Brindabella Chronicles

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Brindabella Chronicles Summary The Brindabella Chronicles span three years at the turn of the twenty third century. This is realist future fiction with technologies that are achievable over this current century if we make the effort, and science that is constrained within the bounds of plausibility.

The stories are set in two quite distinct societies. Brindabella is a Janeite community that, with minimal help from modern technologies, has recreated the world of Jane Austen in the Brindabella valley of New South Wales. In contrast, Arkadel – a small floating city in the centre of the Pacific Ocean – is one of the most future oriented societies of the time. It is a swarm hive that's inhabitants devote their lives to preparing their Personal Archives to command spindles – tiny space craft designed to explore the galaxy in large swarms, and sow the seeds of settlement.

Book 1: Brindabella 2200. Arkadelian mathematician and social modeller Mary Wang recruits Tom Oldfield to help solve a scientific quest of her great grandmother Sara, and returns with him to Brindabella. The quest is successful. There are weddings.

Book 2: Brindabella Aftermath. Their findings shock the planet, and shock is quickly turned to fear by groups who's aim is to undermine The Treaty that has maintained peace for the past century. Mary returns to Arkadel in an attempt to quell the fears. She explores worlds of the secretive cybs and learns much from their understanding of swarming. There is another wedding.

Book 3: Brindabella Trust. Mary turns her efforts to reforming The Treaty. Back in Brindabella, she learns about the evolution of religions, gods and ideologies. Now that the world has finally recovered from the collapse of the institutions of the First Enlightenment it is moving into a Second Enlightenment based on trust. There is a death.

./Book 1 - Brindabella 2200
./Book 2 - Brindabella Aftermath
./Book 3 - Brindabella Trust
./Excerpt from Book 2.htm

The Balloonscope

The Balloonscope

A balloonscope, or kiloscope, is a telescope created in space by blowing up a large transparent balloon that can be kilometres in diameter then spinning it to create an oblate ellipsoid (ie flattening it a bit), and hardening it with ultraviolet light.

A mirror surface is then sprayed onto a patch of the flatter side, and a detector unit placed at the focal point of the mirror. The width of the mirrored surface, or usable reflective area (URA) over which the surface is close to the ideal parabolic curve for a mirror, is limited by the ability of the optics at the detector unit to correct for divergence of the curvature from parabolic.

In addition to their conventional astronomical use for detecting and studying distant exoplanets they will also be used as communications receivers, eventually establishing a network through known space.

Recent prototypes increase the URA by adding a stretch-ring of thicker material around a larger circle, pre-hardening that, then partially venting the balloon before completing the hardening of the remainder of the balloon. The extra rigidity of the stretch-ring allows the unused area of the balloon to be cut away after venting, thus removing the need for it to be transparent.

New, simpler balloon materials are being developed that will not only allow much larger balloons to be created but also allow kiloscopes to be constructed from scratch in other solar systems.