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79 votes

SciFi book, about a human colony on the moon. A central computer becomes sentient and forms an alliance or teams up with the main character

Maybe Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1966)? A computer technician, Mannie, discovers that the computer system he services has become sentient. He is called "Mike" (I don't ...
Basya's user avatar
  • 3,895
55 votes
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Colonists kill local creature, only to discover they were killing off immature monsters

If the monsters live in water and use a short-term metabolism boot to power their rampages, then it would be the 1987 Niven, Pournelle, Barnes collaboration The Legacy of Heorot. There is a sequel ...
dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten's user avatar
47 votes
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Young man discovers his home "world" is a spaceship

It's not an uncommon concept, and there are many stories that may fit it, but the simplest possibility that leaps to mind (being one of the earliest depictions of a generation ship) is Heinlein's ...
K-H-W's user avatar
  • 59.2k
31 votes

Looking for a 70s movie with a generation ship that had farming modules

I think this might be Silent Running. It's not quite the same (i.e. no Simon and Garfunkel) In the future, all plant life on Earth has become extinct. A few specimens have been preserved in ...
Machavity's user avatar
  • 52.2k
28 votes
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Old sci fi short story about weird acting rulers in a decrepit outpost and a lone bounty hunter that uncovers the truth, they are controlled by fungi

This sounds very like "Planet of the Damned" by Harry Harrison. This was published in Analog in 1961/62, as well as in book form. Read for free at Gutenberg.org. In this story, Brion Brandd ...
bob1's user avatar
  • 5,189
27 votes
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Story where humans use aliens as machinery

This is "The Last Castle" by Jack Vance. It features the engineered species utilized by the humans, which are fed on syrup in sacs. Some features you have mis-remembered, not all of the ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
25 votes

Colonization ship arrives to the planet to find it already colonized by a faster ship built after they departed

There are several such stories. The two I could trace (I vaguely remember two others, I think from the '70-'80s - one I'm almost sure was in a Gardner Dozois anthology): Far Centaurus by A. E. Van ...
LSerni's user avatar
  • 9,650
24 votes
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Ship's captain wakes colonist, turns out to be a convict working his sentence as a brain in a jar

This would be The Fiend by Frederik Pohl. The plot is more or less exactly as you describe it. Dandish, the captain and sole crewmember of a nameless starship carrying 700 frozen colonists, has spent ...
Miles9's user avatar
  • 356
23 votes
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Military commander tries to sabotage nascent asteroid belt colony

This is "Industrial Revolution" by Winston P. Sanders (a pseudonym of Poul Anderson.) It appeared in thee September 1963 Analog (one of the large-size issues). It seems to be a good match ...
Mark Olson's user avatar
23 votes
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Planet is settled by people who want to recreate their ancestors' African society. A very intelligent girl is not allowed to learn to read and write

It's by Michael Resnick, it's "For I Have Touched the Sky" the second of the Kirinyaga stories, it takes place on a satellite not a planet, but they are recreating, as best they can, the ...
Mary's user avatar
  • 4,619
22 votes
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Brain ship decides to restart the human race

"Mr. Spaceship" by Philip K. Dick The story is set in the distant future, where humanity is at war with "Yuks", an alien life form which does not use mechanical spaceships nor ...
FuzzyBoots's user avatar
  • 231k
21 votes
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Short story about alien creatures fleeing their home planet to terraform another

This sounds very much like "The Keys to December", a short story by Roger Zelazny. The alien race are genetically engineered humans that resemble ocelots. The protagonist, Jarry (so, close ...
Clara Díaz Sanchez's user avatar
20 votes

Short story about a generation ship designed to seed a planet with bacteria and kill the humans on board

"The Dirt On Our Shoes" "The Dirt On Our Shoes" by Neal Shusterman was first published in Guys Read: Other Worlds, an anthology of science fiction stories published with the aim of getting boys ...
Adamant's user avatar
  • 117k
20 votes

Colonists kill local creature, only to discover they were killing off immature monsters

I think this is the first book in the Herot series by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and Steven Barnes, as mentioned in the comments by Seeds. Here is a link to the plot The Legacy of Herot
sfhq_sf's user avatar
  • 5,744
20 votes
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Story on a planet with very long seasons from the 80s or earlier

George RR Martin "Bitterblooms" It's part of his Thousand Worlds series. You have described it very well (after a re-read, noted that protagonist was female). I remember reading it in the ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
19 votes
Accepted

Story with a colonization ship that awakens embryos too early

I remembered wrong about the author and how old the story was. Sorry about that. I found it and it's "Half Way Home" by Hugh Howey. A summary here : The expense of sending generations of ...
ChatterOne's user avatar
17 votes

Young man discovers his home "world" is a spaceship

It could also be Phoenix Without Ashes by Harlan Ellison and Edward Bryant, the basis for the ill-fated TV show The Starlost. It was published in 1975. They had banished Devon from the world of ...
Mike Scott's user avatar
  • 62.4k
17 votes
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A novel where contract breach is worse than femicide, from the 70’s or earlier

Of course this is The Space Merchants by Pohl and Kornbluth: "Please, later ... I'm wanted for femicide and CB on Earth. Here I'm a suspicious character without clearance. Also I resisted arrest,...
Dragan Milosevic's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

Sci-fi short story about a human ship discovering a lost colony of genetically modified humans who find pleasure in self-sacrifice

This might be Three Bodies at Mitanni by Seth Dickinson. It was written in 2015 and has been published in several anthologies. It is set in a future after seedships had been sent out from Earth to ...
John Rennie's user avatar
16 votes
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Looking for title about a ship that seeds planets and then monitors them

This reminded me immediately of a book my son told me about, John Brunner's "A Maze of Stars". I haven't read it myself but online reviews do sound like it might be it: A slow but ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

Science Fiction Book - lost colony from Earth where education and intelligence are a form of currency

You may be thinking of Voyage from Yesteryear, by James P. Hogan. Plot summary, per Wikipedia: The story opens early in the 21st century, as an automated space probe is being prepared for a mission ...
Jeff Zeitlin's user avatar
  • 8,052
16 votes
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Book: Crash landed Colony ship, when night falls something makes colonists feral

From the sparse details it sounds vaguely like Darkover Landfall by Marion Zimmer Bradley. A colony ship goes off course and crashes on an unknown planet. There is some sort of hallucinogenic pollen ...
Winchell Chung's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

Book series with a double planet system and poisonous bubbles that float around

The Ragged Astronauts (1986) - part one of the Land and Overland trilogy by Bob Shaw. From Google Books: The first in a three-book series, The Ragged Astronauts introduces the twin worlds of Land ...
Happy Robot's user avatar
  • 3,149
16 votes

Science fiction book about a generation ship sent to seed or colonize a planet

From your short description, it could be "Voyage from Yesteryear" by James P. Hogan. World War III is about to break out, so a planned automated probe to be sent to Alpha Centauri is modified to ...
JRE's user avatar
  • 18k
16 votes
Accepted

Looking for a coffee table book with speculative essay by Isaac Asimov about asteroid settlements dispersing slowly through the universe

This sounds very much like Asimov's essay There's No Place Like Spome, where "spome" is a portmanteau word between "space and "home". The essay dealt with how a race can ...
Clara Díaz Sanchez's user avatar
16 votes

Old sci-fi episode/movie: man on a spaceship replaced his dead wife and kids with robot replicas

The Long Years (1990) from "The Ray Bradbury Theater". From this IMDb review: Earth sends a mission to Mars to pick up, and return to the Earth, a family of pioneers. The head of the ...
Jenayah's user avatar
  • 57.9k
15 votes
Accepted

Seeking a pair of stories about an idealist who discovers that winning a revolution doesn't change the stark economic facts

Sounds like "The Right to Revolt" and "The Right to Resist", short stories by Keith Laumer; first published (together) in If, May-June 1971, which is available at the Internet ...
user14111's user avatar
  • 167k
15 votes
Accepted

Linked novellas where humans are engineered to adapt to a variety of environments

I'm pretty sure that the "core" story was Surface Tension by James Blish. I don't have the "expanded version" to refer to, but the core story was published in 1952. The story "Surface Tension" ...
Emsley Wyatt's user avatar
  • 9,295
15 votes

Trilogy in the 80’s about space travel to another world

This is presumably the Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson, published over the years from 1992 to 1996. It fits the general description, with thick novels, mostly read in ...
Buzz's user avatar
  • 98.6k
15 votes
Accepted

Novel with a modified space shuttle seeding a colony on another planet

Could be Titan by Stephen Baxter Plot summary The dream begins with a disaster. Given the task of dismantling NASA's aging shuttle program after a horrifying re-entry crash, Paula Benecerraf comes ...
Yaroslav  Kornachevskyi's user avatar

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