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Thread: Best fictional planet

  1. #31
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    Terminus

    Before it became a haven from walkers, Nyssa got stranded on it:
    http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Terminus_(TV_story)

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    Terminus

    Before it became a haven from walkers, Nyssa got stranded on it:
    http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Terminus_(TV_story)
    And before Nyssa arrived, it was a planet on the edge of the galaxy where the Foundation was based.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
    How could a list like this leave out Roche and Eau?
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley View Post
    It's not an exhaustive list, it's a "get people started" list. Can you say a bit about the places in your own words?
    A binary planet at Barnard's Star, its two components orbiting close enough to share an atmosphere (and sometimes a bit more). Colder than Earth, with water ice forming deep submarine glaciers in the ammonia-water oceans on Eau. And inhabited by silica-gel blobs with an aptitude for mathematics.

  4. #34
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    I forgot about this one: Volturnus from the Star Frontiers game. Desert planet, with salt flats, dunes and pirates. Very little water and almost no supplies. There was a series of modules and a Choose Your Own Adventure book.
    Solfe

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck
    Mesklin
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley View Post
    Okay, but what are your thoughts and observations?
    Chuck is welcome to add his own thoughts and observations, but I second this world; a huge, high gravity superterrestrial, where the high gravity is ofset at the equator by high spin. This planet would be fantastically unlikely to exist in the real universe (it would spin itself apart early in its formation, then become twin gas giants) but it is a really interesting read.

  6. #36
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    Jinx - a prolate, Earth-sized moon of a gas giant, with two habitable bands, a high pressure 'equator' and vacuum at the 'poles'.
    Funny how many Larry Niven worlds crop up.

  7. #37
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    Trantor - a planet-wide city, imagined (years before Coruscant) by Isaac Asimov.
    Oh, and Coruscant, a planet-wide city, notable for its aerial traffic-jams.

  8. #38
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    Ringworld !!

  9. #39
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    Hmmmm....ringworld. Would that pass the planet definition test? Let's see:

    1.is in orbit around the Sun,
    Check. Well, some sun anyway.

    2. has sufficient mass to assume hydrostatic equilibrium (a nearly round shape).
    Check. With help from the RW engineers and Louis Wu.

    3. has "cleared the neighbourhood" around its orbit.
    Check! With induced solar flares no less.

    Yep, it's a planet!

  10. #40
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    I back up Chuck's vote of Mesklin. I'm glad someone said it before me; I'm not the only one to love cheap pulps, it seems.

    I doubt it's scientifically accurate at all; but Mission of Gravity (1970) was a fun, delightful adventure and Barlennan - the protagonist; an incredibly tough, armoured and shrewd centipede-like creature - is a great hero. His adventures into the high-G depths of Mesklin are tons of fun to read.
    Last edited by NorthernDevo; 2014-Apr-09 at 01:59 AM.

  11. #41
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    After suporting Chuck; I would like to offer my own favourite world: The Lands of the True Game; by Sheri Tepper.

    In this world; Mankind have developed psychic and psionic abilities; rules were created to control their use. Over the ages the rules became all-powerful; persons of ability became 'pieces' in a vast game of power and politics; their skills regulated by the harsh reality of the True Game. Life is effectively a game of Chess.
    Until one lad - the protagonist, young son of Mavis Manyshaped, the greatest Shapeshifter alive (beautiful, powerful and firey; I've always pictured Mavis as Kate Mulgrew (chuckle)), learns the truth of the True Game and sets out to right it. An awesome trilogy; I highly recommend it.
    Last edited by NorthernDevo; 2014-Apr-07 at 12:10 AM.

  12. #42
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    And while we're at it; how about a world with no planet at all?

    Larry Niven's Smoke Ring is an oxygen torus surrounding Levoy's Star. The oxygen is provided by a gas giant that orbits just outside its Roche Limit; as a result a ring of zero-gee habitable space exists. Humans live amongst the native flora - most notably the great Intergral Trees; Trees 100kms. long that float within the Smoke Ring.

    Another fun, enjoyable read.
    Last edited by NorthernDevo; 2014-Apr-07 at 04:41 AM.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    Hmmmm....ringworld. Would that pass the planet definition test? Let's see:

    1.is in orbit around the Sun,
    Check. Well, some sun anyway.
    ...
    Is it actually in orbit? Yes, it's spinning but that doesn't mean it's in orbit.

    Nick

  14. #44
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    Jinx. Another of Niven's worlds. A giant Super-Earth (though the term didn't exist at the time) moon of a gas giant orbiting Sirius. It was stretched out of shape by tidal forces during its foundation but, having a cold solid-metal core with few radioactive elements, it retained that shape even as it was tidally accelerated outward and became a tide-locked prolate spheroid: "God's Easter Egg". The water and air settled into the equator, leaving two bands of livable land between the vacuum-exposed ends, which are referred to as the "West pole" and "East pole".

    Six times the mass of Earth, its surface gravity is tremendous, and the human settlers have bred themselves to survive with massively mesomorphic body types; 5 feet tall and 5 feet wide; with heavy bone and dense muscles, Jinxians are stronger than most baseline Earth humans. Their skin is near-black no matter their ethnicity, to survive the local starlight.

    Jinx is where the age-dampening Boosterspice was invented, and one of the homeworlds of the Bandersnatch, a sapient giant slug that has agreed to be hunted for sport in exchange for buying human technology. Many Jinxians are scientists and researchers, and most are unrepentant punsters.
    Last edited by Noclevername; 2014-Apr-07 at 04:12 AM.
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  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Jinx. Another of Niven's worlds. A giant Super-Earth (though the term didn't exist at the time) moon of a gas giant orbiting Sirius. It was stretched out of shape by tidal forces during its foundation but, having a cold solid-metal core with few radioactive elements, it retained that shape even as it was tidally accelerated outward and became a tide-locked prolate spheroid: "God's Easter Egg". The water and air settled into the equator, leaving two bands of livable land between the vacuum-exposed ends, which are referred to as the "West pole" and "East pole".

    Six times the mass of Earth, its surface gravity is tremendous, and the human settlers have bred themselves to survive with massively mesomorphic body types; 5 feet tall and 5 feet wide; with heavy bone and dense muscles, Jinxians are stronger than most baseline Earth humans. Their skin is near-black no matter their ethnicity, to survive the local starlight.

    Jinx is where the age-dampening Boosterspice was invented, and one of the homeworlds of the Bandersnatch, a sapient giant slug that has agreed to be hunted for sport in exchange for buying human technology. Many Jinxians are scientists and researchers, and most are unrepentant punsters.
    ...And some give Beowulf Shaeffer no end of trouble.

  16. #46
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    I don't see any reason to rule out the various inhabitable versions of Venus and Mars etc. in stories, which are so far from "reality" as to be fictional planets. But if I had to visit any of them, it would be at a different and more comfortable time than during the events of their stories.

  17. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by agingjb View Post
    I don't see any reason to rule out the various inhabitable versions of Venus and Mars etc. in stories, which are so far from "reality" as to be fictional planets. But if I had to visit any of them, it would be at a different and more comfortable time than during the events of their stories.
    I'd vote Leigh Brackett's Mars over ERB's Barsoom. In fact, when I saw John Carter at the cinema, it simply reminded me that I didn't actually like the books very much.

  18. #48
    Anywhere but Hoth.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
    https://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  19. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley View Post
    I'd vote Leigh Brackett's Mars over ERB's Barsoom. In fact, when I saw John Carter at the cinema, it simply reminded me that I didn't actually like the books very much.
    Neither did I. But I must admit I DID like the lady playing Deja Thoris. One sexy, athletic little piece of...er..actress..ness. Rowrr Rowrr!

  20. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernDevo View Post
    After suporting Chuck; I would like to offer my own
    favourite world: The Lands of the True Game; by Sheri Tepper.

    In this world; Mankind have developed psychic and psionic abilities; rules were created to control their use. Over the ages the rules became all-powerful; persons of ability became 'pieces' in a vast game of power and politics; their skills regulated by the harsh reality of the True Game. Life is effectively a game of Chess.
    Until one lad - the protagonist, young son of Mavis Manyshaped, the greatest Shapeshifter alive (beautiful, powerful and firey; I've always pictured Mavis as Kate Mulgrew (chuckle)), learns the truth of the True Game and sets out to right it. An awesome trilogy; I highly recommend it.
    Totally agree, but it's so very hard to find.

  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by loglo View Post
    Totally agree, but it's so very hard to find.
    I have no trouble finding it, it's sitting on its shelf.
    Last edited by HenrikOlsen; 2014-Apr-09 at 12:32 PM. Reason: Doh!
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  22. #52
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    Coyote: not a planet per se, but rather a moon orbiting a gas giant planet of the star 47 Ursae Majoris. Overall pretty benign and ideal for colonization with a favorable climate, plenty of water, and few predators. Allen Steele has several novels set on Coyote dealing with leaving Earth, colonization, development, political autonomy, etc. There are also a few other novels set in the "Coyote universe" which I've enjoyed. I enjoy how Steele integrated political intrigue into the novels and some cautionary comments on certain methods of governance.

    And of course no favorite planet thread isn't complete without a mention of Risa: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Risa
    Last edited by redshifter; 2014-Apr-07 at 05:42 PM.

  23. #53
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    Barrayar, from Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga.
    As to describing the place? If you are unfamiliar with the books, here may be spoilers.

    A human interstellar colony that finds itself cut off from civilisation when the local wormhole collapses, and promptly descends into medieval feudalism, complete with a disgusting hereditary aristocracy, dung for dinner, and the relentless infanticide of anyone deemed to be a 'mutant'. Centuries later, their rediscovery means conquest and occupation by a brutal interstellar empire.
    The locals don't take kindly to this, and enthusiastically set about their Cetagandan overlords armed with little more than swords, garrottes and sharpened sticks. Unfortunately for the Cetagandans, the Barrayarans are very good at killing people- They've spent the previous three hundred years practicing on each other- And boot them off the planet after twenty-five years of bloody guerilla war that leaves significant chunks of the landscape aglow at night. The Cetagandans may have thermonuclear weapons, but every male Barrayaran over the age of eight resembles the lovechild of Miyamoto Musashi and Colonel Kurtz.

    A generation later, the Barrayarans have acquired galactic technology and use it to do unto their neighbours what the Cetagandans failed to do unto them. As a result, they are regarded by the rest of the civilised galaxy as the most violent maniacs in the wormhole nexus, and not without reason. This makes for uneasy astropolitical relations.
    Barrayar has gone from horses to starships in less than a century, yet still has the sociopolitical and economic structures of Earth's Middle Ages. Flying cars, computers and ground-to-orbit shuttles in the cities; poverty, peasantry and ignorance in the rural mountains (where children are still murdered for birth defects that could be fixed in a day at an urban clinic).
    But social change is happening, and the pace is accelerating, whether the Vor ruling class like it or not. A "closed caste of self-serving horse goons" are increasingly required to live up to their own propaganda, and serve, instead of rule.
    They're being prodded into reform, in part, by a woman from the outside universe who met and married one of the Vor (their romance kicked off with the most unusual first date in modern fiction): Cordelia Vorkosigan. They just haven't noticed yet. This in a society where women are traditionally treated marginally better than potted plants- As long as they keep pumping out defect-free babies. And then there is the small matter of her son: Miles.

    Barrayar is a fascinating place, but Bujold's characters are captivating; any planet inhabited by Cordelia, Miles-Either of him- And the rest of her cast is one worth visiting in imagination, many times over.
    It's in my top ten fictional planets; perhaps my top five. The books are wonderful. If you haven't read them; run, don't walk to the book shop.

  24. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernDevo View Post
    Neither did I. But I must admit I DID like the lady playing Deja Thoris. One sexy, athletic little piece of...er..actress..ness. Rowrr Rowrr!
    ...although the costuming was a major deviation from the book. Possibly the major deviation away from the book's text.
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  25. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley View Post
    I had heard of The Practice Effect but had no idea it was about that. It sounds fascinating. This is kind of the purpose of the thread.
    The plotting isn't the greatest and it can be a little slow in places, but the way the practice effect changes human culture is very interesting I find. And the clever use of the practice effect by the protagonist to get out of tough scrapes can be pretty amusing at times.
    "Back off man, I'm a Scientist!"- Peter Venkman, PhD in Psychology and Parapsychology

  26. #56
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    Glad someone reminded me of Tepper; her development of the planet Grass is something else. For those who've never read the series (I think it's a trilogy), it concerns a planet that's almost entirely steppe, ruled by vicious, telepathic, horse-like "hippae".

  27. #57
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    Well, terranova from Heavy Gears comes to mind; it is a very detailed world.

    The planet from Enemy Mine is pretty cool.

    The plant from Pitch-Black was interesting; eternal light (most of the time).

    Blue planet was interesting, but how could mammals form on a water-world?


    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    LV-426

    Primordial atmosphere, surreal architecture, free eggs.
    And free hugs! Face-hugs that is!

  28. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelAitch View Post
    Barrayar, from Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga.
    When I was doing book reviews for SFX magazine they gave me Mirror Dance to do. I'm not a huge fan of military SF, but I thought the book was very good. At the time I had been reading a lot of Doctor Who books, and listening to the audio plays, and I was getting very annoyed with the way absolutely everywhere had Earth-normal gravity - including derelict spaceships. So I found it refreshing that in Bujold's universe, starships had gravity generators but shuttles were too small to fit them - y'know, almost as if the author had actually bothered to think about her setting. There were quite a few lovely moments in the book, including the seemingly innocent sound of rain pattering on the window - and then you remember what you were told a couple of pages earlier!

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelAitch View Post
    The books are wonderful. If you haven't read them; run, don't walk to the book shop.
    Now that is so twentieth century!
    Last edited by Paul Beardsley; 2014-Apr-09 at 07:43 AM.

  29. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley View Post
    When I was doing book reviews for SFX magazine they gave me Mirror Dance to do. I'm not a huge fan of military SF, but I thought the book was very good.
    I tend not to read military SF very much, other than say, Haldeman or David Drake- and those books are not adventure novels; war is anything but an adventure. However, without giving too much away, Bujold's books often have a military setting; but they are not necessarily military SF ​per se. Although they are adventure novels- But there is much more to them than merely 'Horatio Hornblower in space'.
    Reviewing Mirror Dance; that can't have been easy (you were being tossed into an ongoing narrative quite a few books downstream from the beginning).

    Now that is so twentieth century!
    My range of pipe-smoking accessories and slide rules will soon hit the shops .

    Here's another: Egg, from Robert Forward's Dragon's Egg.
    Egg is a neutron star, with complex life living on its surface(derived from a speculative notion of Frank Drake's). Possibly one of the most extreme environments cooked up for a novel- The surface gravity, the intense magnetic field and the radiation from the star's crust. The inhabitants, their 'chemistry' and their psychology are brilliantly imagined and vividly drawn; the human expedition in orbit, less so. But a very good example of old-style Hard SF.

  30. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheOncomingStorm View Post
    Anywhere but Hoth.
    "Some like it Hoth."

    (Totally stolen from LOST)
    Solfe

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