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dhelix
April 2nd, 2010, 08:13 AM
Long time sci-fi fan here. If you guys could help me out with this I'd be much obliged. I'm usually a Google Ninja, but all my skills have failed me in finding the name of this book I read in high school. I'll tell you what I remember about it.

A group of human (2-3) explorers land on an alien planet. They're there to learn the culture of the race. The aliens, from what I remember, are "spider like". So the humans use robots (like avatars) to go out and interact with them. The planet is very cold and icy. The spiders are small.

The two spider avatars go and interact with the "mayor"/"queen" of that particular alien town. She has a daughter of sorts. In their culture they always keep their mouths covered, and there is one bizarre scene where the daughter's cover comes undone and embarrassment ensues.

*SPOILERS*
At the end of the novel there is a big gala where they get together with all the spiders and the Queen Spider and have a giant orgy, throw all their 'seed' to the skies, and die out only to be reborn some day on another planet.


I sure hope someone can help! It's been bugging me off and on for years. I'm almost to the point where I need to go back to my high school and dig through the sci-fi section in the library!

marshal atkins
June 29th, 2010, 03:03 PM
I'm pretty sure the book you're looking for is "Camelot 30K" by the late Dr Robert Forward.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camelot_30K

the climax of the book is a real blast. ;-)

Mostlyharmless
July 2nd, 2010, 07:10 AM
I'm pretty sure the book you're looking for is "Camelot 30K" by the late Dr Robert Forward.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camelot_30K

the climax of the book is a real blast. ;-)
I was never sure if simply ordering elements by Z would work. I imagined that the electron density and thus the diffraction would also depend on crystal structure. However, I was not sure which crystal structures would form at 30K.