Sunday, February 12, 2017

Strange Stars: A Recent Science Fiction Appendix N

A few weeks ago, Rob Barrett made a request in the comments of this post for "more recent SF" suitable for Strange Stars inspiration. In the section on galactic adventuring, I relied mostly on older, well-known and non-science fiction references because I want to convey the idea that the setting is easily accessible and usable for the sort of stuff people typically use science fiction games too do.

That doesn't mean science fiction from the past twenty years hasn't been an influence on the conception and development of Strange Stars. I mentioned a few of these in the intro of the setting book, but here are a few more:

Hannu Rajaniemi. The Quantum Thief; The Fractal Prince; The Causal Angel. This series is one of the biggest inspirations for Strange Stars, but its influence is diffuse. The interaction of information and physical life that pervades the series is very Strange Stars, as are the exotic societies of Earth, Mars, and the Oort Cloud.

Greg Egan. Diaspora. The conception of moravec, infosophont, and biologic groups was inspired by Diaspora, specifically, w

Alastair Reynolds. The Prefect; Chasm City. The Glitter Band is a great example of the varied polities of the League of Habitats or the Circus. The Ultras have some resemblance to the Star Folk, if not the same style. Chasm City in particular would make a pretty good Strange Stars adventure.

Karl Schroeder. Permanence. The primary inspiration for the metascape is the exoscape of Permanence.

Charles Stross. Glasshouse; Accelerando; the books in the Saturn's Children universe: Saturn's Children and Neptune's Brood. The technology and economic considerations in Stross's novels underpin similar concepts in Strange Stars. If you want to really get a feel for how I envision fabbers, read Glasshouse. Neptune's Brood also has a very well-realized "water world."

Scott Westerfield. The Risen Empire (Succession Book 1). Though I haven't written a lot about military matters in Strange Stars material, the planetary assault and space battle in this book greatly informed what I think such things would look like among "modern" powers in the setting.

John C.Wright. The Golden Oecumene  trilogy and related stories. The technology of the Golden Oecumene with the trappings of Cordwainer Smith's Instrumentality of man gets you a good representation of the Radiant Polity. The novella "The Far End of History: A Tale from the Last Days of the Seventh Mental Structure" is a great example of what sort of things went on in the Archaic Oikumene.


Chris C. said...

I always dig reading lists like these.

Rob Barrett said...

Well, I didn't expect you to make a list in response to my comment, but I'm very glad you did. And I'm chuffed to see that Westerfield's Risen Empire made it--I just read the book for the first time and loved it.

Trey said...

@Chris C. - Me too, particularly when there's a little detail with them.
@Rob - Westerfield has never disappointed me.