I think I have shown that there are good scientific reasons for taking seriously the possibility that life and intelligence can succeed in molding this universe of ours to their own purposes. - Freeman Dyson
Megascale engineering is about building/creating or using structures on a extremely large scale, at least 1000 kilometres in diameter, often incorporating highly advanced and/or speculative technology. Typical examples are orbit-to-ground Beanstalks, moving planets, Dyson Spheres and Stellar Husbandry.
Beanstalks / Orbital ElevatorsA beanstalk is a cable extending from the surface of a planet to geosynchronous orbit and beyond, held stable by the tension caused by the centifugal pull. This would provide a very cheap and simple way to reach orbit when built.
Towers. A quick introduction to beanstalks.
Dyson Spheres and Related StructuresThe Dyson sphere is the quintessential megaengineering project - a structure enclosing the sun. It is also one of the more useful visions, since it would provide tremendous energy and living area.
Stellifying Jupiter by Del Cotter. A simple
(?) idea of how to turn Jupiter into a small star for a while.
Larry Niven, Ringworld 1970. The classic novel about a megastructure, even if some of the physics turned out to be wrong (see for example Physics in Science Fiction by Andrew E. Love Jr.)
Charles Sheffield, The Web Between the Worlds 1979. Novel about beanstalks and other megaengineering, mentioned for historical rather than literary reasons.
Relevant newsgroup: rec.arts.sf.science.
Anders Sandberg / firstname.lastname@example.org 2000-03-11