Deviation Actions

Thomas-Peters's avatar


This is a study I did based on the starship featured in SF author Allen Steele's most recent novel, Spindrift. This is Allen's preferred image of the ship. I worked with him on all details and based it on his "study" model. In the process of designing this, my input fed back to Allen and resulted in some text changes in the book in regards to the ship function. One of the Galileo prints now hangs in Allen's house, in a place of honor over his collection of Hugos! The torus is not there to produce artificial gravity for the crew. Instead, it is part of the near lightspeed drive, which inflates to this shape, after the ship has passed through an initial starbridge that gets it out of the solar system. Nanoassemblers are then let loose in the toroid to build the Diametric drive.
The scene depicted occurs shortly after Galileo arrives at an extra-solar system object named Spindrift. The ships lander, the Maria Celeste, has just undocked in preparation for deorbit and landing.
I enjoy Allen's fiction greatly, he's one of the few hard SF authors who are regularly writing today.

Modeled, textured and rendered in Lightwave 8.5 Post work done in Photoshop CS2.
Image details
Image size
1200x674px 662.38 KB
© 2009 - 2021 Thomas-Peters
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In
BuffyFoster's avatar
Really cool model; now I want to read the book. :)
Sapiento's avatar
a diametric drive would disqualify the novel as 'hard SF' but it is still a beautiful design!
Takashi-Kurita's avatar
"hard SF" still has quite a bit of wiggle room, it's not a set definition, just part of the spectrum of hardness or softness.  
That's a superb job of modeling the ship, the level of detail you put into that is stunning. Even cooler is that you actually worked with him so closely, that must have been very exciting.
Note that the Diametric drive concept has been around for a decade or two, and was examined in detail by Robert Forward; here's wiki on the subject.
if you had enough negative mass/energy you could do some amazing things.
bear48's avatar
very nice indeed
Impressive work. I don't know "Spindrift", but I know something else: This is one very nice piece of art you have created there.
Jim197's avatar
Lovely work. The detailing on it is great.
Jburns272's avatar
I like the detail on the ship. I'm going to have a look for Spindrift now. Hard SF is always worth reading.
Thomas-Peters's avatar
Its a good read! The ship on the actual cover looks nothing like the Galileo, though. I don't think the art director understood the description.....
mikemars's avatar
nice detail. very believable
automnal-glimpse's avatar
Nice work, I like the details ^^
GrahamTG's avatar
Excellent work my friend. I love the lighting off the riing section - perfect.
AbaKon's avatar
If I didn't love you I'd hate you. Please stop being so talented it makes me feel bad. Oh well, I should be mindful that I walk in the presence of digital gods. Another masterpiece, Drell.
karanua's avatar
Excellent work in all aspects. While I haven't read Spindrift if its anything along the same kind of novel that Oceanspace was (as in well researched, speculative science fiction) I think it will be one to look out for.
Bartoleum's avatar
beautifully done!
Thomas-Peters's avatar
Thank you, sir! Thanks also for the faves!
Yavier's avatar
Very nice piece!!
steve-burg's avatar
Very nice work. I will have to check out the book now :)
CaveGrue's avatar
Neat looking ship, but your description has piqued the interest of my inner scientist. Now I must know more of this diametric drive, namely what its made of.

Also I had a look at Steele's website and this things on the front page, that's pretty awesome.
Thomas-Peters's avatar
The intricacies of the Diametric Drive are all Allen Steele's creation. He describes it in the novel Spindrift, which is where the Galileo design comes from. I worked with Allen pretty closely on the look of the Galileo, but the physics of the drive are all his. I am proud to say that a large print of this image hangs on the wall behind his shelf full of Hugo awards!
CaveGrue's avatar
I'm glad this piece brought this book series to my attention. Well worth the read.

Is that a nuclear warhead I see on that there ship? Heh heh.
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In