Or, the Difficult Worldbuilding Compromises that Result when You Didn’t Design Everything at the Same Time.
It has been (entirely correctly) pointed out over on Google+ that this is not how wormholes, as we understand them today, would work.
(Because they’d work like this.)
This is one of those cases, though, where I end up invoking “firmish SF” – and one in which I’m trying hard to deprecate the term “wormhole”1 to refer to the kind of FTL there just to avoid confusion…
Having done my reading on said-hypothetically possible wormholes, I did my damnedest to use them properly. (Long-term readers of mine may, for example, remember some older references to wormholes as continuously existing Visser-type structures embedded in exotic matter frames, now quietly retconned out of canon – which indeed worked exactly as they should with regard to local conservation; having traversers’ mass and momentum added to the mouth they enter and subtracted from the mouth they exit.)
This would probably have worked a lot better for me if I’d not had an existing background/setting, because while I’ve rewritten a lot of things a lot of times to fit with hard-scientific plausibiity, after wrestling with it for a lengthy period – well, I came to the conclusion that while it offered me some very interesting options for how things would play out, there was pretty much no way I could reconcile it with what I had short of throwing out the setting and writing a new one from scratch. And, well, ouch.
So given the choice between that, badly mangling real science, or constructing some con-science to fit – in just this case, um, space magic? 🙂
1. Suggestions for alternative terminology gratefully accepted, since I really don’t want to keep calling these things wormholes when they don’t behave like wormholes. Especially since, arguably, there’s no reason that wormholes-which-are-wormholes couldn’t also exist there.
FN1: Given your subtitle, perhaps some reference to the Ways or the Faerie Paths?
Just call them Stargates. In universe, the term can be trademarked product name owned by Ring Dynamics.
Well, the devices are stargates, certainly, but the name needed is for the totally-not-a-wormhole-shortcut-in-spacetime they make, belike.
Spacetime Congruence Connection might work? Although that isn’t as catchy as something like Spacetime Tube, I’d guess.
On a tangentially related note (to firmish SF), how does education work exactly, in your universe? It has been implied in several places that skills get basically downloaded (or can be), while it still takes to age 18 or so to be educated to Ph.D. levels. What does education really LOOK like?
I think that calling them something catchy and semi-plausible is the best. Maybe have a fancy name for them engineers to yell, and a commonfolk’s name…
“Non-Local Frame Links”? “Time-like Connectors”? “Acausal Bridges”?
“Rifts”, “Holes”, “Drifts”, (and my personal favorite) “Bridges”?
I vote for Starbridges. It isn’t as generic or over used as Stargates and it gives a sense of what they are while playing on the Eldrae tendency for poetic license in naming conventions.
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