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FTL: A Historical Perspective

Lyrics © 1993 Michael Rubin -- rev. 9/1/93
Tune: "Strike the Bell," trad.
Parody of: "FTL" by I Abra Cinii


SF readers know the stars are too damn far away;
We want to travel light-years but we haven't got all day.
So every writer needs, before he even learns to spell,
A warp drive or a hyperdrive that goes FTL.

FTL is up again, H2O to boil,
Pour it on dilithium and add some snakeroot oil.
Frobnicate the prismacon, quench the organelle,
The scientific doubletalk can go FTL!

You didn't need big rocketships before the world was round,
The stars were painted on a dome a ways above the ground.
The sun rode on a chariot (or so the legends tell),
So if your horse was fast enough you'd go FTL!

FTL is up again, H2O to boil,
Ride upon the morning dew a-rising from the soil.
Or hitch your cart to flying swans, you'll get a ride that's swell,
Just keep your wings from melting or you'll lose FTL!

When Verne invented sci-fi in the 19th Century,
Einstein hadn't yet invented relativity.
Build lightbulbs just like Edison or time machines like Wells,
It's just a small extension to produce FTL's!

FTL is up again, H2O to boil,
Spin the mighty steam turbines and charge the Tesla coil.
We're blasting through the ether like a bat clean out of Hell,
So shovel in more coal and we can reach FTL!

But really with-it pilots don't need all that hardware stuff;
A gold brick in your engine room's improbable enough.
If it's unlikely that you're Here, you might be There as well;
Just watch the falling whales when you go FTL!

Have some tea and sandwiches, H2O to boil,
Math within a restaurant does not agree with Hoyle.
So calculate your dinner check and astrogate as well,
When you've got bistromathic drive, who needs FTL?

In spaceflight as in lyric writing, more is often less;
You shouldn't use brute force when the solution is finesse.
The moral of my story I'm repeating at a yell:
You don't need all this baggage just to do FTL!

FTL is up again, H2O to boil,
The filkers need some coffee after hours of this toil.
So have a destination and define your subject well,
You'll only need five verses to discuss FTL!

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Last updated: Wed, 31 Dec 1969, 04:00 PM EST