Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

Unwanted Cruise Ships Huddle Together Out At Sea

Satellite photos have revealed a strange consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic; unwanted cruise ships find no ports that will take them, and they huddle together in pathetic groups out at sea.


(Unwanted cruise ships at sea)

Storing cruise ships in port is not a cheap proposition, nor is there enough space to accommodate them in traditional berths. Beyond that, the international crews that man these huge vessels are not allowed to step on land due to infection risk. With the vast majority of these ships flagged in relatively small and poor countries that have little capability to impact the situation, the only place for them to go is out to sea. And that's precisely where many of them have been.

One armada, in particular, off Coco Cay and Great Stirrup Cay—the former is owned by the Royal Caribbean cruise line and the latter is owned by the Norwegian cruise line—in the Bahamas is remarkably large.

The sad flock of cruise ships is spread out loosely in three groups spanning some 30 miles—from one just off the islands, to another roughly ten miles west, to another some 30 miles west. Check out the satellite photos below to get an idea of just what we are talking about. Keep in mind that it seems these groups are in constant flux, with the formation and general makeup of the ships in each group changing fairly regularly.

As Winchell Chung points out, this situation would remind any fan of science fiction great James Blish of the hobo cities in Cities in Flight. In the novel, the development of the spindizzy along with longlife anti-agathic drugs allowed actual Earth cities to leave Earth and take to the stars:

The empty area where the hobo cities had settled was well out at the edge of the Acolyte cluster, on the side toward the rest of the galaxy. The nearest star to the area, as Hazleton had pointed out, was a triple. It consisted of two type Go stars and a red dwarf, almost a double for the Sol-Alpha Centauri system. But there was one difference: the two Go stars were quite close to each other, constituting a spectroscopic doublet, separable visually only by the Dinwiddie circuits even at this relatively short distance; while the red dwarf had swung out into the empty area, and was now more than four light years away from its companions.

Around this tiny and virtually heatless fire, more than three hundred Okie cities huddled. On the screen they passed in an endless, boundaryless flood of green specks, like a river of fantastic asteroids, bobbing in space and passing and repassing each other in their orbits around the dwarf star. The concentration was heaviest near the central sun, which was so penurious of its slight radiation that it had been masked almost completely by the Dinwiddie code lights (they turn down the brightness to keep the monitor from being whited out) when Hazleton first spotted the jungle. But there were late comers in orbits as far out as three billion miles—spindizzy screens do not take kindly to being thrust into close contact with each other.

Long before Blish, you could read about a sargasso of space in which wrecked space ships are drawn together - in the works of Golden Age Great Edmond Hamilton.

Via TheDrive.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/3/2020)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Culture ")

Cognify - A Prison Of The Mind We've Seen Before In SF
'So I serve a hundred years in one day...'- Joe Haldeman, 2011.

Robot Preachers Found To Undermine Religious Commitment
'Tell me your torments,' the Padre said, in an elderly voice marked with compassion. - Philip K. Dick, 1969.

Gaia - Why Stop With Just The Earth?
'But the stars are only atoms in larger space, and in that larger space the star-atoms could combine to form living matter, thinking matter, couldn't they?' - Robert Castle, 1939.

Splendid View Of Eclipse From Orbit Visualized And Repurposed By Arthur C. Clarke
'The area affected was five hundred kilometres across, and perfectly circular.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1953.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

Shanghai Guidelines For Humanoid Robots
'Now, look, let's start with the three fundamental Rules of Robotics...'

Desktop TARS Robot From Interstellar
What's YOUR sarcasm setting?

Robots Can Now Have Smiling Faces With Human Skin
'I am a cybernetic organism...'

Virtual Rat Predicts Actual Rat Neural Activity
'..the synthetic intellects at the Place of Knowledge had far outstripped the minds of men.'

GoSun EV Solar Charger Drapes Onto Your Car
'...six square yards of sunpower screens.'

Rizon 4 Ironing Robot
'But after washing and drying clothes had to be smooth - free from fine lines and wrinkles ...'

Cognify - A Prison Of The Mind We've Seen Before In SF
'So I serve a hundred years in one day...'

Robot With Human Brain Organoid - 'A Thrilling Story Of Mechanistic Progress'
'A human brain snugly encased in a transparent skull-shaped receptacle.'

Goodness Gracious Me! Google Tries Face Recognition Security
'The actuating mechanism that should have operated by the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell...'

With Mycotecture, We'll Just Grow The Space Habitats We Need
'The only real cost was in the plastic balloon that guided the growth of the coral and enclosed the coral's special air-borne food.'

Can A Swarm Of Deadly Drones Take Out An Aircraft Carrier?
'The border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.'

WiFi and AI Team Up To See Through Walls
'The pitiless M rays pierced Earth and steel and densest concrete as if they were so much transparent glass...'

Climate Engineering In California Could Make Europe's Heat Waves Worse
'Pina2bo would have to operate full blast for many years to put as much SO2 into the stratosphere as its namesake had done in a few minutes.'

Optimus Robot Will Be A Good Nanny, Says Musk
'Nanny is different,' Tom Fields murmured... 'she's not like a machine. She's like a person.'

ESA To Build Moon Bases Brick By Printed LEGO Brick
'We made a crude , small cell and were delighted - and, I admit, somewhat surprised - to find it worked.'

Does The Shortage Of Human Inputs Limit AI Development?
'...we've promised him a generous pension from the royalties.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.