April 7, 2017 at 1:50 pm #2700
Hello there! I’m Simon and I new here so I hope I write in the right place. I do have some questions that have been bubbling on my mind for a while. Questions I hope some of you may have some answers or thoughts on. 🙂 There is a lot of them really, but I will try and structure them under the vague headline of “Civilian Ships and space Occupations”. Right now, I feel that CoM has a lot of great content when it comes to cool and bombastic things such as military, superpowers and trans-galactic corporations. I however am very curious about the little people and their lives. I just started hammering out the details for a “space-trucker” short story and came across some thoughts:
#1. The logistics of trade and transport in CoM; on what scale does resources and commodities become distributed? Would trading goods between hundreds of systems exist or is travel to slow and expensive so that space trade on larger scale (except in regard to more unique commodities) would be impractical with freighters only traveling within star systems or maybe a few systems away at most?
#2. On that note, what are reasonable cargo to actually carry? Are natural resources what will be transported or would manufactured goods dominate as raw materials can often be found closer to home? What kind of raw materials are most used in CoM? What are for example these massive ships and mega structures made of? Are these materials beneficial to mass-produce in centralized hubs for trade, or would the economy be very decentralized with most systems finding all they need as close to home as possible?
#3. What kind of scale would these freighters be at? In our world, there are cargo ships ten times larger than any military vessel (at least in terms of full load displacement) down to UPS vans. Would the range be similar here with massive behemoths crossing the stars and smaller vessels dealing with inter-system trade? I assume that the further the range of commerce and the more expensive space travel is, the larger the ships would be.
#4. I am also curious about freighter design. Right now, there are amazing tools to create military ships within the frame of the setting, but I assume that cargo ships would have very different masses, densities (from less guns, protection, etc.). How fast/massive/dense/long range would you assume different kinds of cargo ships would have?
#5. Finally, I am curious about that the everyday life of a “space-trucker” is. Is it a dangerous/hard job/life? Is it well-paying/respected or are they the trash of the verse? Would they need higher education to become part of the crew or is it a low skill job? Are there loads of independent contractors, leasing out their ships and maybe doing some smuggling on the side? Or is it too expensive to run space trade so that most trade-fleets are owned by massive organizations? Are there any other civilian space jobs you can think of that would be a common occurrence in the CoM-verse?
I hope these were interesting questions and I hope that some of you are intrigued enough that you would like to talk about it. Cheers!April 8, 2017 at 4:24 pm #2705
Simon SG, I like the way you think! I too find myself drawn to the work-a-day folks of the universe. After all, any large assemblage, be it government, military, or corporation is just a collection of individuals. Who are they? What do they do? What about them suits them for a certain role?
Because my first exposure to (and thus favorites of) sci-fi are Star Wars and Firefly – so naturally I love the Han Solo and Malcolm Reynolds type of characters. Ex-military, now self-employed freighters, generally good people while not exactly law-abiding. Their ships ain’t pretty, but they’ll get you there (probably with a good deal of bumps along the way.) Their gun hands are fast and reasonably accurate. Their outlook is somewhat jaded and their nature dubious, but a heart of gold is buried in there somewhere.
If I may, I’ll drop a couple of links here for characters and cargo:
In regards to what gets hauled and how, I think it would seem reasonable that a “space-trucker” would have some job-specific training, but wouldn’t necessarily need a detailed education in the socio-economics of supply and demand. I’m guessing they’d buy or lease their rig from a larger company (probably more stability than being a private hauler) and have a regular territory in which they make runs. Maybe they get a bonus for longer runs, or hazard pay for venturing into less-than-stable regions, or a differential for hauling specific items that are more likely to be targeted by pirates and thieves.
Just some initial thoughts. I hope that helps.
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