Q: What is Orbital Vector, exactly?
This site is dedicated to collecting, listing and explaining speculative technology concepts, as envisioned by scientists, engineers, writers, and artists.
Q: So whatís speculative technology?
Basically, any technology that might be possible but does not yet exist, or in some cases technology that already exists but has not yet seen widespread use.
Q: Is this site science or science fiction?
Itís both. Some concepts come from real life tech that is being researched or theorized on. Others come from the realm of science fiction, as dreamed up by various authors trying to use science as a guideline for their future worlds. Either way, we take speculative technology concepts and try to couch them as much as possible in real science as we can.
The purpose of this site is not to so much say that this technology or that device is impossible or not. Here, we ask, if such a device is possible, how would it work?
Q: Who is this site intended for?
Anyone interested in speculative technology.
Scientists, researchers, and teachers who may like to keep up on emerging ideas outside their own fields.
Students doing research.
Writers, artists, gamers, and game designers looking for cool gizmos and doodads to populate their fictional universes.
Fans of said fictional universes who may want to know how their heroesí miraculous devices work.
Investors researching what emerging technologies they may want to look into.
Or really anyone who thinks futuristic technology is neato-keen.
Q: Why are the articles arranged the way they are?
Listing technologies alphabetically always seemed a bit frustrating to me, because it was never easy to follow the progression of ideas and innovation that took to create a device. So here I've tried to arrange things a bit more intuitively. On the Hub pages and in the articles themselves, the technologies discussed always start out with the lowest tech and go to the most advanced in that category. Thus, the farther you scroll down the page, the deeper into the future you go. And thus you can also see how a concept can evolve over time. An alphabetical index will be coming soon for those who would like a different kind of organization.
Q: Wasnít there another site like this before?
Yep. The Spectech Database was created and run by the same Webmaster several years ago. Orbital Vector is meant as a significant upgrade and replacement for that site.
Q: How often is the site updated?
Basically whenever the webmaster can squeeze a new article out between his dayjob and freelancing. Ideally, depending on their length and the amount of research needed, there should be between one and six articles added per month.
Q: What are these Tech Levels I see referred to in every article?
Tech Levels are a convenient abstract for categorizing various speculative technologies by relative sophistication. For more information, see the section dedicated to them.
Q: What are the future plans for the site?
Orbital Vector intends to slowly grow into a definitive online encyclopedia for speculative technology. Eventually all fields of technology will hopefully be addressed and categorized, instead of just the few narrow ones that by necessity we had to start with.
An essays section will be added in the near future for more general science and science fiction articles and editorials.
After that, who knows? Forums may be added if thereís enough interest. Games, emails, merchandise, etc, are all possibilities if the site proves successful enough.
Q: Can I write for Orbital Vector?
Yes! The webmaster welcomes outside writers. Just choose a speculative technology not already covered and stick more-or-less to the standard format. Youíll be fully credited for your contribution. Unfortunately we canít offer any payment except exposure, thanks, and the eternal adulation of our users!
Q: Can I contribute to Orbital Vector?
Please do. Though a labor of love, Orbital Vector does cost the webmaster both time and money every month. Any amount you care to contribute, no matter how humble, will help Orbital Vector with its long-term solvency.
Q: Who runs this site?
The Webmaster, designer, and so far sole author is Paul Lucas, a freelance writer and artist who lives in Erie, PA. He would have very much liked to have become a scientist, but unfortunately he did not have the money to finish college, much less go on for a Ph.D. He has, however, been an adamant science enthusiast since a young age, and voraciously read a great deal on a wide variety of science subjects over the years. Heís hoping that this site can be his own humble contribution to the science community.