167

I will begin this by stating that I am a PhD Student in potato post-harvest physiology and the sprouting of potatoes is an aspect that many people that work with this crop find very important. It is certainly feasible that the potatoes, if refrigerated, would be able to sprout after several months. Some potatoes, including modern varieties, are able to ...


95

Crichton used both imperial and metric, depending on the context. In the course of one paragraph in The Sphere, he managed to use both! "Pacific coral grows two-and-a-half centimeters a year, and the object-- whatever it is-- is covered in about five meters of coral. That's a lot of coral. Of course, coral doesn't grow at a depth of a thousand feet,...


55

From the book: I am one lucky son of a bitch they aren’t freeze-dried or mulched. Why did NASA send twelve whole potatoes, refrigerated but not frozen? And why send them along with us as in-pressure cargo rather than in a crate with the rest of the Hab supplies? Because Thanksgiving was going to happen while we were doing surface operations, and ...


55

Are you thinking of A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle? It follows Meg Murry, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O'Keefe who are transported via tesseract by Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who, and Mrs Which.


45

"The Gods Themselves" by Isaac Asimov. Quoting Wikipedia's summary: The main plot-line is a project by aliens who inhabit a parallel universe (the para-Universe) with different physical laws from this one. By exchanging matter with Earth, they seek to exploit these differences in physical laws. The exchange of matter provides an alternative source ...


45

This is Robert A. Heinlein's "Gentlemen, Be Seated". It's a point for point match to the description. (So far, I haven't found an online version to point to, though Wikipedia does confirm.) ISFDB provides a number of places it appears. It first appeared in Argosy Magazine, May 1948.


44

This sound like 'The Forever War' by Joe Haldeman. Humanity is fighting a war against a race called the Taurans and for their first battle the human troops are given a post-hypnotic suggestion, the 'false memories' in the question. At the end of the war the last returning soldiers find that humanity on Earth at least are all clones. Also that the war was a ...


39

Sounds like Poul Anderson's novel Tau Zero. (A shorter version was serialized in Galaxy Magazine as the novella "To Outlive Eternity".) Here is a plot description from Wikipedia: Tau Zero follows the crew of the starship Leonora Christine, a colonization vessel crewed by 25 men and 25 women aiming to reach a distant star system. The ship is powered by a ...


37

American scientist here. US Standard units are quite common here. Many of us tend to use Standard for casual things but use Metric for work. However, that is not always an option. Some fields, like electrical engineering, still use older units like mils (1/1,000th of an inch) and many who work for either government or industry are more or less required to ...


35

Coding Machines, by Lawrence Kesteloot (January 2009), you're welcome :D It really is an amazing story - best thing I have ever read in this vein.


33

Cosm, a 1998 novel by Gregory Benford. is at least a partial match. As I recall, the main character is a black woman physicist, working at a collider, who accidentally creates a universe, sneaks it out of the lab and takes it home with her. I don't recall the part about her making more universes, but then I don't think I read the whole book. I'll see if I ...


30

Probably Hexanerax 2 in Childhood's End by Arthur C Clarke, given that Robert L Forwards's Dragon's Egg is a neutron star not a planet. Here's how it is described: The planet was absolutely flat. Its enormous gravity had long ago crushed into one uniform level the mountains of its fiery youth--mountains whose mightiest peaks had never exceeded a few ...


28

This might be very well one of the Brain&Brawn series (by Anne McCaffrey et.al.). I have just read the first (and most famous) installement The Ship who Sang. The "brain" in the series name refers to a human brain (I think in the series it's mostly girls/womens brains) that command a starhip, the "brawn" is a crewmember/companion who does the things ...


28

This sounds like Down Under Crater Billy by Stephen Burns, published in the January 1995 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact. You can read the full story here, but here's a brief excerpt: Being abnotechs means that through no fault of our own, each one of us has an innate negative effect on mechanical, electrical, electronic, cybernetic and nanotic ...


27

I'm looking for a story that was probably written somewhere from the 1940s to the 1960s. "Turning Point", a short story by Poul Anderson; you can read it at The Drabblecast. The extracts below are from the original publication in If, May 1963, where it is illustrated on the cover (however, the little alien girl is described in the story as having "long ...


25

This sounds like Brightness Reef by David Brin. The planet Jijo is a fallow world, so colonies are not permitted, but members of several (6) different species have illegally/covertly settled anyway. (For various reasons; some to get away from aspects of galactic civilization they don't like, the humans to try to keep a remnant of the race alive if the ...


25

This is The Girl had Guts by Theodore Sturgeon. And at last we could discard the fifty or sixty theories that had been formed and decide on one: That the primates of Mullygantz II had the ability, like a terran sea cucumber, of ejecting their internal organs when frightened, and of growing a new set,.... The only problem that remained was to ...


24

The story is What Did Tessimond Tell You by Adam Roberts. I read it in the Solaris Rising 1.5 ebook. The story starts: THE NOBEL WAS in the bag, and we were only a fortnight from our public announcement, when Niu Jian told he was quitting. I assumed it was a joke. But Niu Jian had never been a practical joker; and of course he wasn’t kidding now. The ...


22

It's been quite a while since I read Jerry Pournelle's novel King David's Spaceship, but there are several points of match here. The space craft in question ends up being powered by the successive concussion of conventional explosives rather than a conventional rocket. Takes place in the same universe as A Mote In God's Eye and the War World books.


22

This is A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle. It's the first of a series called Time Quintet: A Wrinkle in Time (1962) A Wind in the Door (1973) A Swiftly Tilting Planet (1978) Many Waters (1986) An Acceptable Time (1989)


21

I'll venture that the winner is none other than our old favourite; Krypton. Without focusing on specific numbers, the surface gravity on Krypton would have to be tens of thousands of times heavier than Earth to meet the description below. Bronze-age Superman writer Elliott S Maggin (formerly Senior Writer for DC comics) described Krypton as a "failed star" ...


21

This is "Swarm" by Bruce Sterling, a story set in the Schismatrix universe. It was published first in 1982, in the April edition of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Captain-Doctor Simon Afriel, a shaper (one of the two factions in the Schismatrix universe, the other being the mechanists) arrives on an asteroid, where another shaper, Galina ...


21

This could be the Tom Swift Jr. series written by victor Appleton visit https://www.tomswift.info/homepage/index.html


21

Stone (2002) by Adam Roberts. The plot summary matches your description: Murder convict imprisoned within the plasma of a sun. Society where murder is rare. Convict is broken out of prison, implanted with an AI, and sent on on mission to kill. Ae has been imprisoned for a crime rarely committed in the society he lives in: murder (mainly due to the ...


19

"Mars Is Heaven!" by Ray Bradbury (The Martian Chronicles, Third Expedition). It was adapted several times, including as an episode of "Ray Bradbury Theater" (July 20, 1990). Here it is on Youtube, just as you remember, but in color.


19

Although I can't find the cover you mention, I think this is the Jack Vance novel The Blue World, first published in 1966. The Wikipedia plot summary matches the features you give: Sklar Hast, the protagonist, had achieved a measure of success and prosperity by passing his examination to be a “Hoodwink”, or semaphore tower operator – a prestigious ...


18

That's AMEE from 'Red Planet' Here are some screen grabs showing demo where AMEE is handed a marker and put in Military Mode.


18

I remember seeing a cover on a paperback book by Andre Norton with a boy riding a device like a surfboard flying in the air. I don't remember if there was a tower or a "terror dactyl" on the cover. If my memory is correct I probably saw the cover in the 1960s so a book or edition published after 1970 would probably not be the one I remember. ...


17

I think I found it, though the original author remains anonymous, and even the title is a mystery, as it is referred to as"The Gift of Mercy" or "We Know You Are Out There" and even "We Made a Mistake". It's origins are mysterious, but it's been posted on many message boards and creepypasta sites. As far as I can discern from discussions about the story, ...


16

This is Neal Stephenson's Seveneves - all quotes here are from the first 35 pages; pages 3-108 are available on Amazon as a free sampler. It made Time's "Top 10 Fiction Books of 2015". It takes place within our current time frame The exact start date is not laid out in our year format: The moon blew up without warning and for no apparent reason. It ...


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