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.


44

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 Orphans of the Sky. Main Character (Hugh) does go exploring the ship and finds many things, including the control deck. They have been traveling so long that they ...


40

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 ...


29

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 ...


26

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


19

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 short-lived large format magazine "Cosmos".


18

"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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


16

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 carry a genetic database of humans in an attempt to make sure that humanity survives even if WWIII kills everyone in Earth. WWIII does occur. The USA and other ...


16

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, clouted a guard, and damaged Luna City property." He looked grave. "You know, I don't like the sound of CB," he said. "I assume there was ...


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

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 Cypress Corners because he dared to challenge the Elders. And when he defied them again, they hunted him like an animal. Then Devon stumbled on a secret ...


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

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 ...


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

I remember many years ago starting a book at my school library I believe you're thinking of "Beachhead", a short story by Clifford D. Simak; originally published as "'You'll Never Go Home Again!'" in Fantastic Adventures, July 1951, available at the Internet Archive. The book you saw it in might have been the August Derleth anthology Beachheads in Space or ...


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 ...


13

While you've already accepted an answer, Damon Knight's The World and Thorinn also fits (and is an obscure favorite of mine). It follows a young boy named Thorinn, raised by what are essentially ogres in a world where the horizon curves up into the sky. After something happens to make their well go dry, they seal Thorinn (whose name means "flea" because his ...


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 ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible