Those of you who’ve read The Anvil of Dust and Stars, this is something that’s in the book. There are small fighting craft called grapplers, they move in space like atmospheric fighters on steroids. They can thrust in any direction simply by gripping the very fabric of space and, using a tracked engine that interfaces with the quantum foam, push against space itself.
I wanted a means to have combat that wasn’t just “point at where they’ll be, and fire” type stuff. This article talks about the basis I used to get beyond that.
Space is not empty. It’s foam. And I believe fully that one day the grappler engines I write about in my books will exist.
The grapplers were one of my favorite things to write, and remind me of the PT boats of WWII. They were small, easily destroyed, but they packed a punch well beyond their size with the torpedoes they carried. Grapplers are like that. G-Ks, or Grappler-Killers, are patrol boats. They’re designed to put lead onto the grapplers and end their threat. Both of them have grappler engines, which make them jink around space like mosquitoes avoiding a swat.
Smaller ships, frigates and destroyers, can also have grappler engines mounted in my universe, a maximum of 2. Because if two engines are pulling exactly the same, the ship will roll, turn, etc. With three they could conceivable pull in enough opposition to pull the ship apart.
I will have more of them in the future, most likely. If not more in the Dark Seas series, more in sequels/prequels.