6
$\begingroup$

I've been working on a mostly hard sci-fi setting where there exists an extradimensional hyperspace that allows for superluminal travel and time travel called Deepspace or Darkspace, which has a very strong oceanic/nautical motif to it. I'm having some trouble on expanding on this idea, however, and I've so far only thought of two properties - albeit major ones - for how Darkspace works:

As analogy, imagine the 3 spatial dimensions and 1 temporal dimension of our universe - so-called "realspace" - are akin to the very "surface" of a "vast, deep ocean", with Darkspace as everything "below" that. The "ocean" has "layers/strata/zones," - extradimensional spaces that somehow "intersect/grade into" one another - with the "uppermost layer" akin to the photic zone. To travel faster, one needs to go "deeper," but as with submarines and water pressure you can't go too "deep."

$\endgroup$
9
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Did you want the idea expanding? That would require a specific question, not fishing. As far as the [internal-consistency] tag goes, it seems fine, what issues do you see there? (As an aside, my musings: By way of explanation: Dark-matter (interactive on the hyperspace-side) gravity-well at the centre of the galaxy, clustering around Sagittarius A? Just a thought.) $\endgroup$ Jan 19 at 1:45
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Look up the Warp from Warhammer 40,000. You might find useful ideas. $\endgroup$
    – KEY_ABRADE
    Jan 19 at 1:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ is it like the speed force? Barry Allen is able to run faster the more he is connected to the speed force and eventually enters a new dimensionđź’¨ $\endgroup$
    – user6760
    Jan 19 at 2:59
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ What's the question? $\endgroup$
    – N. Virgo
    Jan 19 at 11:11
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Reminds me of the way space travel works in the Honor Harrington novels. $\endgroup$
    – Bobson
    Jan 19 at 12:34

3 Answers 3

4
$\begingroup$

I have read many books with similar features. My suggestion is not to overthink it too much. Most if not all of them have in common that the inhabitants of that universe are themselves at a loss of an explanation for how their respective "deepspace" works:

  • Often, humans can only travel deepspace when they are asleep - at least unconscious. Being conscious has the high risk to drive them insane.
  • Or at the very least, they have to be within some shielded place within their vessel to avoid looking "outside" (whatever that term means in deepspace).
  • Often, a strong plot point is that travelers accidentally wake up during deepspace travel, and mayhem ensues.
  • Human physicists within the universe are often not able to explain or understand how that kind of travel actually works. Or at the very least not able to explain it to normal people who have not studied the topic for decades, or are not "mentally boosted", i.e. by being merged with an AI or something along those lines.
  • Physicians are not able to cure or prevent the mental effects for unknowable reasons.
  • Then, sometimes only AI are able to do the calculations or inventions surrounding deepspace.
  • If the author deigns to describe the deepspace more, they get to be as phantastical as they want - if the in-universe population has no clue how it works, the author has artistic freedom to explain it to the reader in whatever metaphor they like. For example they might write something like "the ship entered deepspace and clawed into the structure with all its might, to propel itself along as fast as it could, to escape the pirates". Or "Alice noticed with panic that her sleep capsule did not work while the ship went into deepspace... she slowly turned around and noticed dark shadows rising from the spaceship corridors around her..." This works great for me as a reader, I do not need or profit from a pseudo-scientific description. If instead an other prefers to speak of "Einstein-Rosen-Bridges" for their wormholes, I just get a quick chuckle but am by far not drawn into the story as much, mostly because I happen to know what the actual term means in real physics; and if I did not know, then it would mean absolutely nothing to me.

So, knock yourself and your reader out with the most fancy, Moby-Dick-/Jaws-like nautical description you can come up with. Make sure to make clear that this is just a metaphor, and that the in-universe people also know that it is just a metaphor (for example, have some character who does deepspace travel for their first time have it explained to them), to pacify the hard-SciFi nerds, and all should be well!

$\endgroup$
1
  • $\begingroup$ This, as well as the other answers have been extremely useful, thanks! Originally I imagined that as one goes "deeper" into Deepspace/Darkspace that "local" physics becomes increasingly disparate from those we are familiar with, and that entering Darkspace is achieved by somehow moving transationally through a 4th spatial dimension. This idea, along with the others' ideas of reality being a hypersphere with our universe as its surface could both be some of multiple prevailing in-setting theories for how Darkspace works. $\endgroup$ Jan 19 at 21:01
6
$\begingroup$

We inhabit the surface of a structure, that we perceive as 3 dimensional space, but in reality is like the crust of a planet.

Due to the Curvature of this structure, going under it allows a direct route between two points - think of the Chord of a Circle vs the Circumference between those 2 points, the circumference is always longer.

In addition, something something currents something. That is, like the Earth, we have out Tectonic plates that sit on a liquid Mantle that has all sorts of movements happening. This allows our vessels traversing this realm to go faster.

Going deeper = more speed, well you could look at this like a Fighter jet doing a Boom and Zoom type move or if you've seen the Marble demonstrations on YT were a parabola and a straight line track have a marble race and the parabola wins.

Also you could add in something like Dark Gravity or Dark Pressure or simply state as you go deeper and faster the forces on the hull of the vessel increase - whether it's an implosion and a crushing force or the vessel is literally ripped apart.

Or you could have it that as you get closer to the centre (AKA going deeper) the currents get more turbulent and chaotic (Closer to the Dark Ocean Energy Source?) and this is what makes it more dangerous, the further away you are, the more uniform the flow is due to Dark inertia.

$\endgroup$
1
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ To extend this answer, rather than being a 3d surface of a 4d sphere, the universe we experience could be a much more complex object, kinda like a koch snowflake but with 2 extra dimensions. The 3d universe could then be infinitely large, but you can reach any point in a finite amount of time by going through "hyperspace", with longer jumps requiring you to go further into the depths of hyperspace. $\endgroup$ Jan 19 at 21:04
4
$\begingroup$

Space-time is curved. Going from A to B in 3+1D space takes you along the surface of the higher-dimensional space. However, the shortest distance between the two points is not the curved line along the surface of the higher-dimensional space, but the straight line that goes through the bulk of the higher-dimensional space.

Think of it as if you're a two-dimensional being on the surface of a walnut. You get from A to B by travelling along the surface. However, if you can move three-dimensionally, you can go through the body of the nut or from one side of a wrinkle to the other without having to go all the way around it.

The limitation that deepspace provides is that as you go deeper, and approach a minimal distance course more closely, the pressure increases... either your vessel can take the pressure, or you need to take a longer way around, though it may still be shorter than going around the surface.... or your vessel is crushed and you're lost, another victim of deepspace whose navigators took too many risks, like the Titan descending to the titanic one too many times...

$\endgroup$

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .