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For questions about the fictitious in-universe engineering found in works of speculative fiction. Questions purely concerning real-world engineering are off-topic.

9
votes
2answers
226 views

Online novel: Magic as a branch of engineering

I read a few chapters of an "amateur's" novel that they had posted on their web site. I put quotes around that because while they're not a "proper" published author, the story is really, really good. ...
7
votes
1answer
420 views

Why does the Federation prefer mainly space-borne starships?

Why are almost all Federation starships space-borne? Yes I know the Intrepid class vessels (like Voyager) are capable of atmospheric landing, but you'd think that as more and more alien races joined ...
5
votes
3answers
237 views

Book about an engineer who travels into a medieval time/world with magic and gods, becomes part of a magic priesthood

It's a book, probably written in the late 90's early 2000's. And, it's about a time traveling engineer (not Conrad Stargard) who travels back in time to a medieval world divided into different ...
7
votes
0answers
179 views

Short story about space engineers building portals, with paranoid furry alien species

I'm looking for a short story that I read online several years ago. It was about a company that built interstellar portals. It was told from the point of view of a human engineer who worked with very ...
5
votes
1answer
195 views

How is Max's Interceptor still running?

I am not referring to the fact that the Interceptor has been wrecked more than once. It is perfectly possible to salvage an engine from a wrecked car provided the engine block itself has not suffered ...
2
votes
1answer
122 views

Intergalactic war Weapons designs Flaws [duplicate]

Very short story about engineering problems with weapons development in an intergalactic space war. Force field, matter shrinking technology. Taught in engineering design programs.
-4
votes
1answer
505 views

Is a sonic screwdriver possible? [closed]

Keeping it simple, is it possible to use sonic waves to apply rotary force to an object? And, if so, would it be possible to provide enough power to it via conventional battery tech?
0
votes
3answers
2k views

How do ships control their aerodynamics in Star Wars?

How do flight-capable ships control their pitch, yaw and roll in atmospheric conditions and in space? Is there a difference whether the crafts are flight-capable in atmosphere only, space-only or both?...
4
votes
1answer
205 views

In the episode “That Which Survives” where is the location of the pod that enabled Scotty to access the matter - antimatter flow?

Scotty crawled into a pod were he was going to manually shut off the flow of fuel with a magnetic probe. Scotty installs explosives at the end of the service crawlway that will permit Spock to ...
6
votes
1answer
468 views

Looking for short story describing the job interview of an operator/engineer (not Asimov's “Profession”)

I'm desperately looking for a science fiction short story I read in the 80s (or maybe 90s, my memory is not the best). I remember the main story line was about the job interview of a worker, who ...
4
votes
0answers
512 views

1980s movie involving a genetically engineered human multiple ribs

I used to work in a video store back in 1988 and remember a VHS (a magical old format) of a movie that was pretty cool from my perspective. It had a genetically engineered human that was fully grown ...
4
votes
1answer
381 views

Would an EMP compromise magnetic seals on a photon torpedo from TOS

I ask this as I have just been looking at the designs fro the original series torpedo systems and was wondering if the magnetic seals on a torpedo would fail in the even of an EMP event. The ship ...
6
votes
1answer
878 views

Why would starships have intake manifolds?

In Enterprise 3x14, the captain vents plasma from a shuttle pod to escape from some insectoids. He smugly claims, "the plasma got into their intake manifolds and is overheating their engines". AFAIK,...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

How does the Impeller Wedge in the Honor Harrington series work?

I may have missed it somewhere, but how does the impeller wedge in the Honor Harrington series work. I am only a couple of books in, but I don't quite understand how the impeller wedge works to offer ...
12
votes
1answer
190 views

Living on a building's surface in “Farewell Horizontal”

I read "Farewell Horizontal" a long time ago. It described people living on the surface of a really big building, in particular, sometimes standing perpendicular to the wall. My physics is a bit weak, ...
73
votes
34answers
10k views

What is the largest (engineered) physical object dreamed of in science fiction? [closed]

I can think of 3 kinds of big. By volume By a linear measure By mass or weight Bonus points for all three. Extra bonus points for the object being realistic in construction. Let's add to it that ...