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82 votes

Sol Ⅲ = Earth: What is the origin of this planetary naming scheme?

The naming convention has been in common usage forever in science fiction. E.E. Smith from the first Galactic Patrol serial in 1937 referred to planets such as Velantia III, Rigel IV, and Palain VII, ...
Keith Morrison's user avatar
43 votes
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Why the "Class M" label?

Because of the Vulcans In Enterprise, they use a different name: Minshara-class. 1 I would assume that over time, this was shortened to just M. So that would explain why it's an M, which is smack-dab ...
Mithical's user avatar
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41 votes
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Two men are guests on a planet terraformed some generations ago. All earth livestock died. Local animals cannot be eaten. Served meat in a meal

I'm guessing Disqualified by Charles L Fontenay It's only a couple of pages long so I've copied the entire story from Project Gutenberg:- After the morning inspection tour, Tardo, the Solar Council's ...
Danny Mc G's user avatar
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30 votes
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Does the Disney canon of Star Wars include any multiple-biome planets?

Ryloth seems a pretty good fit. It has a wide range of 'biomes' seen in the canon Clone Wars series including some rugged mountain areas seemingly devoid of life as well as jungles. TERRAIN: Jungles, ...
Valorum's user avatar
  • 702k
29 votes

Why the "Class M" label?

In-universe there appear to be a wide selection of planetary types (see below for a general list). They range from those that are deeply hostile to human life at one end of the spectrum to those that ...
Valorum's user avatar
  • 702k
28 votes

Sol Ⅲ = Earth: What is the origin of this planetary naming scheme?

This is a naming scheme that has been used for moons since they were discovered. For example, since their discovery all the way to the 20th century, Jupiter's moons were known simply as Jupiter I, ...
Luaan's user avatar
  • 1,175
28 votes
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Short science fiction story. Human worker in peril on a planet. Surface is covered in shallow water. If he becomes exhausted and lies down, will drown

That's Robert Heinlein's Logic of Empire and it was Venus. The older clients told grim stories of men who had stood in eighteen inches of water for twenty-four, forty-eight, seventy-two hours, and ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
25 votes

Why the "Class M" label?

Out of universe, the designation of "Class M" was probably based on the real-life system of Stellar Classification, which describes stars. This system consists of a seemingly rather random set of ...
Werrf's user avatar
  • 16k
22 votes

Does the Disney canon of Star Wars include any multiple-biome planets?

Naboo I know that you disqualified Naboo already, but I think that you failed to consider that we know that Naboo has large marshy forests (where the Jedi first met Jar Jar), and it also has large ...
Arcanist Lupus's user avatar
20 votes
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Which celestial bodies in the Sol system have been colonised by TNG era?

I did a google search restricted to "site:chakoteya.net" (a site with transcripts of every Trek episode) along with searching for each planet, I found the following: Mercury: No scripts suggesting ...
Hypnosifl's user avatar
  • 57k
18 votes
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What was the first instance of a "planet eater" in sci-fi?

1948: "Thang", a short short story (about one page) by Martin Gardner. According to Contento it was first published in the Fall 1948 issue of something called Comment. The earth had ...
user14111's user avatar
  • 167k
18 votes
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Planet with no star. Human society descended from two people trapped there. A female cop and the criminal she was chasing

Dark Eden by Chris Beckett. The novel begins about 160 years after two human beings, Angela and Tommy, are stranded on Eden. Their three companions—Mehmet, Michael, and Dixon—have left in a damaged ...
John Rennie's user avatar
17 votes
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Trying to find a book about an extraordinary elevator

That is most likely Arthur C. Clarke's The Fountains of Paradise. The engineer is Dr Vannevar Morgan, who wants to construct a space elevator, an elevator that stretches out into space. This elevator ...
SQB's user avatar
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17 votes

Old short SF story in which people are sent to live in secret within societies on other planets, in order to maintain good interplanetary relations

I think this is a slight misremembering of Ted Reynolds' story "Trial Sample", from Asimov's magazine in June 1981 - it's available here In this story, as a prelude to opening up full trade ...
Andrew's user avatar
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16 votes
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Short story. If I were a M........... The word begining M is an alien race on a planet where a few humans are living too

If You Was a Moklin by Murray Leinster. Published in 1951 so it is indeed an old story. I read it in his anthology First Contacts. The authority from Earth is Inspector Caldwell. At one point the ...
John Rennie's user avatar
15 votes
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1960's-1970's (possibly older) sci-fi story about a man stuck on an inhabited planet with a twist

This is Fredric Brown's Something Green. Here's a blog post about the story. The story was about a man who crashed on a uninhabited planet and was wandering around for few years looking for another ...
Andrew's user avatar
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15 votes

Sci-Fi novel where explorers from Earth visited 3 planets

You are probably looking for the novel The Great Explosion, by Eric Frank Russell. Published in 1962, the three-part novel's final section is based on Russell's 1951 short story, "...And Then ...
Stanley Webb's user avatar
  • 7,568
14 votes
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YA book. Planet in our solar system. Two teenagers sealed in a plant with flashlight. Oxygen from photosynthesis saves their lives

Red Planet by Robert Heinlein When Jim and Frank sneak into Howe's office and rescue Willis, the bouncer repeats two overheard conversations between Howe and Beecher, the unscrupulous colonial ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 52.2k
13 votes
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Is there blood on the planet Crait?

The film's Visual Dictionary identifies the red stuff under the salt as crystalline rhodochrosite, the entire reason for there to have been a mining base emplaced there in the first place. DESOLATE ...
Valorum's user avatar
  • 702k
13 votes
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Tourist on alien planet. Has human guide. Worries intelligent aliens will eat him..Shocked guide explains they would never eat a human during the day

I think that it might be a scene in Robert A. Heinlein's Starman Jones (1953). The protagonist is a teenage crew member on an interstellar space liner. He takes part in a tour on a planet they visit. ...
M. A. Golding's user avatar
11 votes

How is Qresh capable of supporting human life?

The moons may not be Earth-sized, or have an Earth-like density As it happens, someone has looked into this exact question (among many others). All quotes are from that article unless otherwise noted....
Adamant's user avatar
  • 117k
11 votes

First named, colonized planet in a science fiction story

1900: In The Struggle for Empire, by Robert William Cole, Iosia is a planet of an unnamed star somewhat more distant than Sirius: For a long time past, a band of adventurers had been colonizing a ...
DavidW's user avatar
  • 135k
11 votes
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Short Story or Novella. Two human boys amongst the first born on the planet in our solar system. Drive a heavy vehicle across planet in an emergeny

I think this is Kage Baker's "Where the Golden Apples Grow", a novella published at least in her collection Maelstrom and Other Martian Tales. It shares a world with the novella, later ...
Peter DeGlopper's user avatar
10 votes

Name of a book where humans land on a planet getting trapped and have to reinvent rocketry

"Star Ship", not a novel, a novelette by Poul Anderson, in his Psychotechnic League series; first published in Planet Stories, Fall 1950, which you can read for free at the Internet Archive. ...
user14111's user avatar
  • 167k
10 votes

What was the first instance of a "planet eater" in sci-fi?

Can metaphors be science fiction? I'm not sure when the earliest example of such imagery comes from, but many alchemical texts use the symbolism of a green lion eating the sun (and the sun seems to ...
Laurel's user avatar
  • 23k
10 votes

Know a short story (Heinlein?) about a man constantly fighting alien life forms, realizing at the end that they're projections of his own feelings?

Deathworld 1 Although it’s by Harrison not Heinlein. The details are not a precise match: the main protagonist is an outsider not a colonist it’s not “all him”, it’s all the colonists the realisation ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 5,025
10 votes

What planet was the Doctor really from?

In the Classic Doctor Who canon the Doctor was a Gallifreyan - albeit born near Karn. Personally, I always assumed that meant on a spaceship. Karn as in the Witches of Karn which is a Gallifreyan ...
lucasbachmann's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Novel or short story. A planet is settled by Irish Catholics. Snakes are important part of ecosystem here. Change StPatrick and snakes story

"Attention Saint Patrick" by Murray Leinster (ISFDB entry), first published in 1960 From this review: On the planet Eire, metal-eating creatures called dinies have all but destroyed homes, ...
FuzzyBoots's user avatar
  • 231k
10 votes
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Long isolated human colony. People live in trees and have changed a lot. A 'pursemaker' is in danger, he is on trial for heresy

James Blish's "The Thing in the Attic" Honath the Pursemaker is a heretic. He doesn’t believe the stories in the Book of Laws which claims giants created his tree-dwelling race. He makes ...
FuzzyBoots's user avatar
  • 231k
9 votes

Does the Disney canon of Star Wars include any multiple-biome planets?

I think Parnassoss, Phasma's homeworld. We start the book in the coastal area where the Skyre Clan leaves, we see the grassy plains where the Claw clan lives, the desert, the enclosed cities. It's a ...
Scott.Bell's user avatar

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