Zendexor's Vacation

by Dylan
(Illinois, Wisconsin)

A holiday? But what will I do without your daily diary updates?

You have been hard at it, though. Hopefully a few days does you good.

In the meantime, I too frequently give thought to ignoring the science for the sake of story, although I often come at it from another angle- how much science can I include and still have a the Old Solar System I want?

Saturn is a good example of this. Habitable moons are a must - so it follows that Saturn must provide warmth in this reality I've imagined. But then, I risk destroying the character of Titan, a world with methane clouds, rivers and seas. Seas of methane! With epic names like "the Kraken Mare". What an OSS author would have done had they known of such things! I suspect methane seas would have been irrevocably ingrained in Titan's character, along with Methane-based life. However, if Saturn is providing heat, it could quickly become too warm for liquid methane to exist- ruining the fun a methane ecosystem could provide.

So what does one do? Should one come up with some solution - say, Titan's thick clouds reflect heat - or just ignore the problem altogether and plot a methane atmosphere down where one should not exist? I'm stumped!

{Easy! Just use a converter, as in Simak's "Desertion". You press a switch and hey presto, you're given the body of a methane-blooded Titanian, or Titanic, or whatever they're called.

By the way I hope to keep up the diary on my holiday week. We shall see how good I am at multi-tasking. Since the diary is fun, it ought to be compatible with relaxation. Unless the relaxation turns out to be hard work.}

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Aug 08, 2016
Good News
by: Dylan

Phew! I'm glad to hear the diary will be maintained.

Simak's converter does allow humans to wander about on Titan, but it doesn't keep the other moons warm. And that's my trouble: If Titan is left cold enough to have a methane atmosphere, the other moons must be cold too. Too cold, and habitability in the more Earthly sense is a non-starter.

The only solution I can think of is to ignore the problem and just give Titan a methane atmosphere anyways. Maybe have its clouds reflect Saturn's heat.

{Maybe ask: what would ERB have done? Or: what would Leigh Brackett have done? Probably just portray the place as snowy and forget about the methane... which I believe was discovered by Kuiper in 1944. On the other hand, I know you have set your heart on the methane... It's a problem, doggone it! Time to swear another blistering oath of the spaceways. Jumping hell-cats of Hyperion! - Z.}

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