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View Full Version : Starfuries as just too damn well-build



Michael Dracon
03-11-2007, 06:27 PM
Of Babylon 5 fame, I mean.

I'm trying to make a starfighter for my SF stories and whatever I come up with I always go back to Starfuries being a better design.

Heck, even NASA went to the creators of Babylon 5 because they want to use the design.

So I am very close to decide on using the NASA thing as an excuse to have them in my novel.

What do you think of this?


PS: For those who don't know, here is some info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starfury

Zoombie
03-11-2007, 06:36 PM
Yeah, Starfurires are pretty awsome. I've always used something simmaler to them in my space stories. Able to turn on a dime, strafe, go up and down and have the cockpit in the center of the ship to avoid gee force problems. The only problem is they explode a little too easily in the show.

Michael Dracon
03-11-2007, 06:41 PM
Even then the cockpit comes off as an ejection system. One more thing I love about these things.

Even if you break one of the engines you can still move in a straight line by running on 2 diagonally opposed engines.

PeeDee
03-12-2007, 12:46 AM
Well, of course they explode easily, there's no 'shields' or 'deflectors' or 'hull plating at fifty percent!'

They're logical in that regard too.

The more I watched the Starfuries, the less impressed I was by Star Wars or Star Trek. Honestly, space fighters aren't just jet fighters in space.

You could do worse than just use Starfuries... :)

Michael Dracon
03-12-2007, 12:58 AM
I'm still having one problem with Starfuries, which is using the actual name. Do I get into legal problems if I actually call them Starfuries in my novel? It would make sence if you go by the route of NASA indeed calling them Starfuries, as the creator of Babylon 5 requested. But would I get sued for this? Would it be any different if I explain the name in the novel?


PS: How weird that I can edit the title of the first post to fix the word 'too' but it doesn't update the title for the whole thread...

PeeDee
03-12-2007, 01:17 AM
I wouldn't actually call 'em Starfuries, as such. NASA may be using it, but they're doing so with the permission of Joe Straczynski.

Michael Dracon
03-13-2007, 01:00 AM
Yeah, thought so.

Now to find a suitable name. I've already dismissed 'Starfighters' as a potential name on account for being too obvious and stereotypical. 'X-Wing' is also out of the question, for obvious reasons.

Any suggestions?

Pthom
03-13-2007, 01:30 AM
Just wondering, guys...should this thread be moved into the main SF/F forum? I mean, isn't the discussion more about how to use imaginary technology in a story, and that NASA involvement has in fact been, to date, merely a query of interest? And, near as I can determine, rumor?

I just spent the last half hour searching Google and NASA.gov for references to the claim. If anyone can locate something definitive about this B5/starfury rumor, I'd like to see it.

Cath
03-13-2007, 02:01 AM
All the rumors seem to be from the JMS/Babylon 5 sites, Peter - I can't find anything substantive from NASA - then again, I wouldn't expect to.

PeeDee
03-13-2007, 08:40 AM
Er...I can dig out the issue of the B5 magazine that had the photo of Joe Straczynski meeting with a bunch of blokes from NASA and discussing B5. I have boxes of issues.

It was real stuff, but it's just a number of years old now, I don't expect to be able to find anything useful about it online anymore.

But, move it where you will.

Zoombie
03-13-2007, 08:48 AM
Oh! Oh! Call them Slippers! Cause they're slippery and fast...and stuff.

Bloodhounds! Accordians? I'd fly a starfighter called an Accordian, but only if I'm launched for the USS Tuba.

PeeDee
03-13-2007, 08:54 AM
Don't do drugs, kids.

Zoombie
03-13-2007, 09:08 AM
The only drugs I'm doing is negative coffee. I figured that if you drink negative coffee, which is grown by using negative soil to grow regular coffee bean plants (as we all know that growing a positive plant in negative soil equals to a negative plant). So I normally don't drink coffee, but now I've gone from 0 coffee...to negative 2.

HA!

Pthom
03-13-2007, 09:26 AM
Well, no doubt NASA (and other governmental agencies) consider the fantastic when there is even the remotest possibility of turning the ideas into reality. Helicopters come to mind. Radio. Television. Lasers. UAVs. Bionic limb replacements. So I'm not doubting that some folks from NASA consulted the B5 guys. Certainly all the B5 sites Google returned indicate that happened.

So before the tone of this thread slips entirely into the fantastic, how about continuing our discussion by listing other actual applications of what was at first dreamed up by fiction writers? I bet we could fill a couple more pages before we tire completely?

Zoombie
03-13-2007, 09:36 AM
The homing device in Goldfinger inspired the GPS system. Isn't that neat? It came from the combination of "Wanting that cool homing device from Goldfinger, which has a range far longer than any in real life" and "Hey, if we use Sputnik's radio signal, we have one out of three necessary points of reference for triangulation! Let's combine those two ideas into something we'll call...the Trackertron 9000!”

Name changed later to be less stupid.

Michael Dracon
03-13-2007, 11:33 AM
The wiki page I posted in the first message here mentions it. And I found JMS mentioning it himself in one of the comment tracks on my Babylon 5 DVD sets.

Pthom
03-13-2007, 10:09 PM
In the Wikipedia article, the referenced source for J. Michael Straczynski's contact with NASA is ... the Babylon 5 Tech manual, itself a fiction, and which is on the site b5tech.com.

The site's owner, Brandon Bray, says in dim gray print, "B5TECH.COM is meant to be an instrument/warehouse for academic research and discussion related to Babylon 5, and is not meant as an infringement upon any of the TM of Warner Bros., Babylonian Productions, or related authors/companies."

Now, I haven't made an exhaustive search of his site, or for that matter, the web, but I can find no reference there to the NASA query. As PeeDee says above, the information is likely far in the past. But to cite a page of fiction as a reference for fact is, well, unacceptable.

Mind you, I want to believe NASA is hounding every hard SF writer for ideas they might actually implement. And I agree that the design of the Starfury has merit for maneuvering large masses in a micro-gravity environment. But I want documentation that isn't self-referent. :)

Michael Dracon
03-13-2007, 11:25 PM
Like I said, JMS said it himself. And he also talked to scientists about working out a few other things like what it would look like when Starfuries when they exit Babylon 5 because of the slingshot effect of the rotation of the station.

Judg
03-14-2007, 08:09 AM
Well, no doubt NASA (and other governmental agencies) consider the fantastic when there is even the remotest possibility of turning the ideas into reality. Helicopters come to mind. Radio. Television. Lasers. UAVs. Bionic limb replacements. So I'm not doubting that some folks from NASA consulted the B5 guys. Certainly all the B5 sites Google returned indicate that happened.

So before the tone of this thread slips entirely into the fantastic, how about continuing our discussion by listing other actual applications of what was at first dreamed up by fiction writers? I bet we could fill a couple more pages before we tire completely?

Communication satellites in geosynchronous orbit first appeared in a short story by Arthur C. Clarke. That always impresses me no end.

Flip top cell phones were inspired by the communicators in the original Star Trek series. Oops, sorry, that wasn't writers...