Trying to find this novel I've read a few years back. The story revolves around humans exploring an object entering the solar system only to be stranded on it as it goes into FTL. They adapt and flourish only to later find out that they were brought into a sort of galactic zoo where all other alien races are kept. These humans later find out about their legacy and because of relativity, the home they left behind has evolved into a highly advanced society with nanotechnology only to find out that the human race was already extinct but not before they launched millions of probes that will unlock all of that advanced technology when it comes into contact with the genetic marker of the descendants of the protagonist in the story. Any ideas?

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    Certain aspects of that sound like the Rama series by Arthur C. Clarke. It's been too long and I never read far enough to say how closely it tracks, though. – gowenfawr Nov 23 '14 at 18:50

Sounds like "Pushing Ice" by Alastair Reynolds, except that the object did not suddenly enter the solar system - instead is was there all along in the disguise of Saturns moon Janus.

The book start with advanced humanities plan to send out the probes as anniversary celebration of the event that started civilization as they know it; they decide the best way to celebrate is to help the "benefactor" Bella Lind (the captain of the ship that was sent out to chase Janus) by sending their combined knowledge after her (Lind and her crew are supposedly still alive due to relativistic effect/time dilation).

  • No it's neither Pushing Ice nor one of the Rama books; I've read both books though, good ones too. – nOy Nov 24 '14 at 18:54

Sorry to not positively nail the correct answer but this sounds like one of Frederik Pohl's Heechee novels.

Hopefully this will be the firefly that illuminates the light switch for you.

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    Out of the 5 novels and literally dozens of smaller stories, can you pin it down further? – Valorum Nov 27 '14 at 17:48
  • Flagged as NaA (in the 'should rather be a comment' sense) since it appears to point towards a direction (by providing an author and a -wide- series), but does not specify a particular title which would fit the question. – Jenayah Aug 24 '18 at 16:34

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