Light-Barer: Construction Orbit Picture

Second in a series of images re-envisioning Larry Niven's short story “The Warriors.” See my first image in this sequence, linked below under "Related Images" for more details on this project.

This is my re-envisioned version of Niven’s Angel's Pencil.

The completed interstellar colony slow-boat. From here a temporary thruster-pack will boost the vehicle into lunar orbit where it will be fitted with a light-sail. Battery of lunar-based laser-cannon will accelerate the vehicle out past the asteroid belt where asteroid-based Belter laser-cannon will add to the acceleration, these will continue to propel the craft till the vehicle reaches sufficient velocity for operation of its Bussard Ramjet.

I’ve modified the vessel extensively, to bring it’s appearance more in line with the conventions of theoretical Ram-ship design: I've moved the landing-craft capture-and-docking deck back behind the life-system and brought the ram-field module to the bow – the name Angel's Pencil no longer fits, so I’ve renamed the ship “Light-Barer” for the obvious thematic parallels out of mythology (i.e. the Prometheus myth, most notably). The Greek word ἑωσφόρος (heōsphoros) is a proper noun, literally meaning “Bringer-of-dawn,” translated as an adjective the word means “Light-barer.”

Allusions to the Prometheus myth seem particularly appropriate to ”The Warriors:” It can be argued that, in Niven’s story, Steve Weaver’s awakening to the rational requirement of self-preservation had far-reaching effects, weakening the hold the UN government had over mankind. In Niven’s universe the UN’s social-engineers had, for hundreds of years, restricted access to historical records in order to obscure general knowledge of mankind’s past, using a mixture of mind-control techniques, drugs, and psychiatric manipulation to transform Man into a child-like, pliable, robot – all of which ended with Man’s first encounter with the Kzinti.

As part of this short sequence of images I’ll be doing a slight re-design of the Kzinti starship “Tracker” as well.

Related Images:

Relativistic Sky

Stalking Prey

Resources: Earth Backdrop courtesy NASA/JPL
Continue Reading: Prometheus