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  1. #1

    What are some good planet exploration novels?

    Basically, I'm looking for something along the lines of a group of explorers traveling to some distant planet and the story focuses on exploration of that planet - alien lifeforms, landscape, etc. One book that comes to mind which I really enjoyed was Planets of Adventure by Murray Leinster. So something along those lines would be great.

    Also, I remember reading one of these types of stories in middle school (one of the first sci fi books I read). It involved a crew exploring a planet with a bunch of worm-like creatures. I remember the crew had some kind of laser guns for weapons. Just figured I'd see if anyone might happen to know the name of the book, I think it was published in the mid-80s sometime. Sorry for being so vague, but it was over 15 years ago, so I don't remember much

    Thanks alot for any suggestions.

  2. #2
    Registered User Sibella's Avatar
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    Allen Steele's Coyote series might be right up your alley.

    Coyote
    Coyote Rising
    Coyote Frontier

  3. #3
    the puppet master ArthurFrayn's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Mission of Gravity & Cycle of Fire by Hal Clement are ace.

  4. #4
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Although John Scalzi's books in the Old Man's War series are moreso classified as Military Science Fiction, the elements you mention are part of the books. HERE is the SFFWorld page collecting the reviews of his books.

    You could also check out this thread: Best Space Opera

  5. #5
    They are probably out of print and probably fall under YA but any of Alan Dean Fosters old SciFi books probably fit the criteria.

  6. #6
    Pseudo-Creativity
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    I think an obvious one would be Arthur Clark's Rendezvous with Rama and the follow up trilogy with Gentry Lee. It's a planet within a space ship as opposed to an actual planet, but the first one focuses on exploration of it's inner poles extensively, and the followups are also heavily focused on further exploration. Might not sound like what you're looking for, but you should enjoy them.

    No answer to your second question, I'm afraid.

  7. #7
    Member of the Month™ Ropie's Avatar
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    Stanislaw Lem's Eden, Fiasco and The Invincible are all excellent and come right under that umbrella.

  8. #8
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    Some of my favorites in this category are :

    Alan Dean Foster : Icerigger trilogy (Icerigger, Mission to Molouking, Deluge Drivers). Two humans are stranded on an alien planet and try to escape.

    Harry Harrison : Deathword Trilogy

    Vernor Vinge : Witling

    Eric Frank Russell : Great Explosion, The. Ship from Earth government tries to renew contact with lost colonies in space.

    C.J. Cherryh : Foreigner trilogies

    M.J. Engh : Wheel of the Winds. Human is stranded on an alien planet where sentient creatures are giants compared to his size.

    Brian Stableford : Daedalus series (6 books). Not very well known but good fun. The Daedalus is scientific ship that has to make contact with "lost" planets. Every book describes the landing on one planet.

    And of course the grand master himself : Jack Vance. Vance has written dozens of these books. Some of his best are : Big Planet, Tschai series. The Tschai novels are really classics : you can find them in an omnibus by Tor/Orb called Planet of Adventure.

  9. #9
    Doomfarer
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    Some of Poul Anderson's Polestechnic League series

  10. #10
    Registered User mylinar's Avatar
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    Planet Exploration

    There is an old book, second of the series, called "After Worlds Collide" that has some interesting aspects of planet exploration.

    Story is that Earth is destroyed by a gas giant planet that came rushing into the solar system. It had an earth sized moon with it. Both planets were somehow torn out of their original star system and thrown into space leading eventually to the collision. This was in "When Worlds Collide".

    Anyway, this 'moon' was actually an earth-like world previously and is now thawing out prior to the destruction of earth. Several spaceships escape Earth and land on this now rehabitable planet. US, Russian and Chinese ships make it there (it was written during the Cold War).

    So the second book details the survivors exploring this planet, and discovering that it was also once inhabited by intelligent aliens who left behind a lot of artifacts and even complete cities. It is a good series as long as you remember the time it was written during (i.e. no computers, AI's, robots or things you might normally associate with SF).

  11. #11
    Registered User Colonel Worf's Avatar
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    Has anyone read Bios by Robert Charles Wilson? I've been thinking about reading that soon.

  12. #12
    Was the series you're thinking of The Colsec Trilogy by Douglas Hill? If not you should at least check it out. The first book - Exiles of Colsec was a pretty good planetary exploration book for YAs.

  13. #13
    My first reply seems to have disappeared. (Sorry if this is a double post. )

    The Worms - Are you sure the stories were set on a different planet? David Gerrold started a series (I don't know if it was ever finished. According to Wikipedia he hasn't - Wiki Link) about worm-like aliens called the Chtorr. The timing is about right. But if I remember correctly the main weapons were flamethrowers.

    I've read a number of books like what your looking for, but I don't own them. I do have these, not exactly what you wanted but you might like:

    1 - Tuf Voyaging - George R.R. Martin - The novel is a collection of short stories and concerns the (mis)adventures of Haviland Tuf, a bald, very pale, overweight, phlegmatic, cat-loving but otherwise solitary space trader. Due to the venality and cutthroat tactics of those around him, Tuf inadvertently becomes master of Ark, an ancient, 30-kilometer-long "seedship," a very powerful warship with advanced ecological-engineering capabilities. Tuf travels the galaxy, offering his services to worlds with environmental problems, and sometimes imposing solutions of his own.

    2 - DragonsDawn - Anne McCaffrey - This is part of her Dragon Riders series, but this book deal with the colonization of Pern and what follows. Probably a half, or maybe a third of the book is building the colony and learning about the planet.

    3 - The Legacy of Heorot - Niven, Pournelle & Barnes - The colonists from Earth have spent a century in cold sleep to make the first journey, one way, to settle a planet in another solar system. Avalon seems perfect, a verdant, livable world still in its prehistoric age. The biologists and engineers who busy themselves planting and building scoff at the warnings of professional soldier Cadmann Weylanduntil a large, unnaturally fast and cunning predator begins stalking the colony.

    I'll try to remember the books that are more like what you want!

  14. #14
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Asher- View Post
    2 - DragonsDawn - Anne McCaffrey - This is part of her Dragon Riders series, but this book deal with the colonization of Pern and what follows. Probably a half, or maybe a third of the book is building the colony and learning about the planet.
    Although its been years since I read any of the Pern novels, I recall this one being pretty solid.

    I wonder to where mysterious topic starter vanished.

  15. #15
    the puppet master ArthurFrayn's Avatar
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    I wonder to where mysterious topic starter vanished.
    Doesn't the mysterious 1 post topic starter always vanish?
    Last edited by ArthurFrayn; December 19th, 2007 at 12:05 AM.

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