54

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 from 1995 Beowolf's Children.


39

Sounds like Larry Niven's A Gift From Earth, part of the Known Space series. The planet is called Plateau, and the mountain was Mount Lookitthat (Look at that!), a 40 mile high mesa. The rest of the planet is covered by a hot, dense atmosphere (Wikipedia describes it as Venusian). The society was somewhat feudal, divided into Crew (the nobility) and ...


30

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 enormous, greenhouse-like geodesic domes attached to a fleet of American Airlines space freighters, currently just outside the orbit of Saturn. Freeman Lowell (Bruce ...


25

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 Vogt (1944), in which the colonists find they are actually repulsive to their descendants. On the Shoulders of Giants by Robert J. Sawyer (2000) ("After 1200 ...


24

In Foundation and Earth, Golan Trevize states that there is an issue with attempting intergalactic travel. He mentions in particular that all attempts to travel even between the Milky Way and our closest galactic neighbour (the two Magellanic Clouds) have met with total failure. He posits that a race that has completely dominated their own galaxy may have ...


24

This is Peter F. Hamilton's Commonwealth Saga. The bit with the college students opening a portal to Mars is the opening scenes of the novel Pandora's Star. The book opens with a short section providing backstory. As part of the first mission to Mars, a team of astronauts exits their spacecraft for the first time, only to see another man standing ...


20

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


19

This may be A Gift From Earth by Larry Niven. Niven's book is set in his Known Space time-line early in humanities interstellar adventures when long life is achieved through organ transplantation. The plot revolves around a conspiracy to overthrow the ruling class (decended from the slowboat's crew) and the big risk to the protagonist is being captured and ...


17

While it is earlier than your described 2005-2008 timeframe, there is a book published in 1999 by Stephen Gould entitled "Helm" (It's entirely possible it could have just been mis-shelved by a patron). The TV Tropes website gives this synopsis: Shortly after the conclusion of a war that destroyed the Earth, rendering it uninhabitable for generations, the ...


17

"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 interested in reading. The story features a small human population that lives in a cylindrical spaceship. The spaceship contains a large farm: For his entire ...


16

There are certainly technological issues at work here. However, I suggest that those issues only exist because the robots have thus far suppressed any technology that would solve them. See Richard's quote from Foundation's Edge. It speaks directly about threats from intergalactic civilizations. Also in Foundation's Edge, we learn that the robots, Daneel ...


16

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 interesting book about a colonization ship seeding humanity throughout the galaxy..or rather revisiting these planets at a point 500 years from the start of the work. ...


16

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 to explore habitable exoplanets in the Alpha Centauri system. However, Earth appears destined for a global war which the probe designers fear that humanity may ...


16

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 and Overland, which orbit only a few thousand miles apart and share a common atmosphere. From Wikipedia: Land is a strictly feudal society that undergoes a ...


15

Just spent some time perusing early sci-fi on Wikipedia and heres some really interesting stories that caught my eye, also I just finished watching Cosmos again so everything will be painted by Carl Sagan influences. If you want to go way back you could say that the Mahabharatha (400 BCE) was one of the first to see humans (King Ravti) depart the earth to ...


15

In a piece originally written on GEnie and archived on the excellent Lurker's Guide website, J. Michael Straczynski describes the station as being; "...patterned physically after the work of such scientists as Gerard K. O'Neill" with the central core of the station containing a "hollow-world look, with fields and hydroponic gardens along the 360-...


15

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 that cause the colonists to engage in totally uninhibited behavior, including murder and orgies.


15

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" does talk about the miniaturized people making their way from one puddle to another in an allegory of crossing through space. Here's a site with more info on the ...


14

David Weber's Safehold Series sounds like a match: For centuries, the world of Safehold, last redoubt of the human race, lay under the unchallenged rule of the Church of God Awaiting. The Church permitted nothing new—no new inventions, no new understandings of the world. What no one knew was that the Church was an elaborate fraud—a high-tech ...


14

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 Archive; reprinted in The Best from If, Volume I and American Government Through Science Fiction (Patricia Warrick, Martin H. Greenberg, and Joseph D. Olander, eds.) Here is a capsule ...


13

It's "Reunion", by Arthur C. Clarke. It's a message from the descendants of the original colonisers of planet Earth. People of Earth, do not be afraid. We come in peace — and why not? For we are your cousins; we have been here before. They describe how the colonists became ill with a disfiguring disease, that caused strife between the victims of ...


13

"Mother Earth" by Isaac Asimov, first published in Astounding Science Fiction, May 1949, available at the Internet Archive. Here is a plot summary from Wikipedia (emphasis added): Earth faces a confrontation with its colonies, the "Outer Worlds." A historian looks back and sees the problem beginning a century-and-a-half earlier, when Aurora got permission ...


13

There is this short story, "The Long and Short of It" by JD Kennedy, on 365 Tomorrows, where the (recently awakened) captain of a sleeper ship is welcomed by his great grandson: “Yes, sir. We are an advance team on New Terra. You see, 40 years after you left, we discovered the secret to faster-than-light travel. It took many more years to build a manned ...


13

It's a bit of a long shot but is this Silent Running? It doesn't match a lot of the criteria. It isn't a generation ship, but it is set entirely on a spaceship, the Valley Forge, a converted aircraft carrier which houses the last of Earth's forests. Through various plot incidents the ship does end up with only one of it's crew left on it. And there are ...


12

Olaf Stapledon's Last and First Men was published in 1930 and has various descendant species of humanity hopping around the solar system (to Venus and later Neptune) as conditions change. In best colonial style, the previous inhabitants of Venus are wiped out in the process, although the colonising "Fifth Men" may not quite meet your criteria for "human": ...


12

The short story "Beside Still Waters" by Robert Sheckley matches your description. Mark Rogers was a prospector, and he went to the asteroid belt looking for radioactives and rare metals. He searched for years, never finding much, hopping from fragment to fragment. After a time he settled on a slab of rock half a mile thick. And the end (Charles is the ...


12

These are the Commonwealth books by Peter F Hamilton. The first book, Pandora's Star, opens with the first manned landing on Mars. As the team plant the flag, another voice comes over their radios. They look around, and see a guy in a homemade spacesuit standing near a wormhole to a university lab. Story then jumps a couple of centuries, to the ...


11

The Shoulders of Giants, by Robert J. Sawyer? You can read it here: http://www.sfwriter.com/stshould.htm But with twelve hundred years, faster spaceships would doubtless had been developed. While the colonists aboard the Pioneer Spirit had slept, some dreaming at an indolent pace, other ships had zipped past them, arriving at Tau Ceti decades, if not ...


11

I'll offer a (weak) guess based on the fact that you mention Heinlein specifically and no other answers have been commented on/accepted. Could it be Time for the Stars? While the main plot is really different from what you are describing, I feel it's worth mentioning. ... has built a dozen exploratory torchships to search for habitable planets to ...


11

This is the wonderful novel Monument by Lloyd Biggle. After the natives succeed in retaining control of the planet, some of the invaders discuss how the unknown mentor saved the natives, and how it's kind of sad that he is unknown. Unbeknowst to them though, the natives have re-named the planet after him, hence the title. http://garthright.blogspot.com/...


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