Ion storms… what???

This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Steve W Steve W 6 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #580
    Steve W
    Steve W
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    One of the tropes of science fiction is the ion storm in space. Writers needed to ratchet up the tension in their stories, so they throw in what’s essentially bad weather in the vacuum of space. But where exactly did this get started? It had to be in the first half of the twentieth century at least, long before science would catch up with the idea and shoot holes in it. The thought that an energy storm would coalesce and move so fast that faster-than-light ships can’t outrun it or just hang around a random planet or chunk of space without dissipating seems stupid to us nowadays, but the ideas still get thrown into modern sci-fi. Star Trek’s done it several times. Even the movie Serenity had one shrouding a planet (where sensors couldn’t penetrate the storm, but apparently broadwave and TV signals go through it fine). You would think that in this day and age this idea would just fade away.

    Anybody know the first usage of a space storm in science-fiction?

    #4023

    Good question. I can’t honestly say I know the answer. I wonder if it’s a literary SF convention that’s been carried over into film and TV.

    #4024
    Steve W
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    It’s just one of those ideas that won’t die in sci-fi. Along with asteroid fields that are literally stuffed with space rocks that for some reason aren’t gravitationally coalescing towards each other like Newtonian physics say they should. Of course, nearly all sci-fi movies seem to have sound in space as well, so reality isn’t much of an obstacle for film makers. Like Superman flying around the earth to regress time. Even as a kid I thought to myself “that’ll never work”.

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