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Hard S.F. Worldbuilding Cookbook #2: Supernova

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Hard SF Worldbuilding Cookbook #2: Supernova

A how-to guide for writers and roleplayers


Start with your story. Choose locations, find situations, and inspire novel prompts as you need them. Have the science behind them at your fingertips, when you want it. 

Inspiration first, then worldbuilding.

The Hard SF Worldbuilding Cookbooks:

Written for worldbuilders who want their in-world science to be more than just technobabble, the Hard SF Cookbooks are focussed on story and dramatic possibilities rather than just being ‘here’s the science, now go create’. Each starts with a guide for the aspiring space traveller - where to go and how to avoid being fried, zapped, and/or blasted - then pulls out to the artist, writer and GM point-of-view, with lookup tables so you can start from the trope or scenario you want, find new story hooks, and work back towards the science behind them.

#2: Supernova:
They are the biggest, most devastating, explosions in the universe: Lasting for months, unleashing more energy and radiation than an entire galaxy, supernova have shaped galactic history (and, in some regions, effectively ended it). If your characters find themselves threatened by one you'll need to know: How far do they have to run? Is there anywhere they can hide? And is there any technology, anywhere in the galaxy, that might protect them?
Using a series of simple, flexible look-up tables, this book sets out the range, lethality, and timing of a supernova's effects - as well as detailed notes on the visuals and experiances that accompany them, their millenia long aftermath, and countermeasures for endangered spacecraft and planets. Putting storytelling ahead of technical detail, but with plenty of in-depth material for those wanting to do a deeper dive, this second installment in the Hard SF Worldbuilding Cookbooks series covers:

Immediate effects of a supernova on space vehicles - Page 8

Delayed effects of a supernova on space vehicles - page 9

Immediate effects of a supernova on an Earth-like planet - page 10

Delayed effects of a supernova on an Earth-like planet - page 11

Aftermath effects of a supernova - page 12

Supernova prediction - page 13

Tech and industrial levels - page 15

Use of Traveller tech periods and Karderschev levels - page 15

Effects of radiation doses - page 16

Countermeasures for space vehicles - page 18

Countermeasures for Earth-like planets - page 20

John Freeman is PhD physicist, who acts as advisor for world-builders when they want some real world details to help their creations. This series owes its existence to the GMs, writers, artists, and even historians who collaborated with him (and who keep him in touch with the real world, and supply him with snacks).

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Dipak J July 24, 2021 8:59 am UTC
A really insightful read for everyone looking for something unique to read as well as enjoy.
<a href="">Blogging Generation</a>
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File Last Updated:
September 18, 2022
This title was added to our catalog on November 24, 2020.
John Freeman
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