Friday, January 13, 2017

Burning Daylight

I have an idea about an airship. Technically, I have a writing prompt about an airship.

In the distant future, most of society lives in massive, powerful airships that fly perpetually westbound in order to stay in daylight permanently, because of something horrifying that comes out at night. The reactor of your ship has malfunctioned, and you have to land for repairs…

I was thinking about this while I was at work. It's a pretty monotonous job that leaves me smelling of paper and the inevitable passage of time. So my mind wanders a bit and I find myself thinking about airships. They would solar powered, obviously. They'd be foolish not to.

I just looked it up and you'd have to be going about 1,000 mph to keep the sun directly overhead at all times. And that’s at the equator. If you were further north or south, obviously the Earth is smaller around. And really 1,000 mph isn't unreasonably fast. Concorde jets went faster than that (1,354 mph, if you're curious).

Science-y shit aside, can you imagine? If these ships have been going for a few generations, there are people on board who have never set foot on the ground, never seen a sunset. But they will. Oh yes, they will.

But of course that raises the question: what is in the dark? Will we find out, or will we only watch as they try to fix their ship as the sky grows darker? Will we watch them work by the pink-orange light only to cut off as the sun drops over the horizon? Am I that much of a jerk to leave that kind of cliff hanger?

The answer to most of those is "probably."

Stay tuned, I guess, for that. If it turns out well, I might try to submit it for publication, in which case I won't post it here. If I don’t submit it, or if I do and they don’t want it, I'll probably share it.

I'll see you Tuesday.


  1. The unknown is incredibly powerful and the unseen fires something primitive in us. To be perpetually chased by darkness, and know you are not fast enough to escape - wonderful prompt. I can see why you held onto this one.
    Here or published - would love to see your take on this.

  2. This is incredible. I could see it end in many ways. A cliff hanger would be very... cliff hangerey, I guess. It's an incredible way to end.
    I can't imagine what would be in the dark. I'm sure you can though. It has to be very big and very fast in order to stay in the dark, the same way the ships stay in the light. But it may not need a full description. Just to know it's scary is enough.
    I look forward to reading this one too.