Spec Tech – A Warship for Fantasy or Steampunk: the Trireme

When we looked at designing a ship for a fantasy novel, I chose a 15th century carrack.  It was a good choice. It has the right look, has all the DNA of more modern sailing ships and could be used for trading or warfare.  It has occurred to me, however, that there is another ancient craft that would work…… Continue reading Spec Tech – A Warship for Fantasy or Steampunk: the Trireme

Spec Tech: Here Be Dragons – A Brief Look at Sea Monsters

On certain medieval charts, dragons or some form of sea monster appear on the margins of the parchment, in territories and oceans as yet unexplored. They served as a reminder of how little we knew and perhaps, how little we still know. While the images of dragons are not uncommon, historically, there is only one…… Continue reading Spec Tech: Here Be Dragons – A Brief Look at Sea Monsters

Spec Tech: Dreaming of Windships

I have been daydreaming recently of windjammers, the last of the great merchant sailing ships. I’ve looked back at the sailing ships of the recent past and imagined the future windjammers that may yet be. Is there a future for commercial sailing ships? I wouldn’t rule it out. The ageless winds still blow, girdling the globe in…… Continue reading Spec Tech: Dreaming of Windships

Spec Tech: Alive Upon the Sea

Alive upon the Sea – Living ships: Thoughts on Anthropomorphism and Sentience This may be a bit unusual for Spec-Tech, having almost as much to do with psychology as technology.  Nevertheless, it seems worthwhile to take a moment to consider why sailors have always anthropomorphized their ships, how science fiction writers have taken that several…… Continue reading Spec Tech: Alive Upon the Sea