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marnixR
Post  Post subject: planets are big  |  Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:04 pm
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something that I've noticed with many planets in SF : the author often treats a planet like it's a small town, where two people keep bumping into each other at random intervals

take for instance earth : even if you were the only people on earth and you start to travel around in order to find the other person, what is the chance that you'd be successful ? pretty slim, I'd say - it's already hard enough to find your wife in the supermarket after you've lost sight of her ?

so why does it happen so often in SF stories ? sure, the story line may require it, but it remains pretty implausible

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DrKrettin
Post  Post subject: Re: planets are big  |  Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:48 pm
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marnixR wrote:
something that I've noticed with many planets in SF : the author often treats a planet like it's a small town, where two people keep bumping into each other at random intervals

take for instance earth : even if you were the only people on earth and you start to travel around in order to find the other person, what is the chance that you'd be successful ? pretty slim, I'd say - it's already hard enough to find your wife in the supermarket after you've lost sight of her ?

so why does it happen so often in SF stories ? sure, the story line may require it, but it remains pretty implausible


On occasions I've had to call the wife on her phone in that situation - they just disappear. :shock: But the implausibility of SF is required by the plot. Take Jules Verne's The Time Machine. He travels forwards in time and, surprise surprise, he is exactly where the future civilisation is. This is less plausible than the actual time travel, but otherwise the film would be his wandering all over the globe, and that would be even more boring. It's another exercise in suspension of disbelief.


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: planets are big  |  Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:10 pm
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DrKrettin wrote:
On occasions I've had to call the wife on her phone in that situation - they just disappear. :shock:


maybe she was using Jules Verne's time machine - or was it HG Wells' ? :twisted:

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DrKrettin
Post  Post subject: Re: planets are big  |  Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:57 am
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marnixR wrote:
DrKrettin wrote:
On occasions I've had to call the wife on her phone in that situation - they just disappear. :shock:


maybe she was using Jules Verne's time machine - or was it HG Wells' ? :twisted:
Egad sir you are right - I always get them mixed up. And when the wife says "I'm just popping into this shop, I shan't be two minutes" I know I can safely fly off somewhere on holiday and return before she emerges, so yes, a time machine must be involved somehow.


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Pong
Post  Post subject: Re: planets are big  |  Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 3:47 am
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marnixR wrote:
so why does it happen so often in SF stories ?

It happens also with ordinary Earth tourists. They're going to Melbourne and figure might as well visit New Zealand on the same vacation, 'cause it's "nearby". Then at South Island they're amazed few locals have been to North Island and vise versa. Yet these Kiwis for their part will plan a trip to Seattle, Vancouver, then a short drive to Calgary. They're sizing things up from a globe perspective.

I guess in sci-fi we size things up from an interstellar perspective... from which planets are relatively tiny.


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DrKrettin
Post  Post subject: Re: planets are big  |  Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:13 am
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...which reminds me of the anecdote when some friends in England arranged for their daughter to visit some relatives in San Francisco. They messaged the people to say the daughter would be landing in New York at bla bla date and time, and would they please pick her up. To which they replied "We suggest you pick her up - you are nearer" :lol:


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