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February 9th, 2007, 07:45 AM
I read a lot of sci-fi about 15 years ago, and would love to re-read two books that have stuck in my mind. Would really appreciate if someone could help me identify the titles / authors.

1. This was actually a series of books (maybe 2-3) about human space exploration. Some explorers find shipyards full off long abandoned alien ships, and use them to go exploring and scavenging for valuables. They can't figure out how to pilot the ships; instead they simply activate them and are taken to various places. In some of these places they find more technology etc which they take back with them and sell for profit. It's a risky business and many explorers loose their lives as the ships take them close to suns, black holes etc due to the shift of celestial bodies since the ships were programmed. I remember the ships had some kind of display showing the spectrum; certain colors gave an indication of how long the trip would be, and what direction the ships would go in.

2. This was a short story about the destructions of earths biosphere by radioactivity. A man I awoken in an underground hospital run by medical robots, and he finds out he is the last human. The robots tried to revive a number of people like him, but they didn't make it through the process - mainly because of the shock to seeing robots all around them (which suggests they went into stasis before the creation of robots? can't remember). The man has difficulty coming to terms with this, missing human contact, and gets robots to search parts of the Erath for further life, but finding nothing. He then tasks them with self-development, and eventually the robots manage to seed grass which covers the planet, but the biodiversity never returns. While the robots work the man goes into stasis for extended periods of time; at one point he comes out noticing the sun is redder, a result of the extremely long periods (billions of years) he spends in stasis. Meanwhile the robots continue their task to develop themselves, ultimately shedding their bodies to become energy beings. However they keep the old robot bodies in order not to upset the man when they are in contact. Ultimately he wakes up from stasis noticing they are coloring his skin green, and they take him to another planet (where the "people" have green skin) so that he can have contact with those like him again, then continuing their exploration and self development.

Sorry about the rather poor descriptions, but this was 15 years ago. Many thanks for any replies, I remember these stories being great and would love to read them again.

February 9th, 2007, 08:32 AM

Although I haven't read it, story 1 sounds an awful lot like Frederik Pohl's Gateway (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gateway-Millennium-SF-Masterworks-S/dp/1857988183/sr=8-1/qid=1171028191/ref=pd_ka_1/203-6184261-2219934?ie=UTF8&s=books).

February 9th, 2007, 08:44 AM

Although I haven't read it, story 1 sounds an awful lot like Frederik Pohl's Gateway (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gateway-Millennium-SF-Masterworks-S/dp/1857988183/sr=8-1/qid=1171028191/ref=pd_ka_1/203-6184261-2219934?ie=UTF8&s=books).

Yes, that's it! Many thanks, I'm heading strait to Amazon. :)