The Hurog Family

Patricia Briggs' Books => Sianim Series => General Sianim Series Topics & Themes Board => Topic started by: Grey Drakkon on December 10, 2007, 09:13:16 pm

Title: The Spirit Tides
Post by: Grey Drakkon on December 10, 2007, 09:13:16 pm
Actually there's a place in Canada that has something like that super tide, I think.  From what I remember, it's an unusually shallow area that's normally underwater for a long way out into the ocean, so what looks like "beach" becomes "wall of water" very suddenly. 
Title: Re: Silver Bullets?
Post by: Taranis on December 10, 2007, 10:13:45 pm
Random question, but since the moon is so closely linked to the tides, does the moon influence this super tide?  Or is there no connection at all for this super tide?  I'm really fascinated by this subject...
Title: Re: Silver Bullets?
Post by: Grey Drakkon on December 10, 2007, 10:24:21 pm
Well being from RI, a state that is closely tied to the water, I can tell you that the moon definitely influences the tides, as well as the sun.  Once or twice a year we get "neap tides" and "spring tides".  One is a super high and low tide, and the other is an extremely weak tide where there's barely any change. 
Title: Re: Silver Bullets?
Post by: Taranis on December 10, 2007, 10:26:05 pm
Oh, I know the moon controls the tides, but I was wondering if there would have to be a special phenomenon in the moon's appearance for there to be a supertide...or is it something that happens outside of the moon's natural influence?
Title: Re: Silver Bullets?
Post by: Mike Briggs on December 10, 2007, 10:40:08 pm
Random question, but since the moon is so closely linked to the tides, does the moon influence this super tide?  Or is there no connection at all for this super tide?  I'm really fascinated by this subject...

Taranis:
It's been long enough that I don't remember how I had it worked out!  The moon played a role, certainly, as it's the primary cause of all tides.  I remember what I was trying to do was modify conditions so that the spring tides (which are normally every two weeks, roughly), would trigger something spectacular involving a seawall and an offshore current. The idea was that the current would be cut off during the ebb of the spring tide, resulting in a MUCH lower than usual tide, and a subsequent redirection of water around a partial seawall would fairly suddenly divert a huge volume of  back when the returning tide reached a critical height. For some reason, it worked out that only one of the two monthly spring tides would actually trigger the huge tide -- though I recall that that that required some "tweaking".  It would be much more likely for the spirit tide occur every fortnight rather than once a month.  On the other hand, it COULD happen on a monthly basis, and that's what Patty was trying to ascertain!

EDIT:
Oh, by the way, the spring and neap tides are influenced by both the sun and the moon.  If the sun and the moon are effectively "in line" along the ecliptic then their gravitational attraction is additive, and the tides are unusually high (spring tide), if they are at mazimal offset (first and third quarter) the sun and moon work to cancel each other, resulting in relatively smaller tides.  The really big tides you see once or twice a year have to do with the fact that the earth's orbit around the sun isn't quite circular.  When we're closer to the sun, it's influence on tides is enhanced, so the spring and neap tides are MUCH more noticable.   

Oooh -- I remember why the "Spirit Tide" was a monthly rather than a bi-weekly event.  Since it was a fantasy book, not necessarily set on this earth, I added a bit of eccentricity to the moons orbit.  Basically, one spring tide each month would occur with the moon at apogee (closest approach) and this would trigger the Spirit Tide.  The other spring tide would occur at perigee, and be substancially weaker, failing to trigger the Spirit Tide.
Title: Re: Silver Bullets?
Post by: Ellyll on December 11, 2007, 05:58:09 am
Oooh -- I remember why the "Spirit Tide" was a monthly rather than a bi-weekly event.  Since it was a fantasy book, not necessarily set on this earth, I added a bit of eccentricity to the moons orbit.  Basically, one spring tide each month would occur with the moon at apogee (closest approach) and this would trigger the Spirit Tide.  The other spring tide would occur at perigee, and be substancially weaker, failing to trigger the Spirit Tide.


Very clever.   :D
Title: Re: Silver Bullets?
Post by: Zealith on December 11, 2007, 07:51:19 pm
Wow, that's amazing! I can't believe you went to the trouble to work that all out!. However, I think it's very interesting. Any other projects of Patty's that you had to do alot of research for?
Title: Re: Silver Bullets?
Post by: Taranis on December 11, 2007, 07:52:31 pm
Wow, thanks for the explaination, Mike!  Sounds fascinating, you really put a lot of work into that!  :)
Title: Re: Silver Bullets?
Post by: Grey Drakkon on December 11, 2007, 08:14:28 pm
EDIT:
Oh, by the way, the spring and neap tides are influenced by both the sun and the moon.  If the sun and the moon are effectively "in line" along the ecliptic then their gravitational attraction is additive, and the tides are unusually high (spring tide), if they are at mazimal offset (first and third quarter) the sun and moon work to cancel each other, resulting in relatively smaller tides.  The really big tides you see once or twice a year have to do with the fact that the earth's orbit around the sun isn't quite circular.  When we're closer to the sun, it's influence on tides is enhanced, so the spring and neap tides are MUCH more noticable.   

   Heh, you beat me to explaining that.  My guy was nudging me off the computer so I'd go to bed so I was a bit hurried. ;)  Thanks for doing the work for me. 
Title: Re: Silver Bullets?
Post by: Mike Briggs on December 11, 2007, 08:37:44 pm
Wow, that's amazing! I can't believe you went to the trouble to work that all out!. However, I think it's very interesting. Any other projects of Patty's that you had to do alot of research for?

Well, the fantasy books generally require a pretty good knowledge of how medieval societies functioned. Patty's a history major with an emphasis in European history, and we've managed to assemble a pretty good collection of scholarly works on everything from farming to weaponry which she consults on a fairly regular basis.  We've also have good sections on Fae/Fairies/legendary creatures and we're getting to have a number of books on magic. . . .   Actually, let me talk about that for a minute.  This is a fairly delicate topic, and I'm hoping not to offend anyone, so PLEASE don't start a flame war.  Actually, this is exactly the sort of thing Patty would just refuse to talk about in a public forum -- she's probably smarter than me!  :D

Frankly, the magic/occult books make me a little nervous -- I'm perfectly comfortable with our various Wiccan/Pagan friends, but we're actually pretty conservative Christians (Mormons).  Somehow the magic books seem out of place with all our other religious texts, and I'm not sure how the bishop would react if he saw them . . . :-\   

Actually, the magic books are strange in another way.  I used to live in Venezuela, and I've seen a fair bit of witchcraft -- not all of it as friendly as Wicca.  I believe there's real power there, and some of it is dangerous, especially to people who don't have any idea what they're doing.  For the record, all of it scares me witless, and I've never tried even the whitest of magic myself.   We've tried to insure that the magic systems in Patty's world capture an authentic "feel", without actually including anything that could be real.  If some kids find a summoning ritual in one of Patty's books and go act it out, I don't want ANYTHING to happen -- how's that for backwards research? :P

Other than that -- lets see . . . My son and I did martial arts pretty seriously (about 6 hours week formal training, plus lots of practice hours) for about five years.  This comes in real handy when blocking out fight scenes -- I've made every dumb mistake in the book at one time or another, and have the dings, dents and scars to prove it.

We've owned a string of aging VW's, and I've kept them all running one way or another for years.  Does that count as research, or just writing what you already know???  ;D

Oh yes, toxins and medical stuff.  All good writers should have a doctor in the family.  Patty's sister is a very good doctor, and has fielded some VERY strange requests.   If someone's wrist is crushed, what would it look like?  What would they feel?  How badly impaired would their use of it be?  These are all great questions to pass by an expert, because the details aren't always intuitive.

Mostly, we just try to make sure that whenever Patty writes about something she doesn't know much about, we take the time (and possibly spend the money) to either talk to an expert or actually get her some experience in that field.  It's generally fun!

Mike
Title: Re: Silver Bullets?
Post by: Mike Briggs on December 11, 2007, 09:12:02 pm
   Heh, you beat me to explaining that.  My guy was nudging me off the computer so I'd go to bed so I was a bit hurried. ;)  Thanks for doing the work for me. 

Hey there Grey!
Actually, I'm going to side with your guy.  I know all about trying to nudge the fair bride off the computer and into the bedroom!  ;)    Seems like that's something all married blokes struggle with <grin>.
Title: Re: Silver Bullets?
Post by: Grey Drakkon on December 11, 2007, 10:01:24 pm
Har, except a bride I'll n'eer be! 
Title: Re: Silver Bullets?
Post by: Patti L. on December 11, 2007, 11:16:50 pm
Second the motion, with better punctuation. <grin>
Title: Re: Silver Bullets?
Post by: jackie on December 12, 2007, 08:44:40 am
Mike - the restraint on magic systems is wise IMO.  It is possible to write anything, and I generally don't like public censoring at all.  But just because you can say or write it doesn't mean you should.   I think it is each individual's responsibility to censor what is allowed into their life, but that doesn't mean we all do it well. 

I also think we won't know what's going on with the left, right, up or down wing nuts out there unless we listen to them.  And it's hard to do that if we are all plugging our ears!
Title: Re: Silver Bullets?
Post by: Patti L. on December 12, 2007, 10:32:05 am
I'll throw my 2 pfennigs in on magic in books too.  Did you hear that originally Mercedes Lackey's 'Diana Tregarde' books were stand alones, not connected to any of her other work?  Then she found out that people were trying to do some of the rituals she wrote about for them, and stopped writing them, appalled at the idea. (she's got some really nasty villians)  She only decided she could write more of them when she got the idea to connect them to the other urban fantasies that involved elves.  That way, you had to swallow the whole package, and it's just too big a lump for the wannabe black magicians who were reading & trying out her rituals.  I'd say that Madame is safe on that count, both because she started from a base of the 'fae reservation' and werewolves, and because she's (I assume carefully, or perhaps with the same distaste as Mr. Mike expresses) made sure that there are no details of magic specific enough IN WRITING to copy.  They may be in the research material, the notes, even the rough drafts, but they aren't in what goes to print.

Second thing is, the leaving out of at least one key element.  They did that on the Magyver tv show, for much the same reason.  Keep people from doing it out in the real world & maiming or killing themselves because they weren't competent enough to pull it off.

If the publishers are now offering the chance to put a blurb 'about the author' on/in the books, nothing I know says you can't put in a short disclaimer to maintain your good standing with your bishop. And fellow Morman Orson Scott Card does fantasy too.
Title: Re: Silver Bullets?
Post by: Mike Briggs on December 12, 2007, 12:51:42 pm
Second thing is, the leaving out of at least one key element.  They did that on the Magyver tv show, for much the same reason.  Keep people from doing it out in the real world & maiming or killing themselves because they weren't competent enough to pull it off.

LOL!  I've seen a lot of sources take that approach to things.  I've done quite a bit of chemistry (I used to work as an analytical chemist, many moons ago), and I LOVE all the encyclopedia articles that try to take that approach with building explosives.  What cracks me up is that, quite often, the omitted element won't prevent you from making the explosive, it just guarantees that you'll kill yourself seconds later.  The classic are recipes for nitroglycerin that don't include the need for COOLING the mixture, which is fairly exothermic as well as unstable.   Thats like including a treatise on demon summoning, and "forgetting" to explain protective circles!   ;D
Title: Re: Silver Bullets?
Post by: Patti L. on December 12, 2007, 02:53:04 pm
Oh, yes, indeed.  Or, as I've been groaning about, sending emails as response to the complaint that the email can't be accessed.  Catch-22 is alive and well.  You'd think that someone involved would vet it with somebody who knows the subject, saying "what's the worst thing that will happen if we leave this like this, and someone tries it?"  Murphy is also alive and well.  Flourishing, even.
Title: Re: Silver Bullets?
Post by: Kiersten Walks Funny on December 12, 2007, 03:11:44 pm
wow, really great explainations thats for all the trouble
Title: Re: Silver Bullets?
Post by: Mike Briggs on December 12, 2007, 03:57:59 pm
Har, except a bride I'll n'eer be! 

Gee, I think I have hoof-in-mouth disorder again.  I'm sorry, I know there are many romantic arrangements outside of marriage, and that it's not P.C. to assume all couples are married.  I'm just a backwards bumpkin, don't hold it against me.
Title: Re: Silver Bullets?
Post by: Zealith on December 12, 2007, 04:01:54 pm
*Hugs Mike* You'd need to do more then that to make us hold it against you. :D
Title: Re: Silver Bullets?
Post by: Grey Drakkon on December 12, 2007, 05:10:02 pm
Har, except a bride I'll n'eer be! 

Gee, I think I have hoof-in-mouth disorder again.  I'm sorry, I know there are many romantic arrangements outside of marriage, and that it's not P.C. to assume all couples are married.  I'm just a backwards bumpkin, don't hold it against me.


   Oh don't get upset about it, I was just teasing. ;)  P.C. drives me crazy, no need to lawyerize every word you say, or super analyze what everyone else says.
   By the way, I don't think anyone would start a flame war about anyone else's religion unless they came in and said "Hi, I'm a (whatever) and because I'm one and you're not, you're all going to be tortured for eternity!  Ta ta!"  Well, either that or they eat babies or something.  Cult of Saturn and whatnot. 
Title: Re: Silver Bullets?
Post by: Zealith on December 12, 2007, 07:58:46 pm
By the way, I don't think anyone would start a flame war about anyone else's religion unless they came in and said "Hi, I'm a (whatever) and because I'm one and you're not, you're all going to be tortured for eternity!  Ta ta!"  Well, either that or they eat babies or something.  Cult of Saturn and whatnot. 

I should hope not, you have to be tolerant (to a degree) to read fantasy and the sort anyways.
Title: Re: Silver Bullets?
Post by: Patti L. on December 12, 2007, 09:39:17 pm
I always remember the joke about how only 2 things matter, and it all boils down to not actually mattering anyway, and let it go.  I doubt, personally that the Deity really cares how we observe in detail, just so we do.
Title: Re: Silver Bullets?
Post by: Kiersten Walks Funny on December 13, 2007, 02:32:26 pm
lately its actually really hard to be P.C. with everything that has changed.  same sex couples, gay marriages, etc. . .
Title: Re: Silver Bullets?
Post by: jenglows on December 13, 2007, 03:13:15 pm
lately its actually really hard to be P.C. with everything that has changed.  same sex couples, gay marriages, etc. . .


I don't know that modern times are much different than the past. I'm very liberal, but sometimes I make mental assumptions based on my own experiences and desires. It's hard not to, I think it's really impossible to speak to everyone like you are familiar with their personal situation. All I can strive for is keeping an open mind and correcting myself when needed.  Or at least trying too :)

 I think most everyone that reads fantasy/SF has the ability to be tolerant, but that's just my assumptions based on my own experiences ;)
Title: Re: Silver Bullets?
Post by: Kiersten Walks Funny on December 13, 2007, 03:41:55 pm
i believe that is pretty true also.  fantasy/sf books usually make you more open to possibilities
Title: The Spirit Tides
Post by: Patti L. on February 16, 2009, 01:12:30 pm
The Silver Bullet thread started by Grey Drakkon quickly moved on to the matter of how the Spirit Tide worked.  Mr. Mike actually started it with an addendum to his answer about the casting of silver bullets.  It is quoted here below.

This reminds me of when Patty was writing "When Demons Walk", and she wanted to have a "spirit tide", a once-a-month super-tide.  It was important to the story, but she wasn't sure it could really happen.  She also didn't want to use multiple moons etc. unless it was absolutely necessary, because that opens another can of worms.  So, being an aquatic biologist, I broke out my fluid dynamics texts and spent numerous hours crunching numbers and finally found that, given a particular underwater geography and a specific arrangement of currents, it WAS possible to have a regular, localized supertidal event.  Maybe it was a wasted effort -- you'll notice that the pages of calculations don't appear in the book, and most readers probably don't care.  But it made the world more real to me, because it COULD happen.   It wouldn't require Gods, or magic or extra moons, just a simple accident of geography.  Fiction is a funny thing -- you can fabricate worlds, civilizations, cultures, weapons or whatever and the reader will believe it.  Screw up on something as simple as a glass of water, and the whole illusion collapses.   
Title: Re: The Spirit Tides
Post by: Avarel on February 16, 2009, 03:36:17 pm
That is awesome! I thought it was magic, but this is way cooler.
Title: Re: The Spirit Tides
Post by: pence on March 27, 2009, 10:41:44 am
Books that introduce multiple moons have always given me a mild intellectual headache, as I keep trying to figure out how one would get tide tables out of them !  Then one might introduce a twin sun into the mix..........instant migraine!