Stone Burner as sf/sci-fi über weapon??
14th May 2005 at 7:20 pm #40482
I was surprised to read this right in the first line:
A stone burner is hands-down the most destructive weapon in the Dune universe, and maybe in all of sci-fi.
I don’t want to be a stickler about universe-imploding weapons and other such litterary nonsense, but from the realistic weponry availlable to sf readers, the stone burner isn’t “hands-down the most destructive weapon”.
I’m only refering to hard-sf ideas on weapons here, not to ideas found in more liberal texts.
Here are some ideas on very powerful science-based weapons found in fiction:
Alastair Reynolds’ Revelation Space universe:
– the ack-am projector
– the gravity soliton generator found in one of the cache weapons
Stephen Baxter’s Xeelee Universe:
– the gravity “guns” of the Xeelee
– the unstopable weapons used in the Photino Birds/Xeelee wars, mainly entire galaxies guided over millions of years to collide with other galaxies, or the neutron star that has been accelerated over a million years and sent on a course to collide with the Ring
Any ideas? Interested in pursuing this conversation?15th May 2005 at 6:01 pm #74844AnonymousInactive
A very interesting topic. Welcome to the board.
I’ve taken this from a “more liberal’ text, but well, I thought Douglas Adams da bomb, so…
Hactar designed an Ultimate Weapon. It was a very, very small bomb which was simply a junction box in hyperspace that would, when activated, connect the heart of every major sun with the heart of every other major sun simultaneously, and thus turn the entire Universe in to one gigantic hyperspatial supernova.16th May 2005 at 1:05 am #74850
LOL, you gotta love Adams!
I’m afraid to go see the movie…
Another uber weapon: From a Year’s Best Science Fiction I once read, there was a short recounting the story of scientists on a moon base receiving a powerful lasered transmission from a distant galaxy (don’t laugh!). It contains insane amounts of data, all of the super science of a grouping of intelligent races in said galaxy.
The aliens destroyed hundreds of core suns in a giant supernovae chain reaction jut to produce the laser transmission.
Now what’s interesting is that hidden as but a footnote in all that data is a bit of info saying that the universe’s vacuum state is in a false equilibrium, and then goes on mentionning how one can go around to bringing the false vacuum to its true least-energy state.
The effect is that a sphere of vacuum-transfomed space expands at the speed of light from the point where the transformation was initiated: everything within the sphere looses its strucure since the very underlying surface on which its based gets changed.
The aliens freaked out when they discovered that tidbit and killed themselves, sure that their very existence as inquisitive intelligent beings would one day result in some lunatic manipulating the vacuum and destroying the universe.
Sending that laser pulse to our galaxy was meant as a warning, although the lunar scientists also freak out at the implications of the info on the vacuum, and murder ensues amongst the scientists between those who are scared and those who are fasninated.16th May 2005 at 3:26 am #74851HeadgehogParticipant
They’re not as big as universe killers, but hte nova bombs of Andromeda and Star Trek: Generations can take out a sun, and by proxy an entire star system.16th May 2005 at 6:35 am #74852MuadDibParticipant
Don’t forget the ancient weapon used to wipe out the repilcators in season 8 of SG-1, a weapon that can wipe out very single individual of a particular species is pretty impressive, don’t ya think?25th July 2005 at 8:54 am #75202
Been away for some time, I’m back. 😀
Season 8’s weapon was once used by the ancients to wipe out and restart all life in the galaxy after it fell prey to the decease that killed the ancients (the ancients took the opportunity to ascend).
Another nice cosmic weapon consists of unwarpping a black hole, in short creating a naked singularity. It’s been years since I read the short story or novel that had this idea, but I think what happens is that the universe aboars naked singularities and would not look kindly at their presence, i.e. a lot of damage to spacetime would ensue such an unwrapping, or a bubble of changed reality would form around it and expand at the speed of light.
A race of aliens could also create quite some mayhem in our locale region of the universe by converting – over millenia – a stellar nursery gas cloud particularly devoid of heavy elements into megasuns: stars that normally formed only at the start of the universe when there were few or no heavy elements present, allowing suns to stay stable pass the barrier of the 100 solar masses. Those stars pump out 10 million times the light of the sun when they live.
When they die (after only 3 million years for them), two things are possible depending on weither or not they are just below 250 solar masses or nearer 300:
– 250: The nuclear energy released at their death, an event called a “hypernova” or “pair-instability supernova”, is so great that for a month the dying star shines brighter than a hundred present-day supernovae, or a hundred normal galaxies.
– 300: The star is so heavy that at the end of its nuclear cycle it entirely collapses on itself, producing a 30-solar-mass balck hole, briefly pumping out more energy than 10 billion galaxies. Furthermore, if such a 300 solar masses megasun could be created with nearly no spin, the solar matter falling into the newly created black hole would do so at the speed of 100 solar masses in 10 seconds (compared to today’s speeds of 10 solar masses a year in quasars), briefly shining brighter than all the galaxies in the universe combined.
Now if that doesn’t screw up some cosmic prime estate, I don’t know what can.26th July 2005 at 8:43 am #752037th_DizbusterParticipant
All these posts focus on what creates the biggest bang, be that explosion or implosion. For me it is not bang per buck but cause and after effect that creates the ultimate weapon. This has to be the small lump of metal that was dropped out of hyperspace in Juggernaut by A E van Vogt.
This metal had qualities that made it workable, for a time, but then became indestructable and when brought into contact with other metals it passed those qualities on. To cut a short stroy even shorter: tanks and aircraft made of the metal were unstoppable but the metal found its way into the armory and shells and bombs stopped exploding, the enemy’s metal store was contaminated so also became imune. Eventually there was only one metal on the whole planet. End of war, all war, and industry and …….
This story appeared in Astounding in 1944. No I am not that old, I have The Best of A E van Vogt. I took it as a moral such as “be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.”
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