Read “Dragon Egg”

“Dragon Egg”

“Dragon Egg” is the work of American science fiction writer Robert Forward, telling the story of the encounter and interaction between the earth and a civilization located on a neutron star.

The setting of this story is very interesting, and the main plot is related to a neutron star called “Dragon Egg”. We know that a neutron star is a very dense celestial body. According to the introduction of neutron stars on Wikipedia, a typical neutron star is larger than the sun, but its radius is only 10 to 20 kilometers. Therefore, its density is surprisingly large , about \(8×10^{13}\) grams per cubic centimeter to \(2×10^{15}\) grams.

What is the concept of this density? Taking an average, it is 1 cubic centimeter (approximately equal to a small spoonful) of neutron star matter, with a mass of about \(1×10^{14}\) grams, or \(1×10^{8}\) tons , or 100 million tons.

After checking, the truck of the Optimus Prime prototype in Transformers can pull 24 tons of goods, and it takes about 4 million to pull 100 million tons of goods. In other words, it takes 4 million Optimus Primes to pull a small spoonful of neutron stars. It is conceivable how high the density of neutron stars is.

The neutron star in the story has a very strong gravitational force, and at the same time, the form of matter is very different from the common form on the earth, so the creature called “Kira” born on it is also hugely different from the life on Earth. Below is the picture in the book, you can see that Kira’s body is very small, only millimeters, round and flat, a bit like a biscuit.

Neutron star creature Kira

However, the biggest difference between Kira and humans is not their appearance, – their bodies are based on the powerful nuclear force, not based on chemistry and electronics like life on Earth, so their speed of action and thinking is faster than that of Earth creatures 1 million times! 1 second of Earthlings is equivalent to their 11 days, and 8 hours is equivalent to their 1000 years!

Therefore, when humans first met the Kiras in the story, the Kiras were still in the Stone Age, but a week later, the technology of the Kiras had far surpassed that of humans, and they even traveled to the distant starry sky where humans have never set foot.

The author, Robert Faward, is a scientist and has a wealth of academic knowledge. Therefore, this novel is also very rigorous in terms of technical settings. It is a typical “hard science fiction”. The author himself even rated this book as “one A neutron star textbook disguised as a novel”.

However, aside from the science part about neutron stars, the plot of the story is also interesting, especially the one that takes place between those Chira on the neutron star. The author describes in detail various key points in the development of the Kira civilization, including learning to use tools, inventing agriculture, inventing mathematics, etc., and some characters and plots can also find the shadow of the earth’s history. In the process of reading, I felt more than once that this is not only a textbook on neutron stars disguised as a novel, but also a brief history of mankind disguised as science fiction.

All in all, an interesting book and definitely worth reading for sci-fi fans.

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Reading “Dragon Egg” appeared first in Haowen Collection .

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