September 2nd, 2012
Saturday is always the busiest day at a WorldCon, even though there's still Sunday and Monday for more festivities.
We were awoken by the cleaning staff, and slowly got it together thereafter.
I got to the panel Heinlein's Heroes, but it was in a tiny room, and was severely over-crowded (I suspect the ConCom have no clue as to the continuing popularity of Heinlein so as to give the topic a room with double or triple the space for fans to sit). I just couldn't see standing for 75 minutes, so I slipped out, and went to the Con Suite for a snack/breakfast. Chatted with several people, and connected with a fellow who still plays Traveller with his kids; his eldest apparently has turned into a first-rate gamemaster, and more than twenty people of all ages show up when he runs the game. Nice to hear...
I then went to Space Battles. For the most part, the panelists grumbled about the lack of reality to most of the media's productions when they show space combat, with the possible exception of Babylon 5. They also had little nice to say about most written works on the subject, though they accepted some of what David Weber writes on the topic. OTOH, they said that if you've got a missile up to .7c, simply having it hit a ship would be enough to do major damage, why bother to blow up the missile to pump out an X-Ray laser? Anyway, there was a solid discussion, which was enlightening.
From there, it was the Eureka vs. Warehouse 13 Smackdown. I ran into my wife there, but we didn't find it very interesting, and so we slipped out of the over-full room. The intent of this panel was for the panelists to choose characters from the show that they were defending to perform certain actions, and have the audience vote on how well they described how things would go; two were for the former show, and two from the latter. It fell flat for us, and we left.
I wandered with forestcats in the hucksters' room, and ended up fascinated by a series, and scaring up all four books. I also got a book of writings by Mike Resnick about his life in Fandom and a couple of books of discussions of military blunders. I'm still under budget, which is solid, with a day and a half to go in the convention.
We ran into Joe, and had dinner with Joe and Tom, and then the lot of us went to the Masquerade. 27 entries became 24, and we were mostly unimpressed; many of the hall costumes were better. We didn't wait to hear the judging.
Then, parties. We had a nice time at the Spokane 2015 party, chatted with some folks; we got nibbles from here and there, and were driven out of four parties either due to music way too loud, or crowd noise way too loud. Back to the room to rest.
And so on to today...
The point with David Weber's missiles is that your ship is also doing 0.7c, away from the missile. It's the relative velocity that's important. Kinetic kill weapons only work if there's a differential in velocity, obviously. That said, it's still stupid, bomb pumped x-ray lasers are subject to inverse-square law and are bloody useless for battles where the ranges are measure in light minutes. But no-one's written any serious space battles using things like electro-magnetic rail guns and actual physics. Apart from Niven that is, but his featured a .308 rifle and a neutron star.
Edited at 2012-09-02 08:23 pm (UTC)
Not to quibble (but what's the fun if I don't quibble) but the two fleets are flying at each other, not trying to match speeds IIRC (but I might not be recalling it properly). This means that the relative speeds would increase, thereby increasing the kinetic energy on impact.