Trope-a-Day: Space Fighter

Space Fighter: Averted.  Due to fairly inexorable laws of physics, ships that don’t have to contain meat and meat-support systems always outperform ships that do – which means the classic notion of a space fighter inevitably loses to the autonomous kill vehicle (AKV), which combines a cross between a missile and an attack drone with an AI – naturally-evolved brains also aren’t good at handling three-dimensional, relativistically-distorted combat environments in which microseconds count.  Further kicking the trope in the teeth, they don’t look anything like space fighters – rather than an aerodynamic form-factor, except in very specialized aerospace machines with air-to-orbit capabilities – they’re unstreamlined roughly-tetrahedral machines with thruster clusters at each vertex for maximal maneuverability.

There are military starship classes called, as a set, starfighters, but they’re nothing like space fighters.  Rather, they’re a tiny, sub-frigate-sized class of carrier, hosting four to eight of the above-mentioned AKVs clamped on to their outer hull – and after they get the AKVs to the fight, they hang back as a mobile command post, their own fitting being close to purely defensive. And they’re mostly used by the Shadow Fleet, scouting units, commerce raiders, and mercenaries – never on the wall of battle.

3 thoughts on “Trope-a-Day: Space Fighter

  1. Pingback: Trope-a-Day: Standard Sci-Fi Fleet « The Eldraeverse

  2. Pingback: Trope-a-Day: Point Defenseless | The Eldraeverse

  3. Pingback: Trope-a-Day: 2-D Space | The Eldraeverse

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