Warheads and Feedback

First, let me once again thank everyone who took the time to give me a review either on Amazon or Barnes&Noble.  I’m thrilled at the reception to date.  I also want to assure people that I read each review and, of course, any message sent to me from this site.  Probably the most consistent critique I’ve received is the whole chemical/nuclear warhead in space critique.

To start, I want to say it’s a very valid critique.  When I was writing This Corner of the Universe, I was focused on a specific set of goals and intentionally left what type of missiles were being used vague.  It wasn’t a priority to nail that down as much as trying to come up with realistic time/space lag, creating a set of believable/fallible/likeable characters that have plenty of room to grow in a series, creating the skeleton of the universe/political entities, keeping pace with the age of sail theme that I love, etc.  Of course this doesn’t mean that I expected readers (especially sci-fi readers, and I include myself as one) to overlook any of the details.  That’s mostly why I called them Interceptor missiles and left them at that.

In No Way to Start a War, I will try to address in more detail the missile warhead issue.  I don’t want to use nuclear missiles because of the whole radiation aspect.  One reviewer helpfully suggested bomb-pumped x-ray laser but I think David Weber has cornered that market.  Most likely, I am going with a very high-tech gravity warhead.  The basic properties of gravity waves fit nicely in how I envision missiles in TCOTU to work.  Gravity waves move at the speed of light and propagate out like waves in a pond when a rock is dropped into it.  Best yet, the science on gravity waves is fledgling in 2013.  Most people say they exist even though we have lots of trouble detecting them and anything we do detect is so miniscule that it could hardly be called “destructive.”  However, who is to say exactly what will become known in the real or fictional future, so some of these things can be explained away through developments in understanding and advancements in technology.

The last hurdle I want to clear before setting this in stone is checking with a friend who has his Ph.D. in Physics and also worked at a national lab for quite some time.  I want to run my basic concepts through him and see if there is anything completely, unequivocally wrong with my idea.  Naturally, it’s all based on a future setting so I don’t expect him to say, “Oh, yeah, that would work perfectly!”  However, I want to avoid overlooking something that would be a complete showstopper.

At any rate, I love the fact that the people who are reading my book are noticing things like the warhead stuff.  I especially love that people are willing to look past a little technology ambiguity and suspend their disbelief enough to enjoy the story.  As always, I am open/eager for feedback and I try to respond to each post I get from this site with my thoughts or a simple thank you.

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