Monday, July 19, 2004

To The Stars

I didn't listen to the traffic news this morning. Usually I turn it on as soon as I get in the car, but this morning I had to hear the next part of the audio book of "To The Stars" by L. Ron Hubbard.

I listened to the first CD this morning while making breakfast and I was hooked. So I got in the car, put it on and to hell with the traffic.

Science Fiction stories tend to ignore, avoid or somehow circumvent Einstein and his theory of relativity. We get "warp drives", "hyperspacial drives", "star gates" and other inventions to get around the problems of immense distances between stars and relativity: "as the velocity of a mass approaches the speed of light the passage of time for that mass approaches zero."

Rarely does a story deal head-on with not only the scientific consequences but also the human consequences of traveling close to the speed of light. This story does just that.

To the crew of the ship, they've only been gone 6 months but to the people on Earth they've been gone 60 years or 600 years or 6000 years. It all depends on how far and how fast they traveled.

I'm a quarter of the way through the story and, as I said, I'm hooked. I can't wait till this evening and my commute home.

No comments: