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Dillingham Drive: Technology

"Why, Ghaldron was working to develop a spacewarp drive, to get us out to the stars, and Hesthor was working on the possibility of linear time-travel, to get back to the past, before his ancestors had worn the planet out. . . .  And a couple of centuries before, Rhogom had worked up a theory of multidimensional time, to explain the phenomenon of precognition. . . .  Well, science was pretty tightly compartmented, then, but somehow Hesthor read some of Rhogom's old papers, and he'd heard about what Ghaldron was working on and got in touch with him.  Between them, they discovered paratemporal transposition."
 — Tortha Karf, Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen


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Dillingham Hyperdrive | Ghaldron‑Hestor Field‑Generator | Abbot Lift‑and‑Drive

Dillingham Hyperdrive

"Generally Margaret Hale stayed completely out of these bickers, unless they involved the Keene-Gonzales-Dillingham Theory of Non-Einsteinian Relativity and the Dillingham hyperdrive."
— H. Beam Piper, "When in the Course—"


Image - Four-Day Planet cover illustration

Peenemünde coming down fast
(Illustration by Charles Greer)

The first mention of a faster-than-light starship drive in Piper's fiction appears in the 1951 Paratime yarn "Temple Trouble," where a civilization on a Second Level timeline is mentioned as "approaching the discovery of an interstellar hyperspatial drive."  By the time of Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen, published posthumously in 1965, there "are Second Level civilizations, and one on Third, that have over-light-speed drives for interstellar ships."  Nevertheless these hyperspatial or "over-light-speed" starship drives of Paratime exist in an different setting from the starships of Piper's Terro-human Future History.

Faster-than-light hyperspatial — or hyperspace or even just "hyperdrive" — propulsion for starships is ubiquitous throughout Piper's Terro-human Future History yarns and the "Keene-Gonzales-Dillingham Theory [of Non-Einsteinian Relativity]" (which supplants "the older Einstein Theory") is mentioned in 1952's Uller Uprising, the first Terro-human Future History yarn.  Hyperspatial drives are first referred to as "Dillinghams" in Space Viking, first serialized in 1962 and 1962 — though they also appear in "When in the Course—" which wasn't published until 1981 but may have been written before Space Viking.  There are also hyperdrive engines in 1958's "Graveyard of Dreams" but they aren't referred to as Dillingham hyperdrive engines until the expanded Junkyard Planet was published in 1963.

There is relativistic time dilation with using Dillingham hyperdrive for faster-than-light travel.  "Well," says a character in Uller Uprising, "it takes six months for a ship to go between [Uller] and [Niflheim]. Because of the hyperdrive effects, the experienced time of the voyage, inside the ship, is of the order of three weeks." Another character in Uprising makes a similar allowance.  "She took time out for mental arithmetic; even a spaceship officer had to do that, when a question of interstellar time-relations arose."  In Fuzzy Sapiens, Jack Holloway notes a similar issue when asked his age: "I couldn't even estimate how much to allow for on time-differential for hyperspace trips."


Ghaldron-Hestor Field-Generator

"The Ghaldron-Hesthor field-generator is like every other mechanism; it can operate only in the area of primary time in which it exists.  It can transpose to any other time-line, and carry with it anything inside its field, but it can't go outside its own temporal area of existence. . . ."
— Verkan Vall, "Police Operation"


Image - Down Styphon! cover illustration

Paratime conveyor controls
(Illustration by Kelly Freas)

The first mention of the Ghaldron-Hestor field-generator in Piper's fiction appears in the 1948 Paratime yarn "Police Operation."  It is used in "paratemporal transposition" to "build up a hypertemporal field to include the time-line [one wants] to reach, and then shift over to it."  The paratemporal travellers arrive in the same "point in the plenum; same point in primary time — plus primary time elapsed during mechanical and electronic lag in the relays — but a different line of secondary time."

Invented by Ghaldron Karf and Hesthor Ghrom, the paratransposition field-generator is the means of access to Paratime.  "There exist, within the range of the Ghaldron-Hesthor paratemporal-field generator, a number of [parallel] time-lines of the order of ten to the hundred-thousandth power.  In effect, that many different worlds."

"In theory, the Ghaldron-Hesthor paratemporal transposition field was uninfluenced by material objects outside it . .  [but] in practice, especially when two paratemporal vehicles going in opposite 'directions' interpenetrated, the field would weaken briefly, and external objects, sometimes alive and hostile, would intrude."  Once such accidental intrusion, by Pennsylvania State Trooper Calvin Morrison, is the basis of the story told in Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen.

A Ghaldron-Hestor field-generator is typically located in a "paratemporal transposition conveyor," a spherical fixture which is the size of the generated field.  Conveyors can vary in size from that sufficient to enclose a small autonomous sensing device to large enough to accommodate large vehicles or craft.  A typical conveyor is approximately the size of a motorized van or small room.


Abbot Lift-and-Drive

"The Fuzzies had just about as much conception of magic or religion as they had of electronics or nucleonics or the Abbot lift-and-drive."
— H. Beam Piper, Fuzzy Sapiens


Image - Space Viking cover illustration

Vikings coming down!
(Illustration by John Schoenherr)

The first mention of a contragravity lift-and-drive (though not identified as Abbot Drive) in Piper's fiction appears in the 1961 Terro-human Future History novel Four-Day Planet, though the lift-and-drive — sometimes "lift and drive" — of the Javelin's ship's boat is used only in the oceans and atmosphere of Fenris.  The contragravity engines of submersibles like the Javelin may also use lift-and-drive. (Walt Boyd believes that Tom Kivelson, an engineer aboard the Javelin, "knew more about lift-and-drive" than he'd ever learn.)  The Javelin's engines "generate magnetic current and convert rotary magnetic current into one-directional repulsion fields." Boyd also says they "violate the daylights out of all the old Newtonian laws of motion and attraction."

The Abbot Drive is mentioned in Fuzzy Sapiens as a technology which Bennett Rainsford claims unexplained interests initially "tried to suppress."  There are "robo-snoopers" in Fuzzy Sapiens which "float on contragravity" using a "miniature Abbot-drive generator" that "makes quite an ultrasonic noise."

In Junkyard Planet there are "lift-and-drive missile launchers" already installed on the surplus Army combat contragravity freighter rechristened as the Lester Dawes.  Conn Maxwell pilots a scout-boat with lift-and-drive to lead the Harriet Barne to the initial landing point at Port Carpenter on Koshchei.  The partially-completed hypership discovered at Port Carpenter, which was completed and rechristened Ouroboros II, already had its "Abbott lift-and-drive" — or "Abbott Drive" — installed.  (The spelling here, "Abbott," is different from the "Abbot" of both Fuzzy Sapiens and Space Viking.)

The Space Viking ship Nemesis, typical of raiding-and-trading starships built in the Sword-Worlds, has "Abbot lift-and-drive for normal space."  The Mardukan warship Victrix also has "Abbot lift-and-drive engines."  "It would take almost a year to get to" the outer planet Abaddon — "three and a half billion miles from the [system's] primary" — from Marduk "on Abbot drive."



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