78

No. They couldn't simply point Voyager toward Earth and go over or under the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. Our galaxy, while lacking the usual galactic bulge common to spiral galaxies, it has instead, a highly radioactive region due to a galactic collision in the distant past. This bar-like region would make any path through the core of the galaxy very ...


67

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 to guide a ...


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”?’ ‘...


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 ...


46

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 ...


44

I finally found it! Brian W Aldiss did a (very) short story "Working in the Spaceship Yards" (1969); here's the significant extract: ... We were building Q-line ships when I was in the shipyard. They were the experimental ones. The Ql, the Q2, the Q3, had each been completed, had been towed out into orbit beyond Mars, and triggered off towards ...


41

"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 ...


34

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


31

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!


28

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


25

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 ...


23

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 ...


23

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 ...


22

Yes, a televised moon landing was predicted in one Golden Age story that I know of: "All Aboard for the Moon" (novel, 55000 words) by Harold M. Sherman in Amazing Stories, April 1947, available at the Internet Archive. Apparently never reprinted. The following excerpt is part of Gil Benson's ("playboy; devil-with-the-women; and rich") speech just before ...


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

That's the beginning of the Commonwealth Saga by Peter F Hamilton, which comes up so often in story identification requests that it should perhaps be a FAQ.


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.


17

Windhaven by George R. R. Martin and Lisa Tuttle. The novel recounts events which occur on the fictional planet Windhaven. Its inhabitants are the descendants of human space voyagers who crash-landed on Windhaven centuries before the events of the book take place. After the crash, the survivors spread out across the many islands of Windhaven's primarily ...


16

Finally tracked down the short story I mentioned in my comment to the original question, and that Jeff mentioned in his answer: See if this sounds about right: "The City" — A rocket expedition from Earth lands on an uncharted planet to be greeted by a seemingly empty city. As the humans begin to explore, they realize that the city is not as empty as it ...


16

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 ...


15

This is "All The Way Back", by Michael Shaara. I read it in Brian Aldiss's anthology Galactic Empires, but it's a reasonably well-known story and has been collected a few times - see the ifsdb entry, from which it looks like the one with a Sprague de Camp story is Baen's The World Turned Upside Down. The name of the species was Antha, IIRC.


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

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’...


15

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).


14

"The Climbing Wave", a novella by Marion Zimmer Bradley, also the answer to the old question "Rocket crashes back to Earth that has technology, but doesn't use it much"; first published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, February 1955, available at the Internet Archive. It had taken four generations for the stranded crew of the original ship,...


14

"Gambler's choice" (1971) by Bob Shaw, collected in Alien Worlds: Stories of Adventure on Other Planets (1981) along with an excerpt of "Out of the Silent Planet". The original story is collected on archive.org, here. The guy's name is Mike Targett and the computer's is Aesop. There appears to have been at least two versions of that story, because the ...


14

That is Murray Leinster's Operation Outer Space. The main character is Jed Cochran who is an advertising executive at Karsten, Karsten, Hopkins and Fallowe for The Dikkipatti Hour -- the story unfolds as you describe with the set of stock characters you describe. About the only deviations I spotted is that the PR-type is sent to the Moon because Dabney, ...


13

This sounds like Expendable by James Alan Gardner. It's been a while since I've read it and I don't remember it that well, but it definitely: Features explorers who are societal misfits in some way, and so deemed expendable. Has a main character who is a woman with a large birthmark on her face. Is the first in a series. ETA: My girlfriend says that ...


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