Re: Colonize Atlantis!

Anders Sandberg (
05 Mar 1999 16:52:15 +0100

Webb_S <> writes:

> My understanding is that Zeta2 has a close, dim M companion. I think the
> most recent version of Gliese's Near Star Catalog mentions this as a note.

Darn, I better check this out. Still, that might not necessarily rule out a habitable planet (crossing my fingers :-) and might make the night sky a bit more interesting. My co-author almost demanded a moon for Atlantis, but I deliberately created the planet randomly using the planet system generator. In the end Atlantis got a moon anyway, as the atlanteans put the asteroid Jack into orbit - you can likely guess what it is intended for :-).

> I was deep into this stuff a while back; I compiled my own excessively
> detailed version of the Gliese near star catalog with XYZ coordinates and
> distances to all known stars w/in 50 ly. Was working on merging this with
> the much larger PARALLAX catalog, but never got around to finishing it. I
> also have very detailed info on nearby binary systems and so forth if you're
> interested.

I am definitely interested!

> My 2300/Cyberpunk campaign revolved around a quasi-statist organization
> called the Interstellar Trade Authority, a sort of super-GATT created by
> Terran megacorps to manage the world economy. (The ITA was actually based
> loosely on the Terran Trade Authority described in a fantastic series of
> books by Stewart Cowley; see
> The characters
> started off as agents of the ITA, but after spending too much time in the
> perimeter colonies came to see the ITA's darker side and rejected the
> organization (and not without a fight).

Interesting. Ah, *those* books! Yes, they were part of my early reading too.

Our long-running campaigns had no such firm theme, although the final and most hilarious campaign revolved about the characters involvement with the tiny former colony Elysia. It was a wonderful satire about power and corruption, not unlike the television series _House of Cards_. "Our voting figures are dropping!" "Shit. We need something to gain sympathy... what about assassinating the Minister of Communications?" "Again?"

> I kinda cheated with regards to FTL. Borrowing an idea from Sagan's
> *Contact*, I postulated that an alien race had long ago constructed a
> transportation network to connect interesting parts of the galaxy. The
> closest gateway to Earth was the so-called "Nemesis" that supposedly orbits
> the sun outside the Oort cloud, periodically kicking comets our way. FTL
> travel was really cool. From the outside, Nemesis appeared as a dull black
> globe 1 km in diameter. Though it looked solid, a ship could pass across
> its surface. From the inside, the system had a bizarre, hypertoroid
> topology and allowed travel both through space-time and to alternate
> universes. (That was a big part of the game; the characters eventually had
> to comprehend that they could never be sure which was "their" universe, and
> that the concept was really meaningless anyway.)

Fun. I like wormhole subways, they have great potential. Of course, you might find that other species also use them...

In my Atlantis scenario, I partially handwave FTL: the ships are equipped with "higgsrams", devices which can cause local inflation of the spacetime foam and make quantum wormholes macroscopic. The pilots and their quantum expert systems simply try to find a wormhole that leads in the right direction, and then expand it so the ship can pass through. I have had great fun developing the "Higgs field technology" used in the system in order to make it consistent.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y