Space Science Fiction Books

The Best Space-Travel Science Fiction Novels
The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of 2012

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Seriously Random Lists | September 12, 2012 |

The other day on Facebook, our very own (and otherwise flawless) Brian Prisco solicited recommendations for space-travel based science fiction, on account of having never really enjoyed any outside of Ender's Game. This is a situation that needs rectified, a tragedy of astronomical proportions. So here are the thirteen places that I most strongly feel he should start. The comments are of course where you can correct me or add to the list.

Dan Simmons: Simmons has written other works, but conversation always comes back to The Hyperion Cantos and rightfully so. Four novels, spanning hundreds of years, set in the far future of a galaxy spanning human empire. It has a sense of poetry that is the envy of most science fiction; it is a meditation on the nature of the universe and man's place in it as much as it is about starships and time travel.

Isaac Asimov: Asimov's three great trilogies (Empire, Foundation, and Robots) all end up connecting together into the same fictional universe in later books, but it was always Foundation that touched me the most. Asimov wrote no aliens into this universe (a fact he explains in another related story), but the exploration of different human societies, of trudging through a graveyard of our own grandfathers, that is awe inspiring stuff.

Alastair Reynolds: He tends to write very hard science fiction, and his most famous books (the Revelation Space series) are very slow moving, but ultimately extremely satisfying. But as a starting point? Pushing Ice is a beautiful stand alone book that tells of the first humans to travel beyond the solar system, a simple mining vessel caught up in the wake of an alien craft just passing through our little corner of the universe.

John Scalzi: Old Man's War and its subsequent sequels are fantastic forays into military science fiction with a philosophical bent. Who are we if not our memories?

Vernor Vinge: He's not the most prolific of science fiction writers, but when he nails it, he nails it. A Fire in the Deep and A Deepness is the Sky are both fantastic stand alone stories, of man tentatively exploring the vastness of the universe.

Robert Heinlein: He's the godfather of them all. Not all are based on space-travel (and some of his most famous like Starship Troopers are the weakest, but Stranger in a Strange Land and various Lazarus Long novels are mandatory reading for the budding science fiction reader.

Elizabeth Moon: She's written rather prolifically, and has two science fiction series in particular of note: The Serrano Legacy and The Vattas. They're not deep and profound like much of the rest of the list, but they are quick reading and quite fun.

Philip Jose Farmer: Okay, Riverworld and its sequels are not space-travel, but they technically take place on an artificial world in the distant future and feature aliens. That's close enough to get these absurdly creative books on the list.


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Relativity/Science fiction type question

2008-03-13 23:02:37 by magicthighs

Here's a question for you physicists related to relativity:
Are space and time independent variables of each other?
More to the point, consider this thought experiment:
Assume time travel to the past is possible. In the sense popularized in science fiction movies and books.
Let's imagine this time machine transports you back in time 6 months.
Now, the earth revolves around the sun in a roughly elliptical orbit. From my rough calculations, the speed at which the earth revolves around the sun is very roughly 100,000 km/hour

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