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  1. #1
    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    Red face Recommend a 'space exploration' sci-fi!

    After watching Interstellar, I'm feeling a bit thirsty for more space exploration stories. My sci-fi experience is rather limited. Here's what I've read:



    Most of these are okay. I really liked the tone and style of The Demolished Man. Necromancer was atmospherically great. The rest range from ok-ish to a-bit-empty to downright-messy.

    So I must be missing something here.

    Is there a story out there that somewhat meets the following criteria?
    - Ideally a collection of short stories with each dealing with a different planet/star system/galaxy/stretch of space travel, but with the same cast of characters in a non-military setting. Kinda like the crew of Cowboy Bebop but way more science-focused.
    - Heavy space exploration theme -- meaning that they go to different places in each chapter.
    - Relatively stable future for humanity -- preferably no 'impending doom'.
    - Preferably no 'talking' alien races (it's really hard to pull those off well). Enigmatic aliens/beings that are totally imaginative are ok!
    - Preferably no blatant fantasy elements (no dragons, no 'swords' of any sort, no 'magical race', etc.)
    - As scientifically accurate as possible.

    Something like Asimov's short story Old-Fashioned is ideal. I'd love to see the characters travel to different places and speculate on different environments, like maybe a team of scientists looking for a habitable planet, with random little adventures here and there.

    I will sacrifice scientific accuracy for strong characters and a flair for words any day!

    If such a story doesn't exist, could someone write one please?
    4w5 sp/sx EII

  2. #2
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Ohhh, fun. Try 'Neutron Star' by Larry Niven. If I remember correctly, it has aliens, but very cool/strange ones, it may be a touch space opera-ey. The science may be dated, but it was spot on at the time except for some speculative parts and it's a great read and quick.

    Otherwise, maybe Gateway by Fredrick Pohl. It's similar to Interstellar in the way that humans find portals setup to go to other galaxies, it spans several generations of people going through into very dangerous situations for the $$$.

  3. #3
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    2001: A Space Odyssey is both a favorite book and favorite film. Highly recommended.

  4. #4
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    You mean Neuromancer (rather than Necromancer), by Gibson?
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  5. #5
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunyata View Post
    2001: A Space Odyssey is both a favorite book and favorite film. Highly recommended.
    I dont understand why it is praised so much, it was on tv yesterday and could only watch like half of it. Without that really hot girl, i wouldnt even made it that far..
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung

    Read

  6. #6
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Everyone's free to disagree because there are other very different themes to straight sci fi involved in it too but I would recommend Red Dwarf. Its a comic TV series in the UK which maybe deconstructs and does a "in real life" version of a lot of staples of science fiction.

    The writers were big fans of Philip K Dick's fiction, as testified to by a couple of episodes commissions for the Dave TV network in the UK which rehashed a lot of the popular ideas in the show and had the characters actually meet the writers and creators of the TV show.

    Anyway, the show deals with what would probably be the less than ideal, less than perfect realities of space travel, and even high tech innovations like AI, from the perspectives of the neurotic, human, all too human protagonists.

    How do they survive in what are objectively a serious of disasters, they dont encounter any alien life until the later series, more often they are encountering the detritus of disappeared human civilisation lost in deep space.

    I love science fiction, and I could think about a list of books to recommend, the sci fi masterworks are hard to go wrong with to be honest (Tau Zero is one, Roadside Picnic is another, although that is about humans experiencing what remains from an alien visitation to the earth) but I think the best science fiction isnt just speculating about the future and "out there" but is essentially "inner space" fiction, exploring what it is to be human, the depths of human nature etc.
    Likes Totenkindly liked this post

  7. #7
    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    Sorry it took me such a long time to get back to this!

    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    Ohhh, fun. Try 'Neutron Star' by Larry Niven. If I remember correctly, it has aliens, but very cool/strange ones, it may be a touch space opera-ey. The science may be dated, but it was spot on at the time except for some speculative parts and it's a great read and quick.
    This sounds awesome! Sounds exactly like what I'm looking for! It's now number one on my Christmas reading list and I shall report back soon!

    Wiki-ed Gateway and that sounds good too! You can never have enough books to read! Thanks Qlip!

    Quote Originally Posted by sunyata View Post
    2001: A Space Odyssey is both a favorite book and favorite film. Highly recommended.
    I have the movie, but haven't got round to watching it. I plan too, but most people I know seem a bit lukewarm about it. INFP boyfriend likes it and has agreed rewatch it with me, so that's on the list!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    You mean Neuromancer (rather than Necromancer), by Gibson?
    You're right!

    Yep, that's the book. It was a really long time ago, but I remember really liking the 'cyberpunk' feel, and the drugs and the mindfuse with the internet were really trippy. Oohh, and 'flatlining' is such a good slang.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Everyone's free to disagree because there are other very different themes to straight sci fi involved in it too but I would recommend Red Dwarf. Its a comic TV series in the UK which maybe deconstructs and does a "in real life" version of a lot of staples of science fiction.

    The writers were big fans of Philip K Dick's fiction, as testified to by a couple of episodes commissions for the Dave TV network in the UK which rehashed a lot of the popular ideas in the show and had the characters actually meet the writers and creators of the TV show.

    Anyway, the show deals with what would probably be the less than ideal, less than perfect realities of space travel, and even high tech innovations like AI, from the perspectives of the neurotic, human, all too human protagonists.

    How do they survive in what are objectively a serious of disasters, they dont encounter any alien life until the later series, more often they are encountering the detritus of disappeared human civilisation lost in deep space.

    I love science fiction, and I could think about a list of books to recommend, the sci fi masterworks are hard to go wrong with to be honest (Tau Zero is one, Roadside Picnic is another, although that is about humans experiencing what remains from an alien visitation to the earth) but I think the best science fiction isnt just speculating about the future and "out there" but is essentially "inner space" fiction, exploring what it is to be human, the depths of human nature etc.
    Thanks @Lark. I see that they have the first episode of Red Dwarf online -- but British comedies seem a bit hit-or-miss for me. I'll give it a go. Will definitely read Tau Zero and Roadside Picnic though!
    4w5 sp/sx EII

  8. #8
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 21% View Post
    Sorry it took me such a long time to get back to this!


    This sounds awesome! Sounds exactly like what I'm looking for! It's now number one on my Christmas reading list and I shall report back soon!

    Wiki-ed Gateway and that sounds good too! You can never have enough books to read! Thanks Qlip!


    I have the movie, but haven't got round to watching it. I plan too, but most people I know seem a bit lukewarm about it. INFP boyfriend likes it and has agreed rewatch it with me, so that's on the list!


    You're right!

    Yep, that's the book. It was a really long time ago, but I remember really liking the 'cyberpunk' feel, and the drugs and the mindfuse with the internet were really trippy. Oohh, and 'flatlining' is such a good slang.


    Thanks @Lark. I see that they have the first episode of Red Dwarf online -- but British comedies seem a bit hit-or-miss for me. I'll give it a go. Will definitely read Tau Zero and Roadside Picnic though!
    I agree, or rather I think its been all down hill for a long time, I blame Jervais and Little Britain, both not funny

  9. #9

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    I highly recommend a short story collection called "Memories of the Space Age" by J.G. Ballard. Some of the best sci-fi I've ever read. Great writing and provocative premises.

    I also just wanted to throw my two cents in on 2001: A Space Odyssey. Watch it immediately! It's a classic, and is in my top 5 films ever.
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

    Johari
    /Nohari

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTP View Post
    I dont understand why it is praised so much, it was on tv yesterday and could only watch like half of it. Without that really hot girl, i wouldnt even made it that far..
    It's a great big piece of eye candy, which is what most kubrick films are, yet its defenders act like it has some deep message when it really doesn't.

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