Mr Shifty

Seveneves

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So, Neal Stephenson's new novel, published last Tuesday. I'm only about 150 pages in, but I can't imagine any KSP enthusiast not being thrilled by it. It scratches the same near-future, hard-scifi, space-geek itch that The Martian or Gravity did. I'll post more once I've finished, but so far it's highly, highly enjoyable (and paced like Reamde -- that is to say, I start reading and look up an hour or so later to discover 100 pages have flown by.)

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I have read about half of the book in 4 days. It is rather clinical at time but oh boy i love it. I try to restrict my reading time otherwise i will finish it in no time.

I wonder if anyone could build it in ksp. ( it should be possible given the detailed description he gives) (hard to explain without giving away any spoilers).

If anyone build something out of this book please post *.craft files!

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I have read about half of the book in 4 days. It is rather clinical at time but oh boy i love it. I try to restrict my reading time otherwise i will finish it in no time.

Yeah, I read 300 pages yesterday and had to force myself to stop reading so I could sleep. (There's a giant cup of coffee sitting next to me right now.) It's interesting how the publisher's description of the book emphasizes the long-term aftermath, when more than half of the book (at least) is about the preparation.

I wonder if anyone could build it in ksp. ( it should be possible given the detailed description he gives) (hard to explain without giving away any spoilers).

If anyone build something out of this book please post *.craft files!

I think you could do it pretty well with some of the [thread=81754]old spacecraft packs[/thread].

Anyone who's thinking about checking the book out should consider reading the excerpt published on Stephenson's website. It's the first 26 pages, so no spoilers that you wouldn't get just by reading. The only drawback is that after reading that, it's unlikely that you'll be able to resist going out and buying the full novel.

Just to whet your appetite, it's got tons of action in LEO with diamond hard (sci-fi hardness scale, diamond=extremely realistic) orbital dynamics. Many existing spacecraft are seen/used. The near-future technologies used are extremely believable, as they're tech that's currently in prototype/advanced design phase. It's like spaceflight candy. We rarely get sci-fi like this, so give it some love.

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Ok I hate you now, it's 3 am and I just saw your post and am reading it online now.

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Kindle says 47% of the way through as of last night, and I have to say this first bit has been really excellent.

I've talked to a lot of people who have said roughly the same thing. The first 2/3 of the book is the exact kind of awesome hard sci-fi book that I'm loving right now. The last 1/3 is a thought experiment set 5000 years in the future that actually detracts from the awesomeness of the book and almost would have been better as a sequel.

I would have read 1000 pages of just this near future story. I want to capture an asteroid and build a huge complex in orbit.

edit: Oh and check out the illustrations on the inside of the endpapers if you pickup the hard cover. They're gorgeous.

Edited by air805ronin

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I bought this book right before a cross-country plane trip, and finished it before my flight back landed the next day. I just couldn't stop reading.

There are a few minor items I could be picky about, but only if I felt like being a whiny nitpicker. I'm a huge Stephenson fan in the first place, so between that and my passion for the topic, I'm more that a little biased. Still well-worth reading if you want a great, new modern sci-fi in the best traditions of the genre, balancing very detailed science and far-reaching meta-physics in the way only Stephenson can.

Unlike many other Stephenson novels, though, this one reaches a great climax. I am surprised that he didn't split this into several novels that could extend and/or transition the under-developed far-future segment. Still a great read, and worth your time--if you're reading this on the forum, it's virtually guaranteed to be of interest to you.

Edit: He referenced "TURING" magazine again, which was formerly a Waterhouse-universe reference to "Wired." This seems to split from the near-future posited in Paranoid Chip, but it did make me wonder if there were any other tieovers I missed.

Edited by TythosEternal

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Sould we get a spoiler thread going, if anyone is interested I would like to discuss some aspects of the book but without having to worry about spoiling it for anyone.

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Sould we get a spoiler thread going, if anyone is interested I would like to discuss some aspects of the book but without having to worry about spoiling it for anyone.

probably.

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There was a funny easter egg:

When Dinah opened the first soyuz, she got hit in the face with a bundle of lead pencils. This is a reference to the idiotic hoax that NASA spent billions on making a ballpoint pen work in space (you can get a actual fisher spacepen for 15 dollars.), while the soviets used normal pencils. (Which are flammable, produce many dangerous fragments and dust which can hurt astronauts or break equipment.)

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I've read and enjoyed most of Stephenson's works, Snow Crash being a particular favorite, and Cryptonomicon get's special mention for being the only work of fiction I've ever seen a Perl script in. (*edit* and then there's The Diamond Age, how on earth could I forget that?)

I saw the book in a store a few weeks ago, so even the slightest suggestion I'll enjoy it is enough for me, I'll be picking it up soon.

Edited by pxi

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One thing that seemed immediately obvious (and was already addressed the first time I looked at Neal Stephenson's website) is that the torus at the aft end of Izzy is in the wrong place.  It's a big gyroscope, and since Izzy (like many other spacecraft) executes a 360-deg forward flip once per revolution (to stay properly oriented w/r/t Earth), gyroscopic precession would make it simultaneously execute a 360-deg. rotation in yaw.  Thus, halfway through each revolution, it would be flying ack-basswards.  Eliminating this precession would require constant thruster operation and would impose huge structural loads. Building the second torus (T2 in the novel) and spinning it the other way would help solve the problem--but Izzy and the first torus wouldn't have lasted long enough for that to happen.

Quick and dirty solution: either build two counter-rotating tori right from the start (although the loads on their hubs and spokes would still be significant), or build a counterrotating mass (can be a lot smaller if it's denser and spins faster) on the same axle.

Better idea?: put the axle of the torus (or tori) on Izzy's port/starboard axis so that it/they rotate along the direction of orbital travel--like bicycle wheels.  Of course, in any situation in which you have to slew the spacecraft such that the gyro axis is displaced, you'll have to deal with precession.

That's why instruments like Hubble or Kepler have "reaction wheels" to control their attitude in the first place!

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