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From: Michael Andre-Driussi <mantis@sirius.com>
Subject: (urth) stl collection new item
Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 13:00:38 

 . . . which reminds me: I collect slower-than-light stardrives.  I
recently ran into something I haven't seen before, and I'll post a few
notes about it in the hopes that someone else has seen its ilk before.

(And yes, I am aware of the internet list of ftl/stl drives--it is a fine
and wonderful thing, yet last time I looked, this one wasn't there; and it
had been years since the list had been updated or ammended.)

In this book, published in the late 80s, the starships use a "two stage"
stardrive (but the stages aren't jettisoned, as you will see): the first
stage fuses deutirium and creates an energy plasma exhaust; the second
stage adds (presumably "small" if not "minute" amounts of) antimatter to
the plasma, thereby enriching the plasma so that the vehicle can reach 90%

I get the first stage (pretty standard stuff); it is the process of the
second stage that I have never seen before, and I can't quite grasp how it
is supposed to work.  (Nevermind the usual mass ratio problems!)

Has anybody seen any scientific speculation on such an odd device?  That is
to say, I'm wondering if a Bussard-type wrote this up and it was used by
the author; or if another sf author used it somewhere else beforehand; or
if the author dreamed it up him/her self.

Thank you for your indulgence!


*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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