I’m back with a Bookish Planet! It’s another (slightly less) busy week in the life of Shar, but what can you do. This was very fun to right, btw.
What is Bookish Planet?
It’s a sporadic feature on Virtually Read in which a particular trope setting is toured and we tell you all about it
and also make stuff up.
Space is the final frontier. It’s not an easy place to live, but if you’re clever, you can find life there, and precious resources
perfect for exploiting. What characterises space most is variety. Planets can be hot and deserty, humid and jungly, cold and rocky, smooth and icy, and any combination in between. Some have 2 suns, and some have 78.5 moons. Some are crowded with life, others are empty. They’re islands that can hold any of the surprise and adventure you like. Some planets host hi-tech cities, but some planets are wastelands. Whatever you like to do and see, you’ll find something perfect for you in space.
Like the planets, the people of space have tremendous variety. Sometimes there’s only humans, who sometimes all moved from earth, and sometimes turned up on many planets magically. Sometimes there are all sorts of mysterious aliens. There can be dangerous robots (crazy artificial intelligence is especially alarming *cough* AIDAN *cough*). Remember: living in space changes people. It can make them unrecognisable, greedy, or strangely shaped. And there are often major corporations and government alliances. They’re sneaky and exploitative, so you should always be on your guard. But in the midst of all this, people (and aliens) in space can show incredible generosity. They know what they’re doing: they’ve lived here for longer than you. Don’t assume you know better just because you have technology and knowledge they don’t.
Some people you may know in space are Winter and the Lunar Chronicles gang, Kady and Ezra, Lilac and Tarver, WALL.E and eva, Luke and Darth Vader and Princess Leia, and Amy and Eldest.
Travel to and around space isn’t easy. It often requires technology you haven’t heard of yet; massive spaceships, shuttles, etc. However you travel, listed to the driver of the ship. They totally know what they’re doing
most of the time *thorne*. Don’t agree to be cryogenically frozen and always stay mildly suspicious of all authority. Space is a big place, and you want to be sure you can make it home. Use maps and star-based navigation when you can.
Space became popular with the rise of the sic-fi genre, as space exploration (or at least, y’know, the moon) became a reality for humans. Authors tried to imagine what could drive people off our planet. By the way, this is all totally guessing but hey whatever I’m totally an expert on literary history.
Where to Visit
It depends on what you like! For those wanting to stay closer to home, the moon has the extravagance and luxury of any vibrant city, as well as some lucrative trading material. Those looking to go a bit farther afield? If you want solitude, get a spaceship to drop you off somewhere cold and icy with no valuable resources. If you want to experience strife and struggle of daily existence in space, find an outplanet far from the central system, but still in the grip of a greedy corporation, and if you’d like to go somewhere with a lot of culture, find a city
and forget about all the hardship that went into the wealth you’re appreciating.
The Lunar Chronicles, These Broken Stars, Across the Universe, Illuminae, Chaos Walking chronicles, Alienated, etc.
Special mention to: The Martian, Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy (which I still haven’t finished watching tbh), and WALL.E
What books (movies, tv shows) set in space do you like? Would you ever go there? What did I miss?