What drives people into space?
It’s a key question especially if I’m working with a universe where the laws of relativity are very much in play. What makes individuals and groups willing to leave the relative safety of the known for the unknown?
Well, money, for one. But as my husband pointed out during an exploratory debate (in which he generally chews apart any theoretical I managed to come up with *sighs*) unless there was some sort of commodity that was worth the enormous expense of intersystem travel, no one would waste the time. In the fifty years it takes to get from point A to point B, someone would invent a substitute (if it was a more mundane commodity).
But if we go with the ‘magical jet fuel’ argument, then it’s easy to say that companies would be actively pushing the boundaries of space looking for the next motherload. Oil rushes, gold rushes, diamond cartels… humans are all about the shiny.
But I’m loath to take the easy way out. I’m still fighting the idea of defaulting back to ‘hyperspace’ travel and I’m not ready to give into the ‘magical jet fuel’ quite yet.
So what else moves people other than cold hard cash? Religious persecution, for one, but those colonies would probably be highly disinterested in help from ‘home’.
The lure of a better life, maybe, but if it costs too much, that means the people who would want to go, can’t. And I’m thinking government sponsored ‘relocation’ ships would be taken the wrong way. ^_~;;
So what if it costs almost nothing to move? If it just boils down to the time you loose in transit, then you’ll pull in the religious folks, the folks who are just looking for a different/better future, and possibly the business that are looking to make money supporting them.
You’d have quite a few crazies out there, since no one at ‘home’ would bother stopping them, but there would be a good handful of honest to God settlers who are just interested in owning their own bit of land and living somewhere a bit less controlled than home.
But again, you have the time lag between points A and points B, and there’s the ‘overtake’ risk as the technology advances while the people are in transit. Still, if the driving force for colonization is only a small percentage of the population, there wouldn’t be much of a risk that the planets would already be inhabitant when you got there. The rest of humanity would just be too lazy to move much past the central hub.
The folks on the rim are settlers and crazies and maybe a prison colony or two in the worst case. The are people who still could use an old fashioned five and dime store, or a slightly higher tech xenobiologist to help fend off the local fauna.
Of course I need to poke it a bit more, and see where the logic fails, but I think I can make this work, lack of magical jet fuel and all. *ponders*