In space no one can hear you scream, Or teh sound & teh fury of weapons in space

Home Forums Writer’s Digest Forum Tips and Advice In space no one can hear you scream, Or teh sound & teh fury of weapons in space

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Rob Vargas 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

  • Author
  • #656976

    Hi everybody. 🙂

    So in the movies and in television and in videogames, space battles almost always have sound effects.

    In fact, I don’t even think I’ve ever seen a video of a space battle that didn’t have sound effects, at least in movies and television. In one videogame I saw a video clip that didn’t have sound effects, but the video was narrated and the sound effects were muted for the narrator and for artistic effect because during other videos as well as during game play, the sound effects were there.

    But space is a vacuum, maybe not a perfect vacuum but it may as well be for practical purposes.

    And you can’t hear sound in a vacuum because there are no media (plural of medium)for the sound to be conveyed through.

    One videogame I played ages ago, explained that the ship’s computer provided the sound effects to help the pilot, possibly by making it easier for the pilot to act and react to his/her situation (not the reason they gave, but I think it’s a better reason and I might use this reason in my stories).

    So it’s easy enough to explain why the pilot hears sound effects, but…

    Why would say, a third person narrator “hear” sound effects when that narrator is outside of the cockpit and is describing the battle scene from a far away wide angle perspective?

    But inside the pilot’s cockpit, the ships computer would be simulating battle sounds so the pilot can understand which direction most of the fire is coming from and where in the battle area most of the fighting is occurring and if capitol ships are being raked with fire and fighters are being destroyed, etc.

    So here’s the conundrum, if I have the battle’s sound effects silent from that perspective, and then include sound effects when inside the cockpit for the pilot, would that not be jarring and take readers out of the story?

    Would that jar you out of the story?

    Any help is appreciated, thanks in advance. 🙂

    – Dreams of Tanelorn

  • #656978


    Personally, I think it would not only add realism, but appropriate tension.

  • #656981

    Rob Vargas

    Movies are a necessarily physical experience. Silence in a space battle reduces the movie experience.

    A book, even a screenplay I would think, can be more psychological. You can fill that proverbial void with the POV characters’ experience. The ship bucks and shudders, the character’s fear, or dedication.

    So that’s a slightly longer form of, “Don’t sweat it.”

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.