The Norman Transcript

Entertainment

October 2, 2012

Foreign Policy: Battlestar Galactica got space warfare right. Finally.

Last month, Small Wars Journal managing editor Robert Haddick asked whether new technology has rendered aircraft carriers obsolete. Well, not everyone thinks so, especially in science-fiction, where "flat tops" still rule in TV shows like "Battlestar Galactica." So we spoke with Chris Weuve, a naval analyst, former U.S. Naval War College research professor, and an ardent science-fiction fan about how naval warfare is portrayed in the literature and television of outer-space.

- - -

Q: How has sci-fi incorporated the themes of wet-navy warfare? How have warships at sea influenced the depiction of warships in space?

Chris Weuve: There are a lot of naval metaphors that have made their way into sci-fi. They are analogs, models of ways to think about naval combat. When people started writing about science-fiction combat, it was very easy to say that a spaceship is like a ship that floats on the water. So when people were looking for ways to think about, there was a tendency to use models they already understood. As navies have changed over time, that means there is a fair number of models that various science fiction authors can draw on. You have a model that resembles the Age of Sail, World War I or World War II surface action, or submarines, or fighters in space. Combine a couple of those, and you have aircraft carriers in space. I'm not one who gets hung up on the real physics because it is science fiction. But all of these models are based more upon historical analogs then analysis of the actual situation in space.

Q: Let's reverse the question. Has sci-fi affected the way that our navies conduct warfare?

A: This is a question that I occasionally think about. Many people point to the development of the shipboard Combat Information Center in World War II as being inspired by E.E. Doc Smith's Lensman novels from the 1940s. Smith realized that with hundreds of ships over huge expanses, the mere act of coordinating them was problematic. I think there is a synergistic effect. I also know a number of naval officers who have admitted to me that the reason they joined the Navy was because Starfleet Command wasn't hiring.

1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Entertainment
  • Steve Boaz.jpg Breathing Rhythm Studio a center for creativity

    Recording engineer Steve Boaz has brought his musical ambitions to fulfillment in a downtown Norman studio.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • BSB4.jpg Backstreet Boys transforming into real band

    After the 21 years together, the Backstreet Boys still haven’t shaken the label of ‘boy band.’ Despite the fact they have kids, bills and a sorted past, most of America still sees them as the kids that burst onto the scene in 1995.

    June 8, 2014 2 Photos

  • Rihanna Rihanna heats up the stage in Oklahoma City

    When Rihanna and her Diamonds World tour came to Oklahoma City Tuesday, it was a cold and blustery evening. It was the first signs of winter this year in the state.

    November 15, 2013 1 Photo

  • Beyonce energy overtakes Oklahoma City fans

    Most performers know how to put on a show. The good ones even know how to put on a concert.
    Then there are the special few who know how to make their time in front of their fans an experience.

    July 6, 2013

  • New Kids on The Block delight Oklahoma fans

    It was billed as “The Package.” A concert that featured three separate tours of boy bands from the ‘80s and ‘90s was folded into one package deal.

    July 1, 2013

  • image_preview.cgi.jpg Roger Moore's Bond had serious fun

    "I never do this," David Horowitz, a public relations executive for ABC, said as he picked up British actor Roger Moore at Kennedy Airport. "Can I have your autograph for my son?" It was 1986, and Moore was in New York City to do some publicity for the network. A year earlier, he had starred, at age 58, in "A View to a Kill."

    October 8, 2012 1 Photo

  • Foreign Policy: Battlestar Galactica got space warfare right. Finally.

    Last month, Small Wars Journal managing editor Robert Haddick asked whether new technology has rendered aircraft carriers obsolete. Well, not everyone thinks so, especially in science-fiction, where "flat tops" still rule in TV shows like "Battlestar Galactica."

    October 2, 2012

  • Eighth-grade NPS musicians to perform

    Norman Public Schools will present its 8th Grade Orchestra Festival at 7:00 p.m. Thursday at Nancy O’Brian Center for the performing arts.

    September 25, 2012

  • summer jam Turn Down The Heat Tour closes out the Summer

    Ken Talton wants it to be a giant date night. One in which people will get dressed up for a night on the town and enjoy some good music from the past and today.
    That is the premise behind Summer Jam Music Fest III’s “Turn Down The Heat Tour.”

    September 21, 2012 1 Photo

  • A guide to the movies

    OPENING IN HOLLYWOOD THIS WEEK

    June 20, 2012