Re: Dragon's Egg (was Re: Ferochromon: the Ebisedian conworld
|From:||Tim May <butsuri@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, July 24, 2002, 22:22|
Roger Mills writes:
> Tim May wrote:
> >John Cowan writes:
> > > Roger Mills scripsit:
> > >
> > > > I recall a SF novel (and a ST(NG? episode) that dealt with a
> > > > planet orbiting its primary so quickly that in earth/ship time of
> > > > one hour or so, life on the planet went from stone to bronze age;
> > > > after another hour they were developing rockets.
> > >
> > > Robert Forward, _Dragon's Egg_. The ST:V episode was called "Blink
> > > of an Eye".
> > >
> >It wasn't a planet, though, in _Dragon's Egg_. It was a neutron star.
> >IIRC, time wasn't actually "going faster" on the surface, it's just
> >that time-perception was different for the Cheela because the
> >"chemical" reactions in impure neutronium are so much more
> >rapid... it's a long time since I read it though, there may have been
> >a relativistic element. Certainly "earth/ship time of one hour or so,
> >life on the planet went from stone to bronze age; after another hour
> >they were developing rockets" describes the story.
> Yes, that's more or less as I remember it. I kindof thought they orbited a
> quasar or pulsar, but could be mistaken. Wasn't their planet really tiny,
> just barely visible? and the beings were micropscopic in size???? Certainly
> it was a sufficiently interesting and well-written book that the basics
> stuck with me.
(Assuming it's the same book) their world didn't _orbit_ a pulsar, it
_was_ a pulsar. Pulsars are neutron stars. The pulsar wasn't
microscopic, but it was pretty small compared to most planets, and
extremely small compared to anything of comparable mass (i.e. a star)
(unless it was a black hole). The cheela themselves were microscopic,
and pretty much flat. I seem to recall reading somewhere that if you
could somehow land on a neutron star and step out onto the surface,
you'd rapidly be crushed into a film 1 atom thick.
Incidentally, _Dragon's Egg_ is one of only two books known to me in
the sub-genre of "books about tiny beings inhabiting a neutron star",
the other being _Flux_, by Stephen Baxter.