One of the things floating back in my head is that while sub-FTL time dilation effects are well understood, perhaps the slingshot effects are not.
Consider that you go in and come out in one of three states:
- Classic time dilation – ignore the fact that we can’t predict what would happen here.
- No dilation at all – if it takes you 7 years, then 7 years pass outside.
- Random effect – you might find out it:
- Took 2 years for every 1 year of voyage
- 1/2 year for every 1 year of voyage
I want Spacers/Clans to be willing to take the risks. Their families travel with them and so what if they effectively see negative time dilation.
And Grounders/Corporates would be unwilling to take the risks. If it were constant, they could do it, but they are scared of getting out of touch.
Hmm, perhaps the one of the spin routes is pretty tame (so the Corps take it) and one is pretty wild (so the Clans take it). The rewards would outweigh the risks.
And why do the Spacers want to become traders? If they can produce all they want at any system they travel to, what needs do they have? Perhaps as systems fill up, they have to expand ever outward. And perhaps some just want excuses to wander?