Tech from Singularity’s Children: Vacuum Dirigible

Article from the 1930s with a concept for a Vacuum Dirigible (Sky Whale).

“LONG before the invention of the Mongolfier fire balloon, and just as soon as it was discovered that air has weight, an ingenious clergyman, the Rev. Francis Lana, S. J., suggested that the buoyancy of a vacuum might be used to make an air-craft rise (as sketched at the right). This was the first real scientific suggestion for a lighter-than-air craft; before his time, people had suggested putting dew in a vessel, because “dew has a natural tendency to rise,” as shown by its evaporation. But, unfortunately, it is hard to make a ball which can resist a pressure of a ton to the square foot without collapsing, and yet be lighter than the air it displaces.”

The Singularity’s Children SkyWhale flexes its hull to ‘swim’ through the air and uses Magneto-Hydrodynamic affecters in its hull-envelope to accelerate plasma across its skin reducing drag and providing thrust.

The SkyWhale vacuum dirigible keeps its envelope open by magnetically containing super-fluid and spinning it through a helical loop up and down its hull. This active dynamic structure employs centripetal forces to keep the envelope open and requires less mass than an equivalent passive rigid structure.

Tech from Singularity’s Children: Printing Organs in Space

I was talking to a friend recently. He pointed out that people will read my books and find them quite topical, noting perhaps that many of the fictional events and technologies parallel developments in the ‘Real‘… and not checking the dates when I wrote about the topics!!

Here’s one: “Astronauts growing new organs on International Space Station”

“The experiment uses ‘weightlessness as a tool’, according to Cara Thiel, one of the two researchers from the University of Zurich who are conducting the research.”

My next book is going to be written either in the far-future, or distant past! 😉

Cross Pollination: Featured Interview with Greg Prado

Lobster Books is linking me up with other indie authors to do some cross-pollination. Continuing the series, here is an interview with Greg Prado. I have not read his books myself, but hear good things!

Thanks for doing this interview with Lobster Books!
Science fiction authors necessarily spend a lot of time thinking about what might happen. A few standard tropes tend to make their way into the public mindset as well. Of the following more common tropes, which do you think will chronologically come first, and why? Tropes: first contact with aliens, instant (ansible) communication across unlimited distances, teleportation, deep space travel with humans in stasis, colonizing other planets.

I feel like colonizing other planets has to be the first possibility. Outside the extremely random possibility of an alien finding us, I’d say that’s a given. Moon base would likely be first, followed by Mars or Venus, then who knows?

When huge changes in technology occur, they are always accompanied by massive shifts in social aspects of humanity as well. What kind of social impact do you think will happen alongside the next major technological discovery?

I think general AI (unrestricted learning) is going to be the biggest game-changer in our society. People are just naïve enough to allow themselves to be programmed out of a job. I truly hope it is regulated soon. Otherwise cruel men will do what they always do and cut out entire segments of the workforce. I think either way the change will begin to occur soon. I hope we are wise enough to handle the repercussions.

Many sci-fi books and movies rely on a unified Earth government in the face of an alien threat. Do you think something like is possible? Are humans capable of coming together to face an external threat or will our inability to get along en masse be our undoing?

Not at first. I think if a few cities got glassed, we could probably reach an agreement a bit more quickly. I think once we decided to collaborate, we would put aside our differences while the immediate threat passed, while also trying to figure out how to come out on top post-conflict.

What kind of futuristic technology that’s currently being researched fascinates you the most? (Thinking of mentally controlled prosthetics, quantum entanglement, private space flight / tourism, brain augmentation, etc.)

I use mentally controlled technology a lot in my books. I first used it in my book “Darkly” almost ten years ago. I decided on the name Neuralink back then. It is funny because after Elon Musk’s innovation, now everyone is going to think I copied his name.

In my books the interface is mainly used for extremely quick vehicles and exo-suits. This enables the user to naturally control some very difficult to work machinery. I think that it will be a huge challenge to implement well, but I also see some great potential for applications.

Awesome! Thanks for doing this interview!

You can find more about Greg and his books at the links below: