Taking a Space Shot at Einstein

The problem with all the stories about deep space is that they are as anti-science as creationism. You can’t travel faster than the speed of a light for several reasons, including mass increasing toward infinity as you close in on light speed and time dilation due to relativity.

Basically, Einstein is a jerk when it comes to writing science fiction.

So a lot of science fiction, including those two epic “Star Something” series we all love, just “warps” its way around the issue with clever verbage. Unspoken science lets them make the “”Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs,” and never mind that a parsec is a measure of distance and not time.

I’m not knocking these tales; I love them. But with my Space Shot stories, I wanted to explore what it would take to venture way out into space despite the restrictions of Einstein. How a commitment to a space program lasting decades and even centuries would change us. How an astronaut might sleep through most of a long voyage and be out of sync with the world on his or her return 50 or even 100 or more years later.

And how discovering something out there that proves we’re not alone, as we do in “Across the Empty,” might change how humankind does everything.

Of course, such a discovery might not change anything. The Apollo program lasted all of 11 years. As a kid, I remember the world was enthralled when men first reached the moon in 1968, then bored by the last mission in 1972. Long-term commitment doesn’t seem to be a human trait, and neither does interest in science and exploration anymore.

But we can dream. And maybe one day we can beat that bastard Einstein and his relatively. We’d all cheer a mission to oh, Proxima Centauri, where a rocky planet sits in orbit. As long as it didn’t taken longer than a season of Picard, given our attention span as a species.

The latest Space Shot story, The Lost Shot-naut, is new on my site.

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