31 May 2013

Need Some Input

The 3rd Anniversary of Future War Stories is in July, and I was dwelling on what I wanted to talk about...but, then I realized that I should just ask the readers of FWS!
This there any question you have about FWS or even myself? Anything you've ever wanted to know? If there is, that comment below and let me know and I will address it in the Anniversary blogpost on the 11th of July.Oh, and there will be a big announcement on the Anniversary blogpost about a super-secret joint project that FWS has been working on for a few months.


  1. Why not doing a post on space stations, both mobile and stationary.
    will there be any use for them in the future?
    Will they be more like middle ages battle castles, or just repair and resupply stations?
    What will be the different types of stations?
    Space stations in Scifi?

  2. The future of personal explosives vis a vis grenades/rockets/micro missiles.

    Integrated unit computer systems, med alerts/location potential for electronic warfare.

  3. Hiya,

    Just a thought but a lot of military scifi is really just an extension on modern combat, admittedly with a few bells and whistles and name changes to make it look different.

    Take a leap on the basis of technology progression. We've gone from rifles that you would struggle to hit something at 600 yards to weapons that could hit something on the other side of the planet.

    What's war actually going to look like in 2500?

  4. I only started reading you quite recently and I don't know if you covered this but it'd be pretty interesting if you talked about orbit to orbit combat. What manouvers spaceships would use, what would give the combatants an upper hand in fighting, whether boarding enemy ships would be viable or not and so on, how one side could use the body that they're orbiting to temporarily hide etc.

  5. If I was you guys I'd make an article about the best Military Sci Fi that has come out in the last 3 years since your blog started.

  6. Have you ever read "The war in 2020" by Ralph Peters. Its dated (Soviet Union is still around, Japanese are the bad guys) but I think it still stands up well as a future war story rather than a Retro-Future war story. Its got tilt-rotor, troop carrying, rail gun armed gunships and an exotic radio frequency weapon. Wikipedia sums it up/spoils it better than me

  7. Christopher PhoenixJune 1, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    Hmm, 3rd Anniversary of FWS, guess you will need something interesting to talk about... I like the idea of discussing space stations sometime, they are kind of interesting. An ordinary space station would probably be very vulnerable in a space war, since they cannot evade enemy attack. Any space fortresses would have to be very heavily armed and armored, perhaps even dug into an asteroid. Such a structure can be incredibly massive, and ton-for-ton can carry more weapons and armor than a spaceship since it doesn't need to devote a good part of its mass to rocket thrusters, fuel, and FTL drives etc. Atomic Rockets discusses orbital fortresses in its section on planetary assault, as I recall.

    Space fortresses could defend the orbital space around a planet, or, in universes with "jump points" that become strategic choke points, they can defend the hyperspatial jump points (or whatever). Anywhere there is a stationary asset that needs defense, you could use an orbital fort.

    Perhaps a swarm of armed satellites, or even "space mines", would be better for defending areas of space around a planet, though... they could be scattered over an area, and be disposable like modern naval mines.

    1. Why not just use drones instead of mines? For a small additional cost you get a ton of mines which can impact a ship even if it's not on the course for them.

    2. Christopher PhoenixJune 4, 2013 at 4:07 PM

      The way I imagine a "space mine" working may be closer to what you would call a drone- they would need a propulsion system, even just for station-keeping, and might maneuver themselves to huddle in the area where enemy spaceships will be passing through. Possibly they could even be made self-replicating.

      A "space mine" could not just be a canister of explosives that detonates on impact with a spaceship's hull, space is far too vast for that!! More feasible would be missile pods that discharge a series of missiles at passing spacecraft, like some modern naval mines that fire a torpedo at passing ships. An SDI-type coilgun or laser battle satellite would be practical too, although some might argue that this isn't really a "space mine".

      A traditional mine explodes when an enemy ship passes, but in space most explosions are a waste of energy. The zinging radiation blast from a nuclear explosive, however, has a farther reaching radius of destruction in vacuum. A 20 megaton bomb could kill unshielded astronauts within a sphere with a diameter of a thousand km. A lethal sphere the size of the Earth would require a 10 gigaton bomb.

      Such devices can be made even more effective by "tamping" the bomb so the blast is directed at a spacecraft, like with the Casaba-Howitzer weapon (basically a bomb that fires a spear of nuclear flame). The x-ray flash from a nuclear bomb can theoretically pump a bundle of copper rods, causing them to produce an intense X-ray laser blast. A single nuke can pump whole bundle of rods, allowing them to engage several faraway flying saucers- or shoot down every Soviet missile coming over the horizon in a single flash, which is why these were investigated for SDI.

      I would also note that if a mine actually hits the hull of an enemy spaceship, it won't need explosive if it is traveling several km/s. or over- the sheer kinetic impact will be far greater than any chemical explosive. Call it "death by space junk". But it probably won't be practical to ring Earth with space junk and smashed satellites, and enemy spaceships may have means to detect and destroy such junk anyway.

      Drones? Probably in making an effective minefield, I would have set up an array of drone satellite weapons capable of maintaining an orbit and maneuvering in the path of oncoming craft, so perhaps their isn't so much difference after all. :-)

  8. Thanks for the great ideas! Space Stations will be a very cool blogpost! And I will write a blogpost on war in the distance future along with combat in orbit, which is likely the first site of a war in outer space. I admit that grenades will be also an interesting topic to cover.

  9. Long time reader, first time poster. I would suggest that you write about a topic that you believe hasn't been covered too well or about new ideas that you think should be brought into the MSF family. New ideas are always welcome and I suspect you have more than a few to share.

  10. Super secret joint project? Sounds interesting! I would love to see a "history of power armor" post. I feel like an entire blog could be devoted to the subject, there's so much ground to cover.