Re: Sorry, fail
"The Coriolis stuff doesn't fit my definition of hard sci-fi so much as it fits my definition of masturbatory self-aggrandisement."
I must respectfully disagree.
This is not a masturbatory exercise. It's a little extra for the savvy reader.
Much like all the computer technical stuff dropped like cookie crumbs in Charlie Stross Laundry Files universe. (I mention Charlie because it was from his blog I first heard about Peter Watts in the discussion forums.)
Most normal readers won't even realize that the history of computers are even there in his novels. They are reading fantasy as far as they are concerned.
Time was, back in the early years of Science Fiction, rockets had to be explained to the audience. In fact there was a general misapprehension (even among engineers) that rockets would not work in space, as space was a vacuum and the rocket engine had nothing to push against.
In fact there was even when this was overcome, there was the belief that a rocket could not travel faster than it's exhaust.
Sounds silly, but by the time of Clark and Heinlein this had mostly been rectified through education of the readers of the past and how rockets work no longer has to be explained in detail. Now the writers can focus on refinements like Hoffman orbits vs alternatives. e.g. Moving comets for water supply.. etc.
..Of course what DOES need to be explained is why (Hollywood) film makers create stuff so hopelessly ignorant as a rule; that for example, I was driven to walk^H^H^H^Hrun out of Armageddon early due to the massive brain damage I was incurring shown by sitting in the audience. And this was *with* NASA working in an advisory capacity to the directors during the films creation.
The film even premiered at NASA in Houston where Bruce Willas failed to appear as promised. (Maybe HE was insulted by it when he saw early versions.)
I wish I could have been there to film the expression on the really wonderful NASA folks as they watched this piece of.. (nevermind) and show that all over the world to demonstrate how brainless the media producers of Sci-Fi product of my homeland are.
Of course.. the movie scene has only gotten worse since then.
Sigh. I shouldn't complain.
The main goal of any Hollywood film is to get butts in seats.
We don't bother telling folks how rockets work now.
We shouldn't need to tell folks about the coriolis force unless it is germane to the story. Interested readers can trivially go to the Internet and research it for themselves.
In fact, if you go to the Wikipedia page for Blindsight, you will find that the author released it under Creative Commons and you can get it as a ebook for free if you wish.
The author even does what is common in hard SF. He provides a very long treatise at the end which describes where the ideas he used in his novel came from. Along with references and links!!
Thanks for the heads up about his new novel Register.. I will be purchasing that immediately (along with Blindsight.)