Sci-fi Top Trumps

Welcome to the first one of a series of Sci-fi Top Trumps. In actual fact they will be Iron Top Trumps because that is the provisional name of my new sci-fi novel. Its set mainly on Io, moon of Jupiter and Io has an iron core. There’s something about the Iron Cross as well but don’t get the wrong idea. Also there is a deeper meaning but that will only become apparent much later if you read the story.

So what Top Trumps? For those of you that haven’t come across them before they are a pack of cards with items on which have varying numbers of points attached to them depending on the quality/attributes of the item. For instance for cars you might have a card for a Mini and an E-Type Jaguar. Clearly the Jag is heavier, faster and more powerful than the mini so it would beat it on every attribute in a game of cards where you call out your strongest attribute. So for my Iron Top Trumps the attributes are:

Futurosity (how far in the future you might have to go to get one)
Weakness (lowest score wins)

Scores are out of 10

And for my first Top Trump we have:


Coolnest: 9
Cost: 7
Usefulness: 9
Futurosity: 6
Weakness: 3

Description: S-grav is simulated gravity (although many think it stands for Synthetic gravity). It arose from the problem I had with a Command vehicle (the MCS but that will be another trump). Large crews spend many months aboard, based on the surface of planets or moons and particularly on Io where the gravity is 1/8th that of Earth – similar to the moon’s, in order to show normal day-to-day living I needed some form of artificial gravity. Hence S-grav.

How does it work?
It is constructed on site by creating a singularity (black hole) 1000 feet below the Station using a drill. Solid rock to a depth of at least 2500 feet is needed for safety so it has limited use but provides a much better quality of life for soldiers where it can be deployed.
The singularity needs to be at a depth of 1000 ft to create an even pull on the vehicle above which in this case is about 160 feet long.

In Iron the MCS is fitted with S-Grav Type 4 which is a lot more stable than the Type 3; its governor is accurate to 14 -10 Volts, which it has to be to keep the singularity weak enough to be safe but strong enough to work effectively. Micro-singularities are inherently unstable anyway for safety reasons (ie if the voltage varies too much or anything else fails like the governor then it is simply extinguished) but the governor itself is the only real vulnerability in the Type 4.
If it is destroyed without damaging the singularity cage itself then the singularity voltage could increase and the singularity become out of control, in theory creating a mighty big explosion. In practise though, as the governor is only a few centimetres from the singularity and both at a depth of 1000 ft in solid rock, it is very difficult to damage the governor alone.

Actually come to think of it Syn-G may be a better name but I suspect that would the version available for the public and doesn’t sound quite so authentic. I doubt that would be able to use a singularity at great depth so maybe that would be magnetic boots or something. Any ideas?

Tell me what you think of the S-grav. More Top Trumps to follow soon.


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