With the next installment of THE VANGUARDIAN almost set to hit the ether, I wanted to say a few words about the Enlilians and their ark, the planetissimal.
As I’ve said, we are taking a vision quest with the title character. Though we are being illuminated along with him, he has some foreknowledge of the ancient race and his nemeses, the Elilians.

The Enlilians are a venerable civilization that realized that the blue star in their system was going to collapse and destroy their yellow sun. They prepared to save their civilization by building a massive vessel, a “generation starship” called a planetissimal.

They surmised that they had …oh,… six or seven-hundred thousand years to build their ark. It’s not a lot of time on a cosmic scale.

The planetissimal, described as a generation starship, once launched, would take it’s passengers to “other shores” at a slow and steady pace. Light speed would require a massive amount of energy better used to sustain the population.

Obviously, I took liberties with physics. Something of that scale would have to be constructed in space, but; I decided that it would produce lift and thrust.   It’s more fun to draw, too.  It would use something like the “spindizzy,” anti-gravity drive from James Blish’s Cities in Flight (1970.) It would prevent the mass from flying apart, as well. The habitat would be many miles from the profusion for safety; and hibernation would be needed to conserve resources.

The generation starship is not new to scifi.  They were first made popular in Universe, by Robert Heinlein in 1941.  My favorite was the wandering behemoth in Rendevous with Rama (1973) by Arthur C. Clarke.  Konstantin Tsiokovsky wrote about “Noah’s arks” in space way back in 1928, too.  So, what’s the rush?  If you want to travel to other worlds, build a world to get you there.

See you in a few for the next installment of THE VANGUARDIAN: Kings & Pawns.

Karl – the Karltoonist for DANGER COMICS.