m. c. de marco: To invent new life and new civilizations...

BDO of the Day: Hoopworld

Today’s Big Dumb Object (BDO) is a Hoopworld or toroidal planet shaped like a doughnut. While it’s possible that such planets might form natually, they would be unstable over the long term. Anders Sandberg evaluates a couple of possible toroidal planets of “natural” size (whether natural or artificially constructed)—that is, up to about six times the surface area of the Earth.

One disadvantage of the natural size is that the day length on a toroidal planet is only a few hours. Orion’s Arm postulates a less natural hoopworld with a more natural day length: about 90,000 miles across, and about an Earth-sized diameter in cross-section.

To make larger hoopworlds like that, you need some artificial BDO construction and maintenance methods. In Episode 7 of Isaac Arthur’s Megastructures video series, he discusses exotic construction methods for hoopworlds and suggests linking your hoopworlds together into a chain around a sun (just because you can) or putting a topopolis or more hoopworlds in the middle of it.

Boskone on the Cheap

In my previous post about Boskone 55, I forgot to mention that once again you can try the convention out for free for Friday afternoon from 2pm to 6pm, which includes a couple of the panels I’m on: “My Favorite Game” at 3pm and “Revisiting Big Dumb Objects” at 4pm. The full free schedule is online.

Magnate Roller 1.1.1

Magnate Roller has been brushed up to version 1.1.1, now with clearer rules for playing with the dice, since Peter and I are continuing our trend of getting wrong things you never thought you could get wrong with the rules right in front of you.

Boskone 55

Boskone 55 is coming up like a freight train! In about a week (February 16–18, 2018) fans will gather in Boston for New England’s longest-running science fiction and fantasy convention. You can find out more about Boskone at The Boskone Blog, Twitter, Facebook, and the Boskone website.

I’m on the schedule for Boskone, where I’ll be talking about games, Big Dumb Objects, medicine, fanfiction, and filk.

BDO of the Day: Halo

Today’s Big Dumb Object (BDO) is a Halo Ring or simply Halo, from the video game of the same name. At a diameter of about 6,000 miles, a Halo is closer in size to a Bishop Ring than to a Banks Orbital, though it’s closest of all to the diameter of the Earth.

Halos (there are many) are about 200 miles wide, yielding a surface area of 4 million square miles, which is only a fiftieth of an Earth (or a long, skinny Canada). But what they lack in size, they make up for in dumbness. Unlike Banks' populous, expanding Orbital collection, the Halos are abandoned ancient technology with an apocalyptic purpose. For more on Halos, see the official Halo site, Gamasutra’s Halo Science 101, or Halopedia (including their list of Halo novels.)