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Gravitube question
Posted by: Nicky (
Date: July 13, 2003 01:13AM

If London and New York have DeepDrops connecting to Sydney and Tokyo, why did Thursday have to take the DeepDrop to Sydney and catch the overmantle to Tokyo?

Re: Gravitube question
Posted by: Anonymous User (
Date: July 13, 2003 08:05AM

I think it was because they only go straight...and if you try to hook London to Tokyo it wouldn't go through the center, thereby messing with the magnetic forces that power it? Does that sound plausible? That was the impression I got of it.

And it's still shorter to overmantle from Sydney to Tokyo than it is from London to Tokyo

Re: Gravitube question
Posted by: Nicky (
Date: July 13, 2003 03:48PM

I don't think that's it. We are told that there is a DeepDrop to Tokyo. At first, I thought London might be connected only to Sydney and New York connected to Tokyo, but in the discussion of how one gets from Buenos Aires to Auckland, you take the DeepDrop from New York to Sydney.

Also, according to the technobore, all trips on the Gravitube take exactly the same time.

Re: Gravitube question
Posted by: Nicky (206.166.29.---)
Date: July 14, 2003 04:40PM

I think I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Nicky. I'm a paediatrician, although currently in a job with regular hours. Loved LIAGB and now halfway through WOLP--thank heavens for Amazon.UK. Why is the US always last to get publications?

Post Edited (07-21-03 16:45)

Re: Gravitube question
Posted by: Magda (
Date: July 14, 2003 05:06PM

Perhaps it was due to scheduling issues? Perhaps the next deep drop to Tokyo was sold out, or the schedule was such that going by way of Sydney was quicker.

Re: Gravitube question
Posted by: Nicky (206.166.29.---)
Date: July 14, 2003 06:40PM

Actually, I just found the answer in the upgrades. Turns out the London DeepDrop does only go to Sydney and NY to Tokyo.

Re: Gravitube question
Posted by: Simon (193.82.99.---)
Date: July 18, 2003 01:23PM

Apparently one of Lewis Carroll's later (post-'Alice') works, a children's novel called Sylvie and Bruno, mentions an underground railway that's propelled solely by gravity. I haven't read that book yet, but I wonder whether it helped to inspire the creation (in Thursday's world &/or in Jasper's mind...) of the Gravitube?

( I found a reference to this detail while I was re-reading the 'Alice' stories, in an annotated version, earlier this week...)


Warning! Product may contain Newts!

Re: Gravitube question
Posted by: Anonymous User (
Date: July 18, 2003 05:03PM

Not Sylvie and Bruno, but Sylvie and Bruno Concluded, the second book.

I'd forgotten this, but yes, it's there, halfway through Chapter 7, "Mein Herr".

Lady Muriel asks him to tell her "...some more wonderful things", and he responds with a description of railway trains "without any engines" which only need machinery to stop them - "Every railway is in a long tunnel, perfectly straight; so of course the middle of it is nearer the centre of the globe than the two ends; so every train runs half-way down-hill, and that gives it force enough to run the other half up-hill."

So quite close. Though I'd forgotten this version when I read the Gravitube, there has been at least one SF story with a similar notion; I recognised it as an old friend.

BTW, anyone who is a Carroll fan who hasn't read Sylvie and Bruno, or Sylvie and Bruno Concluded, don't worry too much. You'll get a lot more re-reading Alice.

Re: Gravitube question
Posted by: Snap-dragon-fly (149.175.162.---)
Date: September 19, 2009 09:45AM

I haven't read either "Sylvie and Bruno," but I just discovered a description of this train in a note in "The Annotated Alice" -- the description goes on to say that "Curiously, such a train would make the trip (ignoring air resistance and friction of the wheels) in exactly the same time that it would take an object to fall through the center of the earth -- a little more than forty-two minutes. This time is constant regardless of the tunnel's length."
That sounds about as Gravitube-esque as you can get!

Re: Gravitube question
Posted by: SkidMarks (
Date: September 19, 2009 11:40AM

Hi Snap-dragon-fly.

That is a good find. As you can see from the dates of earlier posts, this thread does not see a lot of activity. You will find most of us hang out in Nextian Chat, so drop in sometime and help yourself to drinks cakes and pies. (Of course enjoy this and other Fforums. There are lots of interesting and entertaining threads scattered around.

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