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What, no planet kablooey?

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Re: What, no planet kablooey?
Post by George J. Smith   » Fri Jan 01, 2016 6:02 am

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Loren Pechtel wrote:
George J. Smith wrote:It is alluded to in Mutineer's Moon the first book of the Dahak series, the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars is the result of a planet being destroyed by the Alchuutani using c fractional rocks


Where do you get that the rocks were c-frac? The Fifth Imperium universe uses non-inertial drives, they would be hard pressed to boost a c-frac rock.


Assumption based on the fact that all speeds are in effect a fraction of c
.
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Re: What, no planet kablooey?
Post by cthia   » Fri Jan 01, 2016 7:07 am

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Daryl wrote:Planets were destroyed to create Ringworld, then the star and ring accelerated to fractional C to escape the core explosion.
Same for Dyson Sphere stories. There was another involving a steerable neutron star, but I can't remember the title. Venging had aliens preempting rivals by using antimatter needles to shatter the Earth's core.

Whoaa Nellie! A steerable neutron star?

Omma gonna haveta reeeeead that!

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: What, no planet kablooey?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Fri Jan 01, 2016 10:41 am

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Imaginos1892 wrote:David Weber/Steve White "The Stars At War"

At the end, they fortify three large asteroids and use them to smash the last Bug hive planet.
I was familiar with over half of the one you mentioned, but I was planning to bring this one specifically up if you hadn't mentioned it first.
Though I don't recall 'Bank Shot' actually exploding the world into rubble - though it was more than enough to kill all the Bugs.
cthia wrote:Thanks niethil. But in this case, I'm actually looking for situations where the planet itself is completely destroyed. Not just the life on it. Enough C-fracs impacting a planet in the Honorverse could render it practically uninhabitable.
That's going to be more rare because the energy needed to totally destroy a planet; or even convert it to an asteroid belt, is at least enough to accelerate all it's mass to beyond escape velocity. Otherwise it fairly quickly falls back together and consolidates. And that energy is many orders of magnitude more than it takes to scrape off the biosphere and kill all life.
In other words its usually ludicrous overkill to destroy a planet if you just want to kill all its inhabitants.

The math behind the Giant Impactor theory of the Earth Moon system formation shows that even that strike with an object a good fraction the size of Mars wouldn't be/wasn't enough to totally destroy the Earth.
Launch a bunch of debris into space (mostly at less than escape velocity); yes.
Dump enough heat to keep the crust liquified for years; yes
Actually destroy the planet; obviously not.

So you can literally melt the crust of a planet for far less energy that it take to permanently disrupt and disperse one.
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Re: What, no planet kablooey?
Post by JeffEngel   » Fri Jan 01, 2016 12:49 pm

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cthia wrote:Something else that occurs to me. In a series, like Dahak, where there is this sort of massssss extinction, how does a series continue? For instance, in the Honorverse, if Haven and Manticore destroyed each other's planets then game over.

Even the League wouldn't last long if a few key planets are obliterated.
Trying, oh trying, to avoid getting into League death conditions....

Anyway. You can wreck planets and carry on when you have a lot of planets, or when one side or the other is unable or unwilling to finish the other off entirely. The Achuultani in the Dahak series tend to miss some planets in their sweeps of this section of the galaxy. There's a reason for that that I leave you to read and find out. Meanwhile, for the last several hundred million years, the residents of this part of the galaxy have not, planetoid class starships notwithstanding, have not been able to locate and destroy the Achuultani bases or home system(s).


Also, it seems that with that kind of an energy budget, conventional warfare and ships would be pointless.

Nuclear weapons haven't made conventional forces pointless. Stupendous destruction isn't a solution for all problems, certainly not a cost-effective or ethically satisfactory one. Those planetoid ships, for instance, carry sublight parasite craft including "battleships" and fighters, along with ground combat troops and armored vehicles. They're built to cover the whole combat scale spectrum and it all gets some use.

Also - why not fort up in a single system sphere? Mostly for having many star systems, and that kind of massive defense of each of them wasn't practical as a matter of resources - material and human, initial and ongoing. And the usual problems with fixed defenses apply: they invite defeat in detail since they cannot cover one another, cover other threatened spots or flee when they aren't up to winning here and now. One system in the Dahak universe got a practically impervious defense, just because of its centrality. It wasn't a plan for every system.
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Re: What, no planet kablooey?
Post by Loren Pechtel   » Fri Jan 01, 2016 1:55 pm

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Imaginos1892 wrote:E. E. Smith "Gray Lensman"
3. The Sunbeam ("Second Stage Lensman")

Never used against a planet, but the total power of a star used as a directed energy weapon would certainly do the job.


The sunbeam was used against many planets, none were destroyed, although if they had been life-bearing they wouldn't be anymore.

It had the power to crack planetary shields and take down their Bergenholms, thus keeping them from being used against Earth. It wasn't used at the battle of Arisia because that fight basically took place in the hyperspace tubes themselves rather than real space. Presumably Ploor and Eddore had sunbeams but no fleet attacked either system for us to find out.

It couldn't be used offensively against a planet due to range--it's simply a focusing device, not a power source in it's own right. Thus it needs a major installation within a planetary system--and how do you accomplish that in an enemy system?7777
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Re: What, no planet kablooey?
Post by cthia   » Fri Jan 01, 2016 3:15 pm

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Imaginos1892 wrote:E. E. Smith "Gray Lensman"

1. The Negasphere

A planet-sized mass of some sort of negative matter or antimatter-like substance.

2. The Nutcracker

Take two gas giants with large and opposite intrinsic velocities. Construct two gigantic Bergenholm inertial nullifiers. Transport them to the appropriate bracketing positions, turn off the Bergenholms, and watch them crush the target planet between them. Used against the final Boskone headquarters, Jarnevon.

3. The Sunbeam ("Second Stage Lensman")

Never used against a planet, but the total power of a star used as a directed energy weapon would certainly do the job.

Arthur C. Clarke "Childhood's End"

The evolved children destroy the Earth during their ascension.

Robert A. Heinlein "Stranger In A Strange Land"

Valentine Michael Smith reveals that he can destroy a planet with his Martian-trained mental powers.

Robert A. Heinlein "Have Space Suit, Will Travel"

The alien court's sentence on the "wormfaces" is to rotate their planet into another dimension - without its sun.

Roger Zelazny "Creatures Of Light And Darkness"

The Hammer That Smashes Suns.

Larry Niven "The Hole Man"

A scientist turns off a gravitic transmitter device on Mars containing a micro black hole, releasing it to eventually consume the planet.

Another story concerned an interstellar lightsail trading ship. If they could not get a planet to build a booster laser to send them to their next stop, they had a device that could make a star go nova and get their boost that way.

Greg Bear "The Forge Of God"

Alien self-replicating machines build a vast number of fusion bombs on the ocean bottom, but for the final event they drop masses of neutronium and anti-neutronium into the core.

James Blish "Cities In Flight"

An entire planet is used as a weapon to destroy the last Vegan orbital fort.

Alan Dean Foster "The End Of The Matter"

The white-hole-maker would be very bad for any planets in its vicinity.

Alan Dean Foster "Trouble Magnet"

The Tar-Aiym "super-Krang" weapon platform could easily destroy planets.

Other:

Any KK-drive ship could destroy a planet with its drive.

The Ulru-Ujurrians could certainly destroy planets if they wanted to.

Some of the Xunca artifacts had enough power to destroy planets.

James P. Hogan "Inherit The Stars"

50,000 years ago the fifth planet was destroyed by nucleonic bombs, creating the asteroid belt.

James P. Hogan "Giant's Star"

Some of the Thuriens' major engineering works could be turned to planet-killing.

David Weber/Steve White "The Stars At War"

At the end, they fortify three large asteroids and use them to smash the last Bug hive planet.

David Brin "Earth"

The 1908 Tunguska Event was caused by aliens dropping a small black hole on us. By 2038 it has nearly reached the critical size that will cause it to consume the planet in a matter of days.

Gregory Benford "Tides Of Light"

The Mechs use a spinning cosmic string to extract a planet's iron core.

Julian May "The Adversary"

It is implied that "Abaddon" (Paramount Grand Master metapsychic Marc Remillard) could destroy a planet.

Men In Black 2

Serleena destroys multiple planets, although no details about her weapon are ever provided.

Thanks for all the info, Imaginos. A good friend of mine -- an overzealous Steven King nut -- likes the Lensman series as well and keeps trying to suck me into its vortex. He tells me its the cat's meow. But then, he is a die hard Steven King fan. An author whose books I do not like. Which evokes the grain-of-salt clause. LOL

Though I admit that the Lensman series sound quite interesting.

Bergenholm inertial nullifiers? That sure stokes the imagination-curiosity-equation.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: What, no planet kablooey?
Post by cthia   » Fri Jan 01, 2016 3:24 pm

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This thread is beginning to stoke my interest in the Dahak series. Although, I'm just not into mindless killing on a wholesale scale. This series reduces the bill in the Honorverse to chump change. The butcher's bill.


Can someone tell me the location of the action relative to Earth in the Dahak and Lensman series?

Could they just be a wormhole away from the Honorverse? :D

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: What, no planet kablooey?
Post by drothgery   » Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:05 pm

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cthia wrote:This thread is beginning to stoke my interest in the Dahak series. Although, I'm just not into mindless killing on a wholesale scale. This series reduces the bill in the Honorverse to chump change. The butcher's bill.


Can someone tell me the location of the action relative to Earth in the Dahak and Lensman series?
First book is entirely on earth; second is mostly there with some action on a new colony and some at a random unoccupied star system where a fleet battle happened; third almost entirely on a kind of random backwater planet.
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Re: What, no planet kablooey?
Post by phillies   » Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:05 pm

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In one of the later EE Smith Skylark novels, the heroes blow up an enemy *galaxy*. Furthermore, the weapon acts simultaneously against more-or-less every star in the galaxy, converting the galaxy to a quasar.

In a later Lensman novel the heroes blow up an enemy solar system and everything withina number of light years of it by inserting into the solar system a planet. From another universe. Travelling faster than light on arrival.

1950s Superboy, being not a wimp, diverted a half-dozen stars from their courses, this after being injured by red sun radiation.
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Re: What, no planet kablooey?
Post by JeffEngel   » Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:37 pm

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cthia wrote:This thread is beginning to stoke my interest in the Dahak series. Although, I'm just not into mindless killing on a wholesale scale. This series reduces the bill in the Honorverse to chump change. The butcher's bill.

It's definitely not mindless killing - it's still Weber, after all. The scale in Armageddon Inheritance and the background is vast, but the tone is still clearly in the same sort of authorial voice. And as noted by another here, the scale is "merely" planetary or so in the first and third books.

All three of the novels are manageable in length too and diverse in action. By contrast, The Shiva Option - also with planet-wrecking! - tended to grind along with a certain eye-glazing repetition in parts due to scope.
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