Re: Horses, Zeps, Hackle, and Fanfic

From: Ed Rudnicki <>
Date: Wed, 24 Apr 96 14:36:35 EDT

Paul Kemner:
>>Ed Rudnicki wrote:
>>I'm still wondering if there are horse-equivalents in the Kat world
>I don't think so. Horses have a hard time getting used to having omnivores
>on their backs. I think they'd react even worse to having a gen-u-wine
>predator with claws jump up there!

This could be true, but it would then imply that the development of
Kat civilization was substantially different from hours. Without the
"horsepower" available from beasts of burden it's difficult to make
the transition from a simple agrarian culture to higher

For that matter, did the Kats ever have an agrarian culture? Humans
went from hunter/gatherer to agriculture and to civilization from
there, but humans are omnivores, relying on vegetable sources of
food as much, if not more, than animal. Kats, OTOH, are predators.
Could there be vegetarian Kats? In "Alien Nation" the Newcomers ate
raw meat, but some small number were vegetarians.

>>Armored Zeppelins are an impossibility
>Oops- maybe I was slipping into an Ed Rice Burroughs airboat fantasy thing.
>Of course, they could use an agrosite-laced skin (cf. Caverns of Horror)
>which would be light and repel the average stray bullet, but not a 50mm shell.
>> (Michael J. Rider) wrote:
>>Armored zepplins? Excuse me.
>Yikes- I still think that this would be a good use for agrosite, and I think
>that battleships of the air would have an appeal to those in the high level
>military. The issue of their working _well_ or not would be an independant
>issue. It wouldn't be the first time that the brass ignored a good idea in
>favor of a bad one.

It's not so much a matter of ignoring a good idea, as it is simple
physics. With aircraft (heavier than air) the limits of size are
based on structural strength and engine power (assuming such things
as runways are available). Given a big enough wing, long enough
runway, and powerful enough engines, one can get almost anything
into the air. But with airships the overriding design criterion is
weight. Every ounce of that ship must be lifted by an enclosed
volume of gas. Now that we have better materials and engines, we
could build rigid airships that would dwarf even the HINDENBURG, but
they'd still have to land somehow, somewhere, and would still be
vulnerable to storms. Even with such size, they'd be lightly armed,
as weapons remain heavy (unless one uses rockets, which have their
own problems), and armor would be unthinkable, as the level of
protection offered could not justify its weight.


Received on Wed Apr 24 1996 - 15:18:27 PDT

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