I'm trying to find a sci-fi book that I read many years ago in high school.
It's about astronauts that stumble on a young planet. The creatures there are relatively flat because of their gravity and their lifespan is extremely fast. The astronauts watch many generations of these creatures in just a few weeks, and they eventually discover space travel in the end of the book.
This was a short story and the only other thing I remember is that the humans gave these creatures Indian sounding names.
May 1st, 2002, 07:49 AM
Sounds like Robert L Forward's Dragon's Egg book and its sequel, Starquake! which looked at the cheela. The cheela live on a neutron star with a gravity of 67 000 000 000 g's and a lifespan of 37 minutes.
The roots of such a story using high gravity go back to Larry Niven and especially Hal Clement (Mission of Gravity) though as you're thinking of a short story I'm now stumped. Stephen Baxter has also written stories on worlds with high gravities.
May 1st, 2002, 08:10 AM
Indeed, that does sound like Dragon's Egg (I recently re-read the book), even to the Indian-sounding names. The book was short, which may be it seemed like a short story...?
I never looked for a sequel--thanks!
May 1st, 2002, 12:31 PM
Man, y'all are awesome! I do believe it is Starquake, because the cheela race sounds familiar. I read this book like 23 years ago. It was one of the first books that got me into sci-fi.
Does anybody remember any of the names of the cheela? That would definately jar my memory. Maybe it was just a quick read so I thought it was a short story.
Thanks so much again.
Addendum: I looked it up on the net and now I think it had to be Dragon's Egg as the sequel didnt come out till 1995. Plus the synopsis of the book sounds very familiar. I never even knew there was a sequel. BTW they are out of print FYI.
[This message has been edited by Bingers (edited May 01, 2002).]