What Would It Take to Actually Settle an Alien World?

David Gerrold is the author of dozens of science fiction books. The Martian Boy and The Man Who Folded Himself. New novel Hellais inspired by the 2011 TV series about a low-gravity planet inhabited by dinosaur-like aliens. Terra Nova.

“The world-making they were doing was very interesting, very exciting, but I was disappointed that they didn’t go in the direction I wanted to go, so I was thinking, ‘Let me make a story where I can tackle the world-building problems,’” says Gerrold. Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy digital audio file.

Hella He goes into tremendous detail about the logistics of placing an alien world and grapples with questions like: Would it be safe to eat alien proteins? Is it safe for us to breathe alien germs? What effect would plants and animals in the world have on an alien ecology? This is far from many science fiction stories that assume that alien planets are very similar to Earth. “My theory is that there are no Earth-like planets, just lazy writers,” says Gerrold.

Hella It is told from the perspective of Kyle Martin, a neurologically volatile teenager who struggles with social decency but has a broad curiosity for technical details. Gerrold used the world construction of telling the story from Kyle’s Hella especially rich.

“I think it’s a synergistic phenomenon,” says Gerrold. “I wanted to explore the world, Kyle was the right character to explore him, and the more I got into Kyle’s mind, the more I wanted to explore the world from his perspective. There are many chapters on how predators track megafauna herds just because Kyle is interested. ”

Gerrold hopes it Hella It will enable our readers to think more carefully about the impact of our actions on ecosystems here on Earth. “I’ve seen articles suggesting that traveling faster than light and colonizing planets around other stars is beyond our technical abilities,” he says. I hope they were wrong. But as a thought experiment, it’s also a chance to go to another world and discover what’s different, to think about how things are on this planet. ”

Listen to the full interview with David Gerrold on Episode 454. Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy (above). And check out some key points from the discussion below.

On David Gerrold Tunnel in the Sky:

“I think what [Heinlein] At some point, what you realize is what you really need to survive, partnership with other people, an illusion of individuality. Because Tunnel in the Sky, all the people on the planet, all the children out there must come together, protect each other and work together to survive. And I think this is a very important point that many fictions overlook. Many fictions say, ‘The hero walks in and solves the problem on his own. He is the mighty warrior. And while this is very exciting, what we see in real life is that many problems are really solved through teamwork and partnership. ”

David Gerrold on ecology:

“When you go and colonize a planet, you don’t come with Martian war machines and burn cities. You come with all your ecology because if you plan to live on one planet, you need all of your ecology. You need your microbes at the lowest level, because microbes control what’s going on in the soil, so the plants you bring – your corn, your beets, your turnips, and everything else – the microbes make the roots in the soil. And then you need all the insects that pollinate your plants, and then you need the things that keep your insects in check. If you’re going to bring chicken, you need items for the chickens to eat. So you bring all your ecology. ”

David Gerrold on sex:

“John Varley actually [characters changing sex] It works better than anyone in the Eight World series – most of his books are set in this environment. It would have the characters change gender, gender flow, and bisexual, and it was doing it casually – he didn’t explain how it was done. Nobody pointed it out, it was just part of the story. And I thought, ‘Oh, I can do this. Let me try this. ‘So I did not explain how the characters changed gender in Hella. I had an idea in my head, but I didn’t bother to put it out because I didn’t want to go into his biology. But I thought it would be like John Varley’s world – once you have the technology people will use it. ”

David Gerrold on Harlan Ellison:

“At the time, I think I had a bit of fun creating a character that looked a bit like Harlan – because Harlan could have been a chaos agent too – but as HARLIE developed the character, he was nothing like Harlan. Bob Bloch was a toaster at one of the Nebula banquets and he was making a lot of jokes and I actually enjoyed being one of his jokes. He said there’s a new book called ‘ When HARLIE Becomes One. Harlie claims that he is not himself, of course. ‘We got a good laugh out of that and said,’ Wow. Bob Bloch noticed me. He noticed my book. How cool. ‘ So Harlan was cited a little, but nothing serious. ”

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