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Thread: What does a GSV look like from the outside?

  1. #1
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    Cool What does a GSV look like from the outside?

    For my next drawing I want to draw a GSV.
    From the inside a GSV looks like ... well , mostly like anything the mind wants it to look like. From what I recall it has several components which the Mind can accomodate in any way it feels like and all those components are enclosed by a force field .


    If anyone has more detail on how a GSV looks from the outside I would really appreciate it.

    Oh, yes , I've seen a couple of images already :



    Excentric - Torturer Class - Right Winger's Nightmare

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    I believe a normal GSV is like a big brick & the field makes it into an elipsoid
    "Just have fun"

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    That will probably never be sexy enough for Hollywood. Not that I'm mourning that fact.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deep Black View Post
    I believe a normal GSV is like a big brick & the field makes it into an elipsoid
    This is the only thing I got from wikipedia and it's not much :

    GSVs generally have little resemblance to traditional 'ship' design expectations, as they are enveloped in multitudes of fields which allow them to dispense with anything resembling an outer protective hull or shell, instead often being covered with parks and outside buildings. Their layers serve different purposes - from atmosphere containment, foreign object barriers and sensory input/signalling to traction fields for interstellar movement.

    I get the impression that GSV's are quite amorphous as components can be moved arround and anyway they are all covered up by a "multitude of fields", then the outter field would be an ellipsoid. So the first picture would be the most accurate depiction of a GSV.
    Excentric - Torturer Class - Right Winger's Nightmare

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    See for instance Look To Windward. Since GSV's connect to the grid for propulsion anyway these beautiful elegant designs are probably wasteful from the GSV's perspective.

  6. #6

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    I think anything beautifully elegant would be right up a Mind's street ot be honest. but engineering elegant and aesthetic elegant arnt always the same. a car chassis is elegant engineering, maybe, but doesnt look like much. sometimes they cross over. bridges, swords, life forms..
    the Culture is big enough for there to be every variation of functional, sumptuous, silly, minimal or anything. the galaxy is your oyster.,

    i image a GSV is a bit like Manhatten in The Fifth Element only it can fly through space!

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    The Culture's aesthetic is based upon simple but functional. Multiple redundancy is the norm. I see them reflecting something akin to the traditional Japanese aesthetic, where functionality, simplicity, and beauty are intertwined. As to their ships being boring to look at, I think not. Fields could shimmer and have multiple colors. That alone would make them beautiful. I think the day of Imperial Star Destroyers and the Enterprise are drawing to a close. Culture ships offer a chance to move away from the pseudo WWII battleship design that has long dominated, just as that offered a different approach from the conical, finned rocket ships of the 40s-50s and flying saucers of the 50s-60s.

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    ... I think not. Fields could shimmer and have multiple colors. That alone would make them beautiful.
    Cool. The field could have an embeded (animated) fractal .

    I believe a normal GSV is like a big brick


    Eeeek!
    I had imagined the interior as som sort of fractal tree with the multiple fields being nodes ( Deep Black , a brick!! I'm just hoping you're wrong about this one and don't come up with a : here-is-the-brick-reference in your next post ).

    So if I ever get to the point in which I can draw the interior of a GSV I'll go for the recursive tree.
    Excentric - Torturer Class - Right Winger's Nightmare

  9. #9
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    Don't worry I have no reference to back up my post, I've just always got the impression that it's pretty much brick shaped in physical form
    "Just have fun"

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    Using unconnected components only held together by fields seems to be a more recent development, found in the very largest GSVs, although the more solid GSVs can still convert their internals quite a lot given enough time. The Plate class GSVs in The Player of Games and Excession are described as having one single huge hull that is 4km in height, with the lowest kilometre level dedicated to engines, the middle two to bays and other stuff and the top kilometre level to human accommodation. The exact shape is not given as far as I know, but in Excession it is said estimating a Plate's capabilities is a simple matter of taking the cubic kilometres of the levels and computing how much engine etc. can be fit - hence the shape is probably not all that complex, maybe indeed brick-like (but with landscaping on top). With fields it becomes an ellipsoid from the outside, though:"The Sleeper Service's external appearance remained the same as ever; a silvery ellipsoid ninety kilometres long, sixty across the beam and twenty in height."

    Looking like a chrome blob appears to be common, from Look to Windward:
    "The General Systems Vehicle Sanctioned Parts List appeared on the screen in the Superlifter's lounge as another point of light in the starfield. It became a silver dot and grew quickly to fill the screen, though there was no sign of detail on the shining surface."
    The hull inside is more colourful: "The ship was twenty-five kilometres long and ten wide. The top surface was parkland; wooded hills and ridges separated by and studded with rivers and lakes. Bracketed by colossal ribbed and buttressed outriggers chevroned in red and blue, the GSV's sheer sides were a golden, tawny colour, scattered with a motley confusion of foliage-covered platforms and balconies and punctured by a bewildering variety of brightly lit openings, like a glowing vertical city set into sandstone cliffs three kilometres high."

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