Hmm… A very tight session just wooshed past me.

I was so busy with work that I could not really go fiction hunting or even casual surfing. But I did find some things worth mentioning here.

I donot know where anybody can find time for something like world building 🙂 . But it is there, that secret desire, to create a world completely of your imagination. If you donot have it yet, just read some of the books by Asimov, Herbert Frank, Larry Niven, etc. Actually you can just look at Discworld created by Terry Pratchet and wonder you could ever build anything like it.

Anyway, the point is, I found some sites where hard science fiction fans have actually tried to build complicated and fantastically detailed worlds set mostly in future. Orion's Arm is one among them. The site is worth a visit, as this is a much detailed approach. I found an interesting story set in this world, which is quite interesting. { The story is quite general, you don't have to know anything about the world }. Again, Epona Project is much more worthwhile visiting, as it takes a single planet case, and tries to explore the possibilities there in a realistic manner. People have tried to create languages of their own, too. Might be inspired by JRR, I think. Check out this site before you make your own language

Visiting these sites will only make you admire writers of 50s and 60s more and more. 😉 They are way better and speak for themselves. If you have not actually read them, I can give you a small intro:

Asimov. Created he fantastic world of robots and psychohistory. Three laws of robotics are so famous that any decent fiction fan respects it like a physics student respects Newton's laws. Robots are main characters in the three detective novels(Trilogy) called the Robot series: Caves of steel, The Naked Sun and Robots of dawn. Has the renowned Robot Daneel Olivaw. The stories he has written spans a timeline of a 1000 years from now to a lakh years. The universe is not created for the sake of it, he backs them up with solid plots and characters. As interesting as the Robot series, is the Foundation trilogy, which revolves around the science called psychohistory. The science specializes in predicting the behaviour of masses, huge populations, planets, constellations,… It cannot predict how an indivigual will react, but it can predict with 99.99% efficiency how a planet's population is going to react to a problem/situation. Aliens are completely absent, in this world, but the author is renowned of creating wonderful story-themes with just humans.

Tolkien Created Middle Earth. NO introduction required, _the_ pinnacle of fantasy. period.

Frank Herbert Created the fantastic world which has this impossible planet called Dune (Arrakis). The author wisely chose to eliminate thinking machines from the world. The world has the structure of ancient feudal systems. Power is split up among 3 interesting races or sects. The spacing guild (mysterious aliens mutants) who control all frigates and therefore hold the monopoly of space travel. The Emperor who rules the galaxy and his impossible sardoukar army who are bred to be war machines on a planet which has impossble living conditions. The other powerful sect in the world is the Laansraad Council which is a council of feudal lords( who command Houses who have personal armies). There is another interesting secret association of women called the Bene Gesserit whose objective is to match human breeding in the world so that the ultimate offspring is created. They are well trained in matters of mind and are considered to be witches by ordinary men. There is this delicate equilibrium, where he expands his complicated plot.

Terry Pratchet Oh my favourite! created the discworld. Incredibly i n s a n e imagination. World is a flat disc. Four elephants carry it. Elephants stand on a giant turtle called A'Tuin, which just swims through the space to god knows where. Oh, and the gods, they dont have any idea too, they just live in a tall mountain at the disc's centre, continuosly at war with the ice giants or playing silly board games. The world has absurd but picturesque things like the rimfalls (disc-edge water falls), rimbow, inverted mountains, etc, etc

Douglas Adams Impossibility at his best. "HitchHiker's guide to the galaxy" is a must read for any one. The world cannot be described with words. You name any possible weird combination, it is there in his book. Three headed four legged heroes and incredibly powerful computers. There is nothing more weird than the impossibility drive or Restaurant mathematics.

I think i wrote enough and more for the week. 😉 I can just go on about all these authors for pages. (Fear not, I have no such plans!). But I still thirst for more worlds….. complicated, stunning and complete.

Imagination has no limit. So is the number of weird and fantastic worlds hard science fiction writers can build up.

Had been on casual fiction hunting (which is my hobby, nowadays ), when I found this site: The Multiverse Database . The site has listed around 500 different planets found in science fiction. Each has been given a brief description and cites the Author, book, etc ( Related links can also be found there; Site is designed for IE, what a pity. )

Another writeup at wiki, also provides a good list of planets. Anyway, one of the planets caught my eye.

Rocheworld; found in a book by the same name by Robert L Forward; is worth mentioning because, it is a double planet. It consists of two orbs, both egg shaped, one larger than the other. The smaller one of them is covered by oceans and the other one is a desert. Intelligent life exists on this system and they are called flouwen. They have the form of thin membranes over the water surface and can change shapes at will. The reviews I read also point out that this is one of those rare books where humans and aliens work together in friendship and fight the enemy (nature).

Robert was a contemporary of authors like Asimov and Arthur C Clarke. He was a scientist himself and his bio page rather frightened me. His best known work is Dragon's egg which speaks of formation of life on a neutron star. Well, uggh!

The point is the beauty of hard science fiction. Outrageous ideas are made to look completely plausible. Hats off!!