70

It was handwaved. “In the book they have this really thin, light, flexible material that blocks all radiation,” says Andy Weir, author of the book The Martian on which the film was based. “There’s nothing even remotely like that in the real world. That was the magic I gave him so the story would progress. Otherwise Mark would have different kinds of ...


66

This sounds like the short story "At the Core" by Larry Niven. Four years after the events in the other short story "Neutron Star", spaceship pilot Beowulf Shaeffer is on Jinx, a planet orbiting Sirius B, when he is again contacted by the Puppeteers, this time by the Regional President of General Products on Jinx, who offers him a chance ...


65

This is explained in the novel 2010: Odyssey Two. Jupiter's mass hasn't changed. It follows that there's no need to reconfigure the solar system to accommodate it: Do you have any idea what happened?’ ‘Only that Jupiter’s turned into a sun.’ ‘I always thought it was much too small for that. Didn’t someone once call Jupiter “the sun that failed”?’ ‘...


49

He would die with that kind of protection. There were some inaccuracies in the book and the plot. But it was a great book anyway. That list of doom: 1. Atmosphere On a reddit Q&A, one fan asked Weir if such withering storms were possible on Mars. Weir's answer: "No. Mars’s atmosphere is too thin. This was a deliberate concession to drama that I ...


47

The story you’re thinking of is “Cascade Point”, a 1983 novella by Timothy Zahn. It appeared in a collection of his other stories, Cascade Point and Other Stories. I can’t find any synopsis on-line, and I have hardcopy at home, not here, but what I recall matches your (few) details exactly. Additional details that may be helpful to ...


45

"Before Eden", a short story by Arthur C. Clarke; first published in Amazing Stories, June 1961, available at the Internet Archive. There are three astronauts, not two. The planet is Venus: Yet for all this, it was a miracle—the first free water that men had ever found on Venus. Hutchins was already on his knees, almost in an attitude of prayer. But he ...


35

I meant to suggest that Ilmatar has been visited before, presumably by some spacefaring civilization unknown to either humans or Sholen. But if the story you make up in your head is better than mine, then go with that one!


34

This is Iain M Banks' short story Descendant, published in his collection The State of the Art.


32

This is probably "A Walk in the Sun" by Geoffrey A. Landis. But it's the Moon. Here's what Wikipedia says about it: The story follows Trish, the final survivor of a terrible crash landing on the Moon. After regaining her senses, she contacts Earth and learns that it will be thirty days before a rescue mission can reach her. In the meantime, she ...


31

This description sounds like James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon)'s 1981 novella "With Delicate Mad Hands", although lacking some major details. The protagonist of the story is a young, unattractive orphan who is "an expert at being unloved". Since childhood she has heard a "Voice" that she believes comes from space, telling her to "Come". She works hard to ...


28

This is Omega Men #26: "Brief Lives" written by Alan Moore and drawn by Kevin O'Neill. and the ending


27

I meant catastrophic in the sense that the orbits would be thrown into chaos. Everything would want to orbit both the sun and the new star No, they wouldn't. Planets orbit a star because the star is much bigger, not because it is a star. Replace our sun with 2^30 kg of caramel pudding and absolutely nothing will change (other than getting colder). Jupiter ...


25

I've been trying to find a certain "golden age" short sci-fi story "Avoidance Situation" by James V. McConnell, first published in If, February 1956, which is available at the Internet Archive. The anthology you read it in must have been Starships, edited by Asimov, Greenberg, and Waugh. alien scoutship pilot is very matter-of-fact of "Oh yes, you've ...


24

This is the Chinese ship Tsien landing on Europa in 2010: Odyssey Two by Arthur C. Clarke. Chapter 11, Ice and Vacuum: Perhaps it's a phototrope, its biological cyce triggered by the sunlight that filters through the ice. Or it could have been attracted like a moth to a candle. Our floodlights must have been more brilliant than anything that Europa ...


21

"Night Watch" by James Inglis. I think I read this c. 1987. It would've been in a paperback SF short fiction anthology, likely with other stories by more famous authors (Heinlein, Asimov, the usual suspects). Assuming it was an American paperback, the most likely suspect is the 1978 Berkley Books edition of Space Odysseys, edited by Brian Aldiss; no ...


20

If it's not SC2, then might it have been Solar Winds? I have vague recollections of playing this and it sounds like it might be what you describe. I'm not sure on the exact combat mechanics but I do recall flying around, completing missions, and eventually unlocking an FTL capability after a conversation with an alien like you describe (and I remember the ...


19

This is almost certainly The Invincible by Stanislaw Lem. It's a short novel, not a short story. He didn't really use "Nanotech" (the bots were insect sized) in the way we think of it now, but the machines were self organizing, and quite scary.


19

This is probably The Hated by Frederik Pohl. It concerns space crew cooped up together on a long mission to Mars. They get on each other's nerves big-time. They are psychologically conditioned to not kill each other on the trip, but the conditioning is not permanent. When they return they are assigned different parts of the country to live in so that they ...


18

This is The One Who Waits, by, yes, Ray Bradbury. You remembered the details very accurately. The opening line is: I live in a well. I live like smoke in the well. The One Who Waits It goes on with the plot you said (taking over the bodies of astronauts from Earth). The first take over is described as follows: The sound of water in the hot sunlight. ...


18

In Value Deceived by H. B. Fyfe (1950) Story appeared in collection Possible Worlds of Science Fiction edited by Groff Conklin. The alien home world had all its food crops destroyed by a blight. They are surviving on terrible tasting synthetic food which is in short supply. Alien explorers are frantically trying to find an alternate source of food. They ...


17

As James Wirz correctly deducted in his answer, the story I was looking for is called "Stranger's eyes", by Russian Author Dmitri Bilenkin (Дмитрий Биленкин). Originally published under the name "Чужие глаза" in 1971. Published in the English collection "The Uncertainty Principle" and in the German collection "Fluchtversuche" (where I probably first read it)....


17

This is the late Stanley G. Weinbaum's 1934 classic short story A Martian Odyssey, which you can read (legally!) for free here or buy in The Best of Stanley G. Weinbaum. Here's the alien: ‘The Martian wasn’t a bird, really. It wasn’t even bird-like, except just at first glance. It had a beak all right, and a few feathery appendages, but the beak wasn’...


17

This is "Bordered in Black", by Larry Niven. It was first published in 1966 in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and it is collected in Inconstant Moon (1973), Convergent Series (1979), and N-Space (1990).


16

I would like to know the title and author of a short story I read a long time ago. "Collecting Team" aka "Catch 'em All Alive!" by Robert Silverberg, first published in Super-Science Fiction, December 1956; the reprint in Authentic Science Fiction #81, June 1957 is available at the Internet Archive. It's about 3 men in space. They were sent to different ...


16

Just had an epiphany and googled "book with neural lace". I found it. If anyone is curious by my non-descriptive question, the book is Excession by Iain M. Banks, 5th book of the Culture series. The book is largely about the response of the Culture's Minds (benevolent AIs with enormous intellectual and physical capabilities and distinctive personalities) ...


16

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 paperback, about the colonization of another planet in the twenty-first century.


15

That's "Final Encounter" by Harry Harrison. I have a copy in Galactic Empires Vol.2 edited by Brian Aldiss, but it's been collected elsewhere as well. (I remembered having read it, but had no idea where, so I Googled on "ring species" galaxy, which turned up a relevant discussion.) (If they were a long way from home but not actually on the far side of the ...


15

I'm almost certain you are looking for Judgement Passed by Jerry Oltion Published first in Wastelands Stories of the Apocalypse, Edited by John Joseph Adams. “Judgment Passed,” which is original to this volume, tells of the Biblical day of judgment from a rationalist viewpoint; a starship crew returns to Earth to find that the rapture has occurred ...


15

This is the 1976 novel Mindbridge by Joe Haldeman. The planet circles Groombridge 1618 and the small alien creatures are called "bridges." The explorers (called "Tamers") wear powered suits. Humanity ends up encountering an advanced race called the L'vrai; the main character Jacque and the bridges are key to communicating with them. This book is full of ...


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