Starlight, Starbright

Researchers at MIT have figured out a way to drastically improve the design of the semi-solid flow cell:

“…solid particles are suspended in a carrier liquid and pumped through the system. In this design, the battery’s active components — the positive and negative electrodes, or cathodes and anodes — are composed of particles suspended in a liquid electrolyte. These two different suspensions are pumped through systems separated by a filter, such as a thin porous membrane.”

This could lead the way to more efficient electric cars that could fuel up similar to how we currently use gasoline. While this really is a fantastic development, my writer brain started thinking of ways to use this in science fiction. Like most writers, I’ve always got more ideas than I know what to do with and part of this is due to the free association my brain tends to engage in when I read about nifty new technology innovations. Case in point, this article reminded me of the organic circuitry on Star Trek Voyager, which were “neural fibers surrounded in a blue gel with metallic interfaces on the top and bottom.” That led me to thinking about the Wraith ships from Stargate: Atlantis, which were an organo-mechanical hybrid with the ability to heal damage.

Then I started Googling (always a scary thing) and found out about fuel cells that use human blood as fuel. Deliciously creepy! Never mind that these chips are meant to be used for technology like pacemakers, no my brain went in a totally different direction: space vampires.

Did I mention that my mind can be a very weird place?

The other day The Galaxy Express wondered about how science fiction romance could find its genre hook:

There are times when it makes sense for either the hero or heroine to be a bit more special or extraordinary than the other. Some characters just demand a lot of attention. Paranormal romance vampires did that to great success. But…sci-fi romance doesn’t have vampires. And I wonder if it follows that formula at its peril.

I can see it now– STARLIGHT: About three things I, Stella Raven, was absolutely positive. First, E’duardde was a space vampire. Second, there was a part of him — which was probably his fangs, but what do I know? — that thirsted for my blood to repair his badly damaged Glittership. And third, I would unconditionally and irrevocably follow him to Belaris Prime and back.

I figure I’ll write STARLIGHT after I finish the one about the space ninjas.

* Photo in book cover parody from the Science Photo Library.

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6 comments

  1. I’m not usually one for vampires in romance (I like my bloodsuckers to be the bad guys), but I might make an exception for space vampires. Oh, please write Starlight! That would be the absolute best derivative novel of the decade!

    Cool info on fuel development, too 🙂

  2. Thanks! I really did set out to blog something geeky about fuel cells and then it just sort of morphed into STARLIGHT.

  3. What a hoot! Great concept and I’m totally with you on the ‘what if’ of this technology.

    Interesting you mention the organic computers in Voyager. Do you know we’ve identified the biomechanics of such a thing already? I posted about it a while back on my blog: Slime Mold: great grandaddy of Star Trek computers?

    Write that book, Lisa!

  4. Hi Deborah! Thanks for stopping by. I just tweet your slime mold article. Very interesting.

  5. Starlight sounds awesome… better get on it! 🙂

  6. Great post, Lisa! Love the ideas that come from this science. But plese don’t put sparkly vampire ships in my SciFi. 😉

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