Subject: Re: Faster-than-light drive reclassification (was Star Drives - Catalogs)
From: Erik Max Francis
Heh. Actually, the original time I posted the list I included names; it
Bill McHale who suggested that names not be used, since, as he says above,
can be misleading.
Here are the types again (with the names I originally gave them), real
(I keep posting this because the definitions are subtly refined each
These four (five) classification systems are pretty good for classifying
much everything. One might want a multidimensional classification system,
it's hard to think of other aspects of a drive which are consistent across
the different types.
- Type -1; fakedrive: Assume that special relativity or general relativity
incorrect in part or in whole, or just ignore them. Now you can just
accelerate at constant gravity until you go faster than light.
- Type 0; realdrive: A drive which uses tricks of spacetime geometry (a la
general relativity) to travel faster than light.
- Type I; hyperdrive: The ships enters some different space during the
whether or not time passes for the crew while in this space.
- Type II; warpdrive: A bubble of different space is projected around the
so that the ship can travel faster-than-light while still in realspace.
- Type III; jumpdrive: The ship travels from one point to another, possibly
multiple jumps, without occupying the intervening space and without the
a different space to assist the travel.
There are many different subtypes. For instance, type I hyperdrives
Niven's Known Space hyperdrive (quantum I and quantum II), the Alderson
and countless others. The details of each of these are very different, of
course, but that's why this is supposed to act as a broad classification