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Author Topic: Looking for input on "From Airship to Zeppelin"  (Read 1154 times)
Maets
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« on: January 28, 2015, 03:12:07 am »

This thread has changed a bit.  I have written a small booklet entitled "From Airship to Zeppelin" based on things in the thread already and on my work creating airships.  Goto https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_sCPPm7rPAFUWNiWTZPejVXbVk/view?usp=sharing to read the latest version.  Comments are appreciated and welcomed.  I will continue to update the piece so check back occasionally.  Thanks!

How this thread started:
I have been creating a world where airships rule.  In the Tactile section there are threads on the four airships so far.  Others on the way at some point.  I have a number of basics about the world these belong to, but would like to see it put together in a story.  Here are some of the facts that I know:

The Unicorn is a light duty military ship designed to patrol and keep order.  It is frequently called to do battle with the Viking Raiders or to guard the Swan Cruise ship. The Unicorn has a main propeller, two side props for maneuvering and rockets for short high speed jumps. The military and police also used the Enforcer.  A small highly maneuverable ship with a small crew or autonomous. (Pictures for the Enforcer soon)

The Swan is a luxury cruise ship used by the upper class to travel in style. It has a single propeller drive.  Built for a slow quiet ride.

The Viking is a pirate raider that hides in the clouds, swoops down and attacks other ships.  Frequently to steal the hydrogen from the gas bag amount other goodies. The nose of the Viking is designed to puncture the gas bags of its prey and then suck out the hydrogen. The raider uses rocket propulsion.  

The Dolphin is a fishing/hunting vessel that roams the sky for air kraken.  The meat of the air kraken is a main food source, but there are a number of other valuable items taken from the kraken.  One of them is the kraken ink which much like it aquatic cousins is used to mask itself in the clouds.  The Enforcers use the ink to mask their location. The Dolphin carries a small harpoon airship used to go after the medium size krakens.  Larger ones are hunted with the harpoon on the gas bag.  The Dolphin gas bag is designed to look like one of the kraken's favorite food, the air blow fish.  This lures them in and then they are harpooned.  Ships similar to the Dolphin are used as cargo carriers as well.

All of the airships use hydrogen for lift.  The hydrogen is obtained by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen.  The power for the extraction comes from lightening collected in the clouds.  Not only is lift provided, but the hydrogen and oxygen are recombined for powering the steam engines that drive the propellers or fuel the rockets.

All of the airships have two bridges for driving/flying the ships.  One is on the gas bag and the other on the gondola.  Which one is used depends on the operation.  It is possible in the case of emergencies to drop the gondola using explosive bolts on the guy cables.  Limited duration once this is done. Back to the repair yard to reconnect.

Air ships are popular for the limited power needed to keep them afloat.  For the most part they float and drift with the wind.  Changing altitude to get the best winds.  They can stay aloft for days, even weeks at a time.  The Viking raider quietly waits for unsuspecting cruise ships or merchants to stray within their range.

Those are the basics I have, or at least remember for the moment.  Anyone have any thoughts on turning it into a story?

Thanks.


« Last Edit: February 15, 2015, 07:36:51 pm by Maets » Logged

Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2015, 03:41:23 am »

Just start. Anywhere.  Then keep adjusting and adding to it

 Nobody knows the story better than you.
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pakled
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« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2015, 04:45:59 am »

I try to ask a question, and figure out how to resolve it. Sometimes it's a scene, something I hear on the radio, or something along the lines of a situation, and going 'but what if...'

Results may vary...Wink
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2015, 07:23:37 am »

Start by writing a battle between either the dolphin and the Kraken or the Unicorn and the Viking and then work around that.
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Maets
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« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2015, 05:04:51 am »

Thank you for the input.

Some more thoughts on the world of airships.

It is place of islands.  Ships on the ocean had long been the main source of transport, but now with airships it is easier and faster to move about. It is the sea heritage that is directly reflected in the designs of the airships.

In this world there are no heavier than air fliers.  There are are no birds, bats or flying insects as we know them.  Instead sea creatures have evolved overtime to leave the water and take to the air.  This became possible by the incorporation of a bacteria in many organisms, that can readily break down water into hydrogen and oxygen.  The hydrogen is held in the gas bags in the creatures and over time the creatures evolved to leave the water and take to the air.

Man's presence on such is world is under debate, but were we saw birds and sought to emulate them, the people of this world saw flying squid, floating fish and so on.  They emulated them by building airships with large gas bags.  They have harnessed the bacteria and use it to create the hydrogen and oxygen needed for flight.

Input is welcome.  Thanks.
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RJBowman
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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2015, 05:28:54 am »

How big are the ships? How many passengers can they carry?
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Maets
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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2015, 01:15:20 pm »

They range from the one or two person variety to the big ones that can carry 100s of people.

One or two people


Up to 10


A crew of up to twenty 20


A crew of 15 with up to 200 passengers


Of course everything is subject to change.
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jonb
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2015, 01:17:06 pm »

How about your vision is of the future of this world?
My thoughts on how your world of airships might have come about.
The growth of the petrochemical industry of the twentieth and twenty first centuries with the promise of cheep energy created massive financial corporations which came to control government. So when the ugly fact arose that this industry caused so much pollution that it would eventually end all life on earth it was hidden. Firstly by direct poisoning, carbon monoxides inhibiting plant and animal growth and secondly monoxides in the upper atmosphere causing a greenhouse effect. The governments worried that if this became general knowledge they would loose control so firstly they confused the issue with science papers that blamed carbon in general rather than just monoxides. and governments looked secretly for a fix.
It was found that certain salts used in cloud busting could alter carbon monoxide, but as the science of this had already been twisted through their own propaganda the research was not fully tested. The government corporations organised high flying aircraft to spread the salts in the upper atmosphere in vast chem-trails.
Initially this procedure seemed to work even though the complex molecules of monoxides and salts built up in the atmosphere, as little thought about one quality of the air was not tested, its viscosity! The compounds were heavy, but as they caused less friction it did not seem as though the atmosphere was being that altered. Holwever as the amount of salts grew the action of combining with the other chemicals of the atmosphere grew exponentially and became unstoppable. The air became heavier, but at the same time less thick- smoother, it lacked drag it was first noticed when aeroplanes started literally falling out of the sky. When wings passing through the clouds of this compound created no drag and as such lost the lift necessary for flight. It happened in one or two places at first but then spread. As the compounds slowly sank in the atmosphere it became evident that air breathing life could not extract the oxygen from the salt compounds and started to die.
As the atmosphere became toxic a tablet was discovered which altered the chemicals of the lungs to separate oxygen from the compounds but only a few people managed to survive as most other life died. However Life in the sea was unaffected as gills naturally separated the salts and oxygen.
Life from the sea began to populate the sky. Firstly some alga with pockets of air naturally floated up in the newly heavier atmosphere and evolution selected what was once seaweed which inflated these bladders with lighter gasses, and then fish with swim bladder disorders that over inflated these bladders did not die as would formally have happened and these fish were also able to float in this new heavy atmosphere and natural selection came into play and soon the sky became populated with a whole new ecosystem.
The few people that survived were so traumatised by the horrors of the dying of the land and its cause of the technologies of the twentieth and twenty first centuries that they rejected every example of those times, so adopted the cultures of the nineteenth and earlier centuries and created airships to gather food from the skies.
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Maets
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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2015, 02:13:38 pm »

Very interesting.  I had been thinking this was a place always like this, but you have a great way of getting there from here.

Thanks.
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jonb
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« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2015, 03:10:54 pm »

Thanks Maets,
Oh yes and that is why bees which can only just fly are one of the first species to suffer and have population collapses. Thinking about it I am surprised no conspiracy theorist has come up with this snake oil yet.
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Antonus Fudge
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« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2015, 06:25:06 pm »

Hi Maets

Sounds great! You have a richly detailed world. Now all you need is for something to happen. Ask yourself: what's happened? What drama has unfolded? That forms the plot. I shall give this a think and see what comes up.
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2015, 06:50:13 pm »

You know, those floating air kraken's are a nightmare
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jonb
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« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2015, 06:58:33 pm »

You know, those floating air kraken's are a nightmare



I know what you mean, but if you let the meat rest for a short while after frying and serve with a good chianti, it makes a sumptuous dish for even the most afternoonified company.
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2015, 09:31:04 pm »

You know, those floating air kraken's are a nightmare



I know what you mean, but if you let the meat rest for a short while after frying and serve with a good chianti, it makes a sumptuous dish for even the most afternoonified company.

Thanks, i'm sure the crew will enjoy a nice meal for once! *ducks to avoid the cleaver thrown by the ships cook*
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Maets
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« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2015, 01:40:28 am »

I have a first cut of a booklet to go with the airships.  Big show in a couple of days and I want something to have with the pieces.  I would like to post it as a PDF because it has lots of pictures.  Have to figure out the best way to do it.
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Maets
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« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2015, 03:18:51 am »

Here is a link to a PDF of the first draft of the first attempt to turn the airships into a story.  Input appreciated.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_sCPPm7rPAFUWNiWTZPejVXbVk/view?usp=sharing
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2015, 09:19:10 am »

A couple of points (but it's just me being picky)

Airships cannot be "Lighter then air" due to construction materials, instead they use an airbag filled with lighter then air gas.
Ink does not provide a cloak, it provides a cloud to obscure the ships.
Surely a visible cloud of ink means trouble?
Jaunters- write single person or personal.
Air Krakens range - note presence of 'S" as you're talking about a selection of creatures.
Air krakens range - note presence of 'S" as you're talking about a selection of creatures.
Quote
Note: The larger gear...

Remove this section of text from the paragraph and add it as (is subscript the correct word?) under the image in small text.
See transport...., should be Sea note: "a" not "e"
S for steampunk, where not were.

Changing from fluff point of view to real life point of view gets a bit confusing.

Looks good but you may want to run this through http://spellcheckplus.com but watch out for the oxford comma!
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Maets
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« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2015, 01:33:46 pm »

Many thanks.  I appreciate the input.  It is input I was looking for so that I can refine this before Tuesday.  

I have made some changes and have updated the file.  Same link now takes you to latest version. 

Still contemplating how to handle fluff vs reality.


Thank you.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2015, 01:59:53 pm by Maets » Logged
CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2015, 02:35:24 pm »

Quote
M is for metal - The photographs through this publication are all of vessels created by the master shipwright Ed Kidera. in the construction of these vessels, cost were kept to a minimum buy the reuse of steel, brass and copper harvested form air vessels that had been damaged beyond use of from vessels decommissioned. The rigid/semi rigid airbags are crafted from non magnetic steel harvested from old war planes that lost flight ability due to changes in the atmosphere.

Along with materials harvested from aircraft, construction also made use of domestic items such as sculptures, clocks, candle holders, gas cylinders and torches to provide some of the more decorative features.

To make sure that vessels stayed aloft in ship shape condition, a vast array of techniques were used including wielding, brazing and soldering for the more delicate decorative features.

Hows this?
Got bit distracted from working on my book.
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Maets
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« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2015, 02:53:10 pm »

Now that is why I started this thread in the first place.  The difference between a hack like me and a writer are obvious.
Thanks!
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2015, 03:02:02 pm »

Now that is why I started this thread in the first place.  The difference between a hack like me and a writer are obvious.
Thanks!

Nope, it's just courage to trust in what you write!
First time I posted something online I was scared that it would be ripped to shreds.
I've just learnt that when it does, ask how to fix it.
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Maets
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« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2015, 07:33:29 pm »

Thanks for the input.  I have used some of your words and made some other mods.  Changed T is for tanks to T is for Travel and presented a little more about the world that makes airships a desired means of travel.  The link should show the latest version.  

Hoping for additional input from fellow members.  

I am trying to get this as refined as possible by early Tuesday, so I can print some copies to take to the show that starts on Wednesday.

Probably should have put this in its own thread. I think I will change the name of the thread.

Thanks.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2015, 07:58:00 pm by Maets » Logged
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« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2015, 10:54:13 pm »

'Lighter than air' is a common enough term for aircraft which get most or all of their lift from buoyancy, as opposed to 'heavier than air' craft like aeroplanes and helicopters which require engine power to maintain altitude.

In fact the overall mass of an airship with overall lift is less that that of the same volume of air...by definition. There are airships which do have overall negative buoyancy and use engine thrust to climb and maintain altitude, largely because this allows more control, but these still operate on the same basic principal and so are generally lumped into the same category as  true 'lighter than air' craft.


I like the writing style, it comes across as natural but is still appropriately precise and concise for a glossary. It can be very difficult to write these sorts of brief descriptions on a heading and you;ve done an excellent job in making them both readable and entertaining, they are stylish without being to wordy.

Again the content strikes a nice balance between creative fantasy and a reasonable sense of internal logic. In fact it comes across that it is the same person  behind the text and the sculptures.
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Maets
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« Reply #23 on: February 16, 2015, 12:31:38 am »

Thank you very much.
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Peter Brassbeard
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« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2015, 06:38:49 pm »

If I may throw some cold water, how do the airships manage buoyancy as they take on and use hydrogen?
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