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How to Pilot a Starship


Author's Note
Senior Staff Writer Robert Lamb
Senior Staff Writer Robert Lamb
HowStuffWorks

I find the idea of musical spaceships particularly amusing, so it was a challenge to restrain myself from mentioning other ships from cosmic album covers as well. How does Electric Light Orchestra pilot the ship from its 1977 album "Out of the Blue?" Perhaps the answer is in the band's name?

And what of the naked lady spaceship on the cover of Crimson Glory's "Transcendence?" My theory is that it hinges on Einstein's theory of general relativity. Old Alby said, "Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S relativity." Crimson Glory simply employs sheer naked ladyness to warp space-time and convey ships across the galaxy. So piloting it would boil down to throwing her a bathrobe and collecting dropped towels.

Several folks helped me brainstorm ideas for this one, including HowStuffWorks' own Matt Frederick, game designer Andrew Greenberg, game designer Andy Harmon and, of course, the Stuff to Blow Your Mind Facebook fans. Some of the starships mentioned in this article are near and dear to my nerdly heart, but others were pleasant surprises.

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Sources

  • Adams, Douglas. "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." Pan Books. 1979.
  • Banks, Iain M. "Use of Weapons." 1990. Orbit.
  • Card, Orson Scott. "The Worthing Saga." 1992. Tor Books.
  • Games Workshop. Web site. 2012. (Feb. 22, 2012) http://www.games-workshop.com
  • Herbert, Frank. "Dune." 1965. Chilton Books.
  • "Lifeforce." Tri-Star Pictures. 1985.