I once wrote briefly about how I’d love to see a movie that shows us what happens immediately after the people of Earth successfully thwart an alien invasion. Independence Day 2, if you will. Does the world come together in a new age of peace or do we battle for the rights of the crashed starships? And what of these starships? Their massive scale would intimidate even the most hardened shipbreaker, but we can’t just leave them where they crashed can we? Maybe. Maybe we salvage what technology we can and use the wreckage as an armature for a a new building a even an entirely new city. Post-invasion becomes the new Postmodernism.
As the human race dares to venture further out into space, we’re going to have to adapt our construction methods for large-scale space travel — think starships, space docks, habitable satellites, and other mega-objects too insanely large for construction on this gravity-well we call Earth. In a thought-provoking article, scifi blog io9 takes a look at the far future of construction, because as it tends to do, science fiction will probably inspire many of the eventual designs of real-life galactic monoliths. Among the hundreds of possible examples from the annals of the genre, two of the megastructure construction facilities that I find most compelling are the planet-building factory in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (pictured above) and Star Trek’s Federation shipyards (we’ll avoid the hotly-contested debate surrounding the construction location of the original U.S.S. Enterprise). While the full-scale construction of entire planets is nothing less than awe-inspiring, it’s also of a scale that’s kind of…difficult to comprehend. Off-planet shipyards, however, are entirely within the realm of reason…relatively speaking, of course. And with spaceship construction yards, come spaceship breaking yards.