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Old Feb 19 2009, 02:29 PM   #1
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Default What if on first fall

I thought of this while posting in another thread.

What would have happened if the first fall had come 50-75 years after Landing vs within a couple years (I believe)?

I honestly don't think the colony would have survived. I know Windblossom and Kitti Ping would probably not have been around to bio-engineer the dragons. The sleds would have been out of service, AIVAS would have been able to make the charts and help out, but I honestly think the civilization would have failed and ended.

I also thought of the Volcano had it errupted later, if the evac would have went so smooth, and would more been left behind... Also if with the above, no dragons, no sleds, or warning (even though it was so small a warning anyay) how would they have made out.
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Old Feb 19 2009, 03:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: What if on first fall

And even if they had survived the population would have been larger, so it would have been harder to evacuate everyone... either from the volcano or thread.
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Old Feb 19 2009, 03:14 PM   #3
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Default Re: What if on first fall

Yeah that is also another factor I didn't even contemplate.
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Old Feb 19 2009, 10:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: What if on first fall

No Pings and they're screwed.
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Old Feb 20 2009, 10:07 AM   #5
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Default Re: What if on first fall

No Anne and we're screwed...

Yes, you can pose these questions but... they all boil downe to: what if Anne hadn't written what she wrote...

"Seriously", a handful of colonists (OK, maybe a few hundred) would have survived and would have learned to survive the half century of Thread the hard way. It would have been far more the SF scenario we see in some "post nuclear war/devastated earth" movies than our beloved Pern.

"What if" questions can be posed, but this one might be a tad "too big", if you get my meaning
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Old Feb 20 2009, 12:13 PM   #6
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Default Re: What if on first fall

That is kind of where I was going with it. Had that fall been later the series probably wouldn't have been called Dragonriders of PERN
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Old Feb 20 2009, 02:01 PM   #7
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Old Feb 22 2009, 06:54 PM   #8
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Default Re: What if on first fall

Only too big for those with small minds.

How long does Wind Blossom live? Actually, how many people were killed unexpectedly in the First Fall who would have learned (and taught) others? What about AIVAS? Would it have detected the approach of the Red Star? And if they'd spread out that much, would they have evacuated at all? Maybe AIVAS would have figured out well in advance that something was coming (the survey team had found the dead vegetation patches, after all, you had the erratic orbit, AIVAS has tons of processing power to mull it over) and they would have come up with a defense in advance.

Honestly, I find it a little harder to believe they're that technologically advanced and they missed the volcano (and the potential pitfalls of building right under one) than that they didn't see Thread coming....This isn't the Yellowstone supervolcano where there's no obvious caldera. They had a whole continent to pick from. Possibly not the wisest decision? Thread would have taken some serious detective work to anticipate, but thousands of years of human history on our own planet says "it's probably not a good idea to build under a volcano, if you have the choice."
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Old Feb 22 2009, 11:15 PM   #9
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Default Re: What if on first fall

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anareth View Post
Only too big for those with small minds.

How long does Wind Blossom live? Actually, how many people were killed unexpectedly in the First Fall who would have learned (and taught) others? What about AIVAS? Would it have detected the approach of the Red Star? And if they'd spread out that much, would they have evacuated at all? Maybe AIVAS would have figured out well in advance that something was coming (the survey team had found the dead vegetation patches, after all, you had the erratic orbit, AIVAS has tons of processing power to mull it over) and they would have come up with a defense in advance.

Honestly, I find it a little harder to believe they're that technologically advanced and they missed the volcano (and the potential pitfalls of building right under one) than that they didn't see Thread coming....This isn't the Yellowstone supervolcano where there's no obvious caldera. They had a whole continent to pick from. Possibly not the wisest decision? Thread would have taken some serious detective work to anticipate, but thousands of years of human history on our own planet says "it's probably not a good idea to build under a volcano, if you have the choice."
Careful, Anareth, asking why they didn't have an eight-year-old child on the staff to run ideas past to catch those kinds of gaffs, will get you accused of disliking the author, or her work, and/or of having great hubris with respect to your talent versus hers.

Of course, being myself aware that in a thousand years no one is going to care about anything written here, I happen to agree with you. The only rationalization is that Mt. Garben appeared and presented as completely dormant and wasn't roused from dormancy until and by the Red Star's passage--and we know the survey team completely dropped the ball on the Red Star.

Although, people have been living at the feet of volcanoes for all of recorded history: you tend to find the best soil there.
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Old Feb 23 2009, 12:25 AM   #10
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Default Re: What if on first fall

And it's not just one volcano - it's an entire volcanic range along there. Like the Cascades, probably.
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Old Feb 23 2009, 02:53 AM   #11
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Default Re: What if on first fall

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...but thousands of years of human history on our own planet says "it's probably not a good idea to build under a volcano, if you have the choice."
Go tell that to the Italians living under active volcano Etna for centuries

And Vesuvius anybody?
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Old Feb 23 2009, 12:24 PM   #12
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Default Re: What if on first fall

Well I have been within a couple miles of a Active Volcano Mt. Arenal in Costa Rica, which is very active with erruptions every few hours. It was a site at night to see Lava coming down the side. We only had a few really nice blasts the couple days I was at the resort across the lake from it.

Though there is a water park built around a spring heated by the Volcano with a trail you can walk to the base. While we were at the base it errupted and looking up seeing the rocks rolling down the mountain was a site and very unnerving. The small sensation of fear gives me a very small idea of what other feel in big erruptions.
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Old Feb 23 2009, 01:29 PM   #13
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Default Re: What if on first fall

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Originally Posted by Hans View Post
Go tell that to the Italians living under active volcano Etna for centuries

And Vesuvius anybody?
How about Seattle, WA near Mt. Olympia which is classified as an active volcano.

Or Hawaii.

Or Iceland (which would be inhabitable without the volcanoes).

Remember that volcanic ash is very good to grow crops in, so some people are going to live close to a volcano just for agricultural reasons.

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Old Feb 23 2009, 04:05 PM   #14
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Default Re: What if on first fall

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some people are going to live close to a volcano just for agricultural reasons.
That's exactly the reason the Italians live and work so near the Etna
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Old Feb 23 2009, 06:33 PM   #15
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Default Re: What if on first fall

How about "vastly more limited choice of where to move to?"

The Pernese had an ENTIRE CONTINENT to pick from plus are thousands of years into our future and should have mastered plate tectonics. And yet for all the political mooning about not making the mistakes of their ancestors, they pulled one of the oldest of humankind, without any excuses about not understanding vulcanology.
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Old Feb 23 2009, 08:31 PM   #16
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Default Re: What if on first fall

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How about Seattle, WA near Mt. Olympia which is classified as an active volcano.

Or Hawaii.

Or Iceland (which would be inhabitable without the volcanoes).

Remember that volcanic ash is very good to grow crops in, so some people are going to live close to a volcano just for agricultural reasons.

GH


Okay, quick geography lesson from a Puget Sound native.

There is no Mt. Olympia near Seattle. There is a Mt. Olympus, to the west of Seattle in the Olympics, on the Olympic peninsula. It is not a volcano. These is a city, the capital of Washington State, to the south-southwest of Seattle, named Olympia.

However, to the north of Seattle is Mt. Baker (Koma Kulshan), to the east is Glacier Peak (Tacobia), and to the southeast is Mt. Ranier (Tahoma/Tacoma), and tracking through southeast to south you have Mt. Adams (Klickitat or Paddo) and Mt. St. Helens (Loowit).

All of those are volcanoes. St. Helens is obviously active, and Baker and Ranier are restless.
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Old Feb 23 2009, 08:40 PM   #17
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Default Re: What if on first fall

Quote:
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How about "vastly more limited choice of where to move to?"

The Pernese had an ENTIRE CONTINENT to pick from plus are thousands of years into our future and should have mastered plate tectonics. And yet for all the political mooning about not making the mistakes of their ancestors, they pulled one of the oldest of humankind, without any excuses about not understanding vulcanology.
Ah, but you're considering only one factor. Just how many places could they safely set those shuttles down? And just how much ability did they really have to move everything once dirt-side to a new location. The exodus when it came was plenty shabby and a hell of a lot got left behind.

So, in fairness, we can't be too overly critical. Landing on a new world, I need:

1) Some place to make into a safe landing field;
2) Fresh water;
3) Good soil;
4) Minerals.

Rivers have a bad habit of being near mountains, and the explosive kind have a bad habit of containing all kinds of useful minerals, and a propensity to belch out ash that makes wonderful soil, which also has a habit of coating everything pretty easily and compacting down to make a fairly firm runway...

The bonehead maneuver was launching a shoe-string mission to set up a deliberately technologically retrograde colony, well beyond the range of succor in the event of disaster, into a badly surveyed system. And what prompted this fiasco?

The same old culprit: ideology.
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Old Feb 23 2009, 10:21 PM   #18
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Default Re: What if on first fall

The colonists had 3 landing sites in mind according to Dragonsdawn. Page 17 of my copy of Dragonwings states
Quote:
"Paul had already decided which of the 3 recommended landing sites he would choose...
the obvious choice was the vast plateau below a group of strato volcanoes. The current weather there was clement and the nearly level expanse was adequate to accomodate all six shuttles
Page 19 mentions the reasons the other sites were not chosen.
Quote:
The site at forty-five eleven is waterlogged right now,and the western one is too far from the ocean. Temperatures readings are near freezing
The records that they had showed the volcanoes to be dormant for 200 years or more (being discovered, explored and colonized all during an interval)
As someone else stated the Red Star's approach may have caused the volcano to erupt.
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Old Feb 24 2009, 12:19 AM   #19
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Default Re: What if on first fall

That is what WD says after all the ash in enriches the soil, even after he resdiscovery of Landing, you know this gives an idea too for the images Ruth pick ups from the fire lizards later. I would think that they would have seen other one pop up in the sea before in past gathing the images from the older firer lzards, and with the new ones their memory are clear or better. Also Duke and the two browns of the orginal hattaching are telling the other that what they see are going to be a problem for their hunan friends and others, after argument most of the morning, Sean's could tell, that his gold was taking orders from his two browns.

For the other "wild ones the older ones could be transmated the pass images they remember for the last time the Red Star came to drop off its loads of Threads.

Well I would thinks they would have come up with something along with the fire lizards helping too.
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Old Feb 24 2009, 09:06 AM   #20
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Default Re: What if on first fall

Quote:
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The records that they had showed the volcanoes to be dormant for 200 years or more (being discovered, explored and colonized all during an interval)
As someone else stated the Red Star's approach may have caused the volcano to erupt.
I'm sure the Anne-science explanation would be that the volcano seemed completely dormant 200 years ago, and that given the plate tectonics it shouldn't have reactivated -- but the Red Star's influence set it off again.

That explanation has more holes than Swiss cheese, in my opinion. Volcanos can be dormant for thousands of years between periods of activity, which is why there's a big difference between dormant and extinct. Saying a volcano hasn't erupted for 200 years so it seems to be safe enough to live next to is incredibly stupid.

I have to agree with Anareth that it was a silly site to choose for Landing, and given that they needed a safe, permanent site to install AIVAS, it stretches credibility. The western site, though inland, would seem far more sensible.
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Old Feb 24 2009, 10:07 AM   #21
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However, to the north of Seattle is Mt. Baker (Koma Kulshan), to the east is Glacier Peak (Tacobia), and to the southeast is Mt. Ranier (Tahoma/Tacoma), and tracking through southeast to south you have Mt. Adams (Klickitat or Paddo) and Mt. St. Helens (Loowit).

All of those are volcanoes. St. Helens is obviously active, and Baker and Ranier are restless.
Sorry, Mt. Ranier was the one that I was thinking of. IIRC, some of the Seattle Metro area is built on "mud" from a past mudflow from Mt. Ranier.

And I thought that restless volcanoes were considered to be active.

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Old Feb 24 2009, 11:46 AM   #22
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Default Re: What if on first fall

The Yellowstone supervolcano has been dormant about 300,000 years IIRC. They don't think it's safe. They know we're due. (Could be tomorrow, could be 10,000 years, but it WILL errupt again. As will Vesuvius, but they at least after the last one, fifty or so years ago, are TRYING to come up with evacuation plans.) Not to mention--Mt. St Helen's? La-la, volcano, hasn't errupted in forever so that means we're fine...oops. Most vulcanologists will now hesitate to ever call a volcano extinct for sure, unless it's on the moon.

Again--they have an ENTIRE CONTINENT (not including the Northern and Western continents) and only three sites are at all suitable? Thousands of years of human history and they've never grasped the concept of fertilzation? Though I think ED has a point, their biggest mistake was reduction of technology to a level that pretty much guaranteed trouble if and when something happened (be it a volcanic erruption, Thread, what have you.) Possibly "let's build right under volcanos" was more a symptom of a general willful delusion about how safe life without advanced technology was going to be (which maybe could be a sneaky little commentary on back-to-nature types in and of itself--just ask the Alcotts how that whole experiment in communal natural low-impact living worked for them, and that was just with 19th-century conveniences they were giving up!) If it's out in nature it must be good, right? Which would make salvation in the form of AIVAS that much more ironic, as a society at the technological level to which the colonists aspired wouldn't have been able to create a computer like that in the first place.
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Old Feb 24 2009, 01:30 PM   #23
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Default Re: What if on first fall

Well, I'm thinking the landing sites coincided with their orbital insertion vector, they could slow down to geosynchronous orbit, but not change their angle. Considering how they colonists were spreading out before thread arrived, the volcanoes would not have been an issue except for AIVAS. Threadfall not having shown up for 50 plus years would have made for a very very bad thing. Benden, Boll and Tillek gone, Kitti Ping gone, likely little or no real communication between settlements, just no response over communications, shrugged off as a plague or something. Likely the fisherman and dolphineers would be the only ones to likely survive a month.
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Old Feb 26 2009, 01:41 PM   #24
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Default Re: What if on first fall

The possible landing sites had been selected by the original survey team; part of recommending a planet for colonization included suggesting a certain number of suitable landing sites. That would seem to have disregarded any consideration for orbital insertion vectors as it would not be possible to predict how a potential future colonization fleet would choose to approach the planet.
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Old Mar 2 2009, 12:03 AM   #25
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My opinion: I believe what the survey team was looking at was the age of pumice and/or lava rock and the weathering on them. The San Andreas fault is very long but the distance between the volcanoes is very wide. It would seem that they saw the cones developing in a line away from landing, meaning that the fault had already slipped enough in that area to let off some lava in the past. They figured they had plenty of time before it reached a stress point again. As far as tech goes, maybe a planetary crust x-ray device would have been to expensive and/or might have taken up alot of valuable cargo space.
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