and a couple of other locations. I've chosen to interpret that as a limitation of the game rather than a piece of official lore. My kerbals have noses (the better to include recognisable gestures and body language), the in-game models don't. And I haven't even started to think about writing in a justification for the weird and wonderful planet sizes and densities that we see in-game. And for all that, I still think of my story as a KSP fan-fiction! It includes some of the in-game characters (although it's old enough that Walt, Mort and the rest weren't around when I started and haven't been written in since) and, to begin with at least, it takes a reasonably serious approach to the whole 'parts found lying by the side of the road' meme. It also includes a lot of the different companies we see in-game and provides a bit of backstory for one of them. So I haven't ignored the official lore completely
  11. It’s a good start and the ‘shipwrecked on an alien world’ setting has a lot of potential to become a really interesting and fun story. Plus your ship and vehicle designs are very cool. The first few chapters felt rather quick.(discover alien artifact - wham. Build giant interstellar spacecraft - bam. Fly to new star system - kablam.) That’s not necessarily a bad thing if you’re just setting the scene for the main story and getting your characters to that alien world as quickly as possible. For future chapters though, you might want to slow it down a bit. For example - imagine what would happen if we found supposed alien artifacts on Earth? You could probably make a whole book out of your first couple of chapters, starting with that initial discovery, dealing with all the different reactions to it, proving that the artifacts are real and not some conspiracy, showing how the world (eventually) opts for peaceful exploration and finally researching, building and launching a starship. Last thing. I don’t normally comment on spelling and stuff. I know all too well how easy it is to miss the odd typo or grammar fail, and I can only imagine how hard it must be to write a story that isn’t in your first language. But if you could run your chapters through a spellchecker before posting them, it would make them a lot easier to read. Spellcheckers aren’t perfect of course but they do help.
  12. KSK

    Ozone oxidiser?

    Okay - so I went there. Looks like you’re spot on about ozone and Teflon. List of ozone resistant materials here. From a separate source, nickel also has an excellent rating - stainless steel resistance to ozone improves with higher nickel content. And unsurprisingly after reading Ignition, fluorine has been studied as an oxidiser. NASA list of fluorine resistant materials here. Nickel based superalloy for your turbine? Doesn’t look like an insurmountable problem at any rate.
  13. KSK

    Ozone oxidiser?

    Okay, this is pure spitballing because I haven't looked up the relevant numbers and my chemistry graduate days are far behind me, but I think fluorine is the stronger oxidising agent. I'm basing this on the fact that something like chlorine trifluoride will happily oxidise silicates (for example common sand) and fluorine itself will happily etch - well pretty much anything. Using it as an etchant in semiconductor fabrication is one of it's major industrial uses after all. Fluorine will also form an inert metal fluoride layer on certain metals, so I'm thinking that with a suitable choice of alloy for your turbine, it ought to possible to passivate it by treating it with fluorine gas, at which point, further fluorine erosion should be prevented. The white elephant in the room here is obviously that ozone. I don't think it would oxidise a metal fluoride layer but I'm not sure. I did also think that if you're really only looking at the lower end of a few hundred degrees for your operating temperature, then Teflon melts at 326 degrees Celsius. On reflection though, I expect ozone would chew up Teflon in short order - all those lovely, lovely carbon-carbon bonds to chow down on.
  14. KSK

    Ozone oxidiser?

    Sprinkle zamphor. Add an olive. Drink - but very carefully.