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Visions of the future, The lost fleet series.

Oct 17, 2020 0 comments

Jack Campbell's Lost Fleet series is a future universe built to fit a story. The author based on brief comments before his audiobooks describes how he wanted to present a fighting retreat through enemy territory in a space setting. Jack Campbell a former Navel Officer brings navel warfare to space in grand battles featuring hundreds of ships in coordinated fleet movements. Following the hero Captain John "Blackjack" Geary, is modeled after many ancient heros that would return to save their homes at a future time of need, one of the most notable characters would be King Arthur. The series spends all of it's time in fleet movements and gives just the bare minimum of details of the world other than crushing your dreams of any cool future technology. 

There are few details of the universe, but do give enough of a overview that a reader gets a sense of how humanity spread through the stars. Those colonies grew and formed large governing bodies that controlled vast regions of the spiral arm. Lets look at the constructed universe and see Jack Campbell's vision of the future.

Future military tech

The majority of Jack Campbell's The Lost Fleet series and the follow up series The Lost Fleet Beyond the Frontier, take place on the Battle Cruiser Dauntless. The series makes clear that Dauntless, everything is constructed in wartime practices cutting every practical corner to get functional capability in the field and not to the full capability of the society. Some liberty ships constructed during WWII sunk immediately after launch, but since they could be built in two weeks compared to months or years the US government was building the liberty ships just faster then the Nazi Uboats were destroying them, although an achievement in their own right, but not an example of the best of the capability of the United States. 

- Particle Accelerators (Hell Lances)
- Grape shot (Railgun cannons)
- Missiles
- Null Fields  (Releasing Atomic bonds)
- Shields
- Sublight engines run in fuel cells
- Jump engines (FTL travel (between stars only))

The military technology is a further extension of current technology played forward, engine's in the ships can travel on drives that exploit a loop hole in gravity between stars but travel in the systems are limited to 0.2 light speed taking three to four days to travel a star system before jumping to the next star. Obviously a huge jump forward from anything theory today, but no details for how the engine's work. Shields are available in this universe but for some reason no planet's or space stations employ shields. The fleet dropping "rocks" steel beams hitting a target at .2 light, destroyed space stations and planet's the book states numerous times if these stations could move they couldn't break them, and after a hundred years of war nobody put shields or thrusters on billion dollar "disposable" space stations or planetary shield generators could have saved billions of lives in the war. The tech is not used to it's fullest extent possible, this is truly a ship based series, all else is just a fill in set.


Medical advanced in the world are very slight, no human longevity, no genetic enhancements, no integrated biotechnology. Medical care had advanced to the point that if you didn't die you could probably be saved.

The medical technology of the this universe is all you could want, being able to keep the body at near perfect health until death, but a wall had been reached at just past 120 years of life. The precision of live brain scans that are used as lie detectors is an impressive technology, but when placed in the context of thousands of years in the future it just comes off as underwhelming.


The vision of the future presented in Jack Campbell's Lost Fleet series in the grand science fiction sense is underwhelming, but from any practical sense the world before the war would be a great future for humanity. You won't live forever but you will live hundred years healthy, reasonable interstellar travel with hundreds to thousands of populated planet's with plenty of choices of life style and opportunities. Pre war governments were stable with various levels of freedom, the war is presented as NATO VS USSR, but developed after thousands of years of mostly growth and peace, a golden age for humanity. This vision of the future like the story has a realistic feel but loses the amazement of other series, we hope for such a bright future but only the bare necessity of break through to create the author story leaves something to be desired.


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