I read this sci-fi story at least 15 years ago. The story is about a far future utopia. There were two segments of people, technologically advanced people living in stations or ships, and not so advanced ones living on planets. The station/ship people were living a life of 1000 years, the reproduction is completely controlled and in vitro, the concepts of family, parents, siblings and such are long lost their meaning.

  • I’ve edited out the second story as questions should be focused to one work. Please ask the second identification question as a new question. Also should you remember anything else about the story, plot wise, please edit your question to add in information.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    May 11, 2020 at 20:49
  • You could improve this question by going through the checklists here and editing in any relevant info you can think to add.
    – Valorum
    May 11, 2020 at 20:51
  • What drove the plot, were there conflicts between the space-dwellers and the planet-dwellers?
    – DavidW
    May 11, 2020 at 20:57
  • possibly the same as scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/97099/…
    – Otis
    May 17, 2020 at 4:22

1 Answer 1


The question thus far is extremely light on plot details, but the dichotomy between long-lived space-dwellers and short-lived (and technologically less-advanced) planet dwellers makes me think of Between the Strokes of Night (1985) by Charles Sheffield.

It fits with the "hard SF" tag because there is no FTL in the universe; the space-dwellers' long life-spans is the only thing that enables a society to exist given the decades-long (or longer) time spans required for interstellar travel.

The novel opens with the initial expansion off of Earth and the investigation of hibernation as a means of surviving long space journeys. This leads to the discovery of a stable metabolic state that allows the perception of time at an extremely slow rate, and a concomitant extension of lifespan.

The story then skips thousands of years into the future and to a planetary society where high-scoring individuals are recruited into the space-dwelling society.

You can read more details in the plot synopsis on Wikipedia.

  • "Between the Strokes of Night" was my initial thoughts but I don't recall invitro fertilisation being a major plot point?
    – Alith
    May 11, 2020 at 21:52
  • @Alith In vitro per se was not, but it was a plot point that people living in the slow state couldn't have kids, so they needed another way to replenish their population. I figured this was very close and worth proposing as an answer.
    – DavidW
    May 11, 2020 at 22:41
  • you're right, I'd forgotten that was one of the problems with the slow state :)
    – Alith
    May 11, 2020 at 22:49

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