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Monday, July 30, 2018

Would you live on a space station? - by Vijaya Schartz

Imagine debarking from a spaceship into a vast array of wide corridors like an airport terminal. Except that the entryway seals are hermetic, and the side windows show black space, with spaceships anchored to the giant circular wheel encircling the space station, like the rings of a planet. The station floats in space, orbiting a small planet. Or it could be in the wide orbit of a faraway sun. The station, built and expanded over centuries, would be made of many different parts, some older, others brand new. Size is irrelevant in space. It can be as big as needed.

This is how I imagine Byzantium-5, the space station featured in the Azura Chronicles

First, you would notice the lighter gravity. You might even get sick. If you spent much time in space, it would be familiar, but if you came from a heavy world like Earth, the change would be noticeable. You would probably grow taller over time, as gravity doesn't pull you down as much, but your bones might grow lighter and weaker.

Hundreds of miles of corridors in a wide circle around the core. Fortunately, there are also levitating cars and carts to carry the luggage.

Hundreds of thousands could live there. Even millions. They would have room for growing food without dirt in hydroponic tubs, they would manufacture artificial meat in labs, without raising animals, and they would make their own water and their own oxygen. The complex would function like a large city, not bound by the planetary cycles of day and night... although they may want to create a semblance of circadian rhythm for the comfort of their visitors and inhabitants.

Parks and gardens would provide oxygen and relaxation

The station could be a port for trading goods, with commercial docks and cranes to load and unload large containers from ships to dock and vice-versa. It could also be a pleasure destination. I imagine a Vegas type of atmosphere, with entertainment, gambling dens, spas, shopping, restaurants, and all the luxuries we imagine in the future, like cyber-pleasures... the legal and the illegal kinds. I personally like the idea of sex robots.

Here the scale is misleading. The craft would be tiny as it approaches the behemoth of a station

By the time we get to that level of sophistication, we may have made contact with other space-faring races, and that might bring diversity (and possibly discrimination) into our advanced society.

Such a place would need tight security. Space is not the safest place. There would be corruption, gangs, drugs, terrorism, and individuals striving for control. Delinquents would be detained in jail-like areas. There might even be a prison, but who needs metal bars when a clear titanium pane can do the trick?

Glass is not resistant enough and too breakable for these windows. I imagine they are made of transparent metal
At the core of the structure, would be a reactor to generate the energy needed to keep that city in space running smoothly. As we know, reactors can become unstable. More fodder for future stories.

But what would happen to those forgotten by the system? Orphans growing on the fringe of the affluent society, escapees, and stowaways might be reduced to hide in disaffected parts of the station and form their own society. They might steal in order to survive. So far from central power (and from the overseeing authority), such a community might recourse to shortcuts, unethical practices, and oppression of the underprivileged.

Although this is a futuristic design for a train station, I imagine the style would fit a space station as well

As you see, the world of tomorrow may not be so different from ours, because no matter how many advances we make in science, health, and space exploration, human nature doesn't change that much.

It's all about survival, and the balance of good and evil. And that controversy will not soon be resolved, so there is plenty of fodder for upcoming science fiction novels.

In the meantime, you can learn more about life on a space station by reading the Azura Chronicles. Book 1, ANGEL MINE is already out and Fianna, my heroine, is a bounty hunter. But she was born on the Byzantium-5 space station, orphaned as a teenager, then survived with the protection of a violent gang, the Dragon Squad.

What in the frozen hells of Laxxar prompted Fianna to pursue her quarry to this forbidden blue planet? Well, she needs the credits... badly. But as if crashing in the jungle wasn't bad enough, none of her high-tech weapons work. She'll have to go native, after the most wanted felon in five galaxies. It's not just her job. It's personal.

Acielon has never seen an outworlder like this fascinating female, strangely beautiful, and fierce, like the feline predator loping at her side. He always dreamed of exploring the universe, despite the legends... and the interdiction. Is it truly a hellish place of violence, lies and suffering? If it spawned this intriguing creature, it must also be a place of wonders, adventure and excitement.

Fianna's instincts tell her someone is watching. Sheba, her telepathic feline partner, doesn't seem worried... yet, something on Azura isn't quite right.


HAPPY READING

Vijaya Schartz, author
http://www.vijayaschartz.com
Click to Vijaya's page on AMAZON - B&N - smashWords - KOBO 

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