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Space Archaeology » Entries tagged with "Science 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

The Dark Side of the Sun

In Terry Pratchett’s science fiction novel The Dark Side of the Sun a search for the enigmatic galactic forerunner race the Jokers hinges on the meaning of that phrase. In the end (and this isn’t a spoiler – the novel was published 35 years ago) the “dark side of the sun” is revealed to refer to the Jokers’ return to a non-sapient state to await the evolution of other, different, minds with new perspectives. I was recently reading the science fiction encyclopedia entry on Devolution. It’s one of those words (like deceleration) which a pedant might chide you for using – it implies an inherent direction in evolution. There’s a strong subset of science fiction concerned with more highly advanced or highly evolved species than our own, or our own transcendence. But … Read entire article »

Filed under: Miscellaneous

The First Words on Mars: A List from Science Fiction

There was some discussion on Twitter about the first words that should be spoken on Mars. I’m preserving some examples I found here and will add to it periodically. “Welcome to Mars!” – Roy Rockwood (1910) Through Space to Mars. “Well, shall we go out and claim the planet in the name of Brooklyn?” – The Angry Red Planet (1959) [spoken inside the lander]. “We’re on Mars!” – Frederik Pohl (1976) Man Plus [also spoken from inside the lander]. “Christopher Columbus, you should be here.” – Philip Jose Farmer (1979) Jesus on Mars. “Well, here we are.” – Kim Stanley Robinson (1992) Red Mars. “Ya’aa’tey” (Navajo for “it is good”) – Ben Bova (1992) Mars. “… the first human feet to step on the Red Planet, the world of ancient canals and our new dreams. We are … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

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 »

Filed under: Fiction

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