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Space Archaeology » Fiction

Apollo Planetary Historical Preserve

One of my favourite space heritage scenes from science fiction: Tranquility Base is by far the biggest tourist attraction on Luna, and the reason is its historical significance, since it is the spot where a human foot first trod another planet. Right? If you thought that, maybe I could interest you in some prime real estate on Ganymede with a great view of the volcano. The real draw at Tranquility is just over the horizon and goes by the name of Armstrong Park. Since the park is within the boundaries of Apollo Planetary Historical Preserve, the Lunar Chamber of Commerce can boast that X million people visit the site of the first Lunar landing every year, but the ads feature the roller coaster, not the LEM. A good number of those tourists … Read entire article »

Filed under: Fiction

10 Space Archaeology Stories You Must Read

Following on from my popular post, 10 Space Archaeology Novels You Must Read, here’s a list of ten great space archaeological short stories. Where the prior post approached a “top ten”, this list can only be taken as a number of stories that I recommend, based on my limited reading. There are literally generations of magazines and anthologies that I haven’t read and which might contain brilliant space archaeological stories. Nevertheless, I think it’s safe to say that a few stories here would count among the best, such as ‘The Red One’, ‘The Sentinel’, ‘Lungfish’ and ‘Omnilingual’. ‘The Red One’ (1918), by Jack London Set in the Solomon Islands, this astonishing tale is decades ahead of its time in its science fictional concepts, while simultaneously being appallingly of its time in its depiction of the … Read entire article »

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Space Junk on Screen

Space junk has been in the news this week, and one of my tweeps asked if a space garbage truck might be the solution … this put me in mind of some space garbage moments from television and cinema, so I thought I’d do a quick post about them. Several shows have used the perceived lowly and degrading role of garbage collector to satirize glamorous and exciting portrayals of space exploration. Others use it to depict the dangers of space travel, or the mundane (so to speak) careers that one might pursue in a realistic future. Some just use it because it’s a cool setting, for example: Star Wars The trash compactor scene from Star Wars: A New Hope (1977) was one of the most memorable parts for me. It’s arguably an implausible system, … Read entire article »

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10 Space Archaeology Novels You Must Read

A past-focused discipline like archaeology would seem to be a subject far removed from the future-focused science fiction genre. But as the literature of the scientific revolution, science fiction adopts archaeological themes to illustrate the concepts of deep time and cosmic indifference (as well as to provide ‘sensawunda’). I’ve read a lot of sci fi, so I’ve put together a list of ten must-read novels featuring archaeologists or archaeological themes. I think this is an excellent starting point for anyone interested in the way science fiction deals with archaeology, or who wants a good read. Serendipitously, it’s worked out to be a pretty good spread of authors over the past 80 years, so you should find something you like. … Read entire article »

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Interview with Thomas Harlan

[An interview from my old blog in 2006, reposted 2 May 2010] Thomas Harlan’s military-archaeological alternate future series In the Time of the Sixth Sun (Wasteland of Flint, House of Reeds) stands out among recent archaeo-SF. The books feature a xenoarchaeologist protagonist, Gretchen Anderssen, and strongly emphasise the techniques used to unravel archaeological mysteries on other worlds. Thomas Harlan lives in Salem, Oregon. For more information, see his official site. (Note: the following interview may contain spoilers.) Steve Wilson: Every alternate history has a turning point, where the fictional timeline separates from our history. Where does the Sixth Sun universe diverge from the real world? What led to Aztec dominance, and what are its ramifications, apart from the fashion for feathered-cape-wearing, and a religious right to smoke tobacco? Thomas Harlan: In the late … Read entire article »

Filed under: Fiction, Interviews

Interview with Sean Williams

[An interview from my old blog in 2006, reposted 26 April 2010] Sean Williams is a New York Times best selling science fiction author who lives in Adelaide, Australia. He is the author of almost seventy published short stories and twenty-seven novels, including the Books of the Catalcysm and (with Shane Dix) the bestselling Evergence, Orphans and Geodesica series. He has co-written three books in the Star Wars: New Jedi Order series and is a multiple recipient of both the Ditmar and Aurealis Awards. [Note: the following interview may contain spoilers. – Space Archaeology] Space Archaeology: You’ve written novels at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to the prevalence of extraterrestrial intelligence. At one end is the Star Wars universe, with its abundance of interacting species, and at the other end … Read entire article »

Filed under: Fiction, Interviews