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#1 Edited by believer258 (11785 posts) -

...that takes place in space. Or a movie.

Anyway, space has always been something of a fascinating subject to me. I'm by no means an expert on it but just thinking about the unfathomable masses and things out there, most of which we don't even know that much about, is pretty interesting. So when I found out that a massive black hole has been found, potentially the largest ever, I started reading about it and wanted to read a book or see a movie or TV show taking place in space. Or a game, but I can't think of many of those beyond Dead Space (which I've already played to dea...er, played a whole lot).

Any suggestions? I'll actually prefer "not games" because I've already got several of those lined up to play over Christmas break, though if you do have a good suggestion for a game I'll play it later. A book, really, is what I need, I haven't read much in too long.

EDIT: And it would be nice if it was on a Kindle.

#2 Posted by casper_ (903 posts) -

rendezvous with rama and childhood's end are pretty good old school hard sci-fi.

dune is great too. its more like a space opera. the story could have taken place in feudal england or something but still a really well realized world.

#3 Edited by tarvis (75 posts) -

Isaac Asimov's Foundation (series)? It's available on Kindle.

Edit - As far as a game, there's System Shock 2. The playing part isn't fantastic, but the atmosphere is.

#4 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

thats a really damn big black hole.

#5 Posted by VipeR (107 posts) -

There's an awsome short story called "The last question" by Isaac Asimov. Think it's considered one of the best short stories written, worth a read!

#6 Posted by RadioactiveGazz (98 posts) -

The Quantum Thief. You'll have little to no idea what is going on for up to 100 pages, but love every word of it, and by the end, look back upon it as a possible favorite. Its worth the struggle. Reason for this is that it takes place in a future with technology that doesn't exist, that we don't even imagine to exist. It is like reading the following passage, but 100 years ago:

"Jim was flicking through the channels on his television, but found nothing of interest, and so he plugged in his earphones, turned up his favorite dubstep playlist on his ipod and loaded up an online game of Halo 4"

Its just full of non-existant technologies in a very different world to ours. Every fictional future we dream up is a product of our present, but this literally feels like a book from the future sent back in time. It is hard to understand, but you get most of it through context, or by looking it up. Oh, and if you want an audiobook version, it is read by Rupert degas, who is perhaps the greatest narrator ever heard. I once heard him described as a "voice artist", and that title fits him perfectly. Every character, a distinct, believable, unique voice.

#7 Posted by Subjugation (4719 posts) -

I would just like to state for the record that black holes terrify me.

#8 Posted by clstirens (847 posts) -

@Subjugation: Yep. me too.

There's a "game" called Space Engine (it's free) that you can fly around the known universe

I was absolutely terrified of accidentally flying into a black hole... And when I finally found one, I could barely look at my monitor.

#9 Edited by believer258 (11785 posts) -

@Subjugation said:

I would just like to state for the record that black holes terrify me.

They definitely scare me but I think that's part of what I find interesting about them and about space in general. It's scary as hell.

#10 Posted by mordukai (7150 posts) -

@believer258 said:

Or a movie.

DONE!

#11 Posted by NlGHTCRAWLER (1215 posts) -

17 billion sons? That is so god damn scary.

#12 Posted by Rastopher (35 posts) -

Ender's Game takes place mostly in space, if I recall correctly. I haven't read that book in years and don't remember very much about it, but I remember liking it. Gosh, makes me kinda want to read it again.

Also, Star Control II is a pretty awesome game. It's also got a free, open-source version available to play now. I think it's a very highly underrated classic and was ahead of its time when it came out.

#13 Posted by leafhouse (133 posts) -

As long as there aren't any godawful songs written about it.

Oh, wait...

#14 Edited by psylah (2170 posts) -

Stephen Baxter - Ring

This book deals in timescales of the lifetime of the universe, trillions of years, and structures that are millions of lightyears across. Superstrings, dark matter, the hearts of stars and the like.

http://amzn.com/0061056944

#15 Posted by TheJohn (553 posts) -

You should try Stephen Baxters NASA trilogy. Hard sci-fi. Great stuff!

#16 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5353 posts) -

Event Horizon

#17 Edited by commonoutlier (136 posts) -

We actually just recently started talking about black holes in my astronomy class and I got the exact same craving! I've been looking for books, too, but more specifically non-fiction books on black holes...especially since they defy a lot of our current scientific understanding, and it almost seems like you're reading fiction. I'm thinking I might get Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries since Neil deGrasse Tyson is a very awesome man (note, haven't read it myself, but I'm sure it's good). The book isn't just about black holes, but all astronomy is pretty fascinating.

I know you're not looking for games, and before this semester I would have recommended Solar 2, but my astronomy class sort of ruined that game for me (because of its inaccuracies) >__<...but it does have black holes in it.

#18 Posted by foggel (2763 posts) -

@leafhouse: Hey, Muse is great.

#19 Posted by Masin (131 posts) -

@commonoutlier said:

We actually just recently started talking about black holes in my astronomy class and I got the exact same craving! I've been looking for books, too, but more specifically non-fiction books on black holes...especially since they defy a lot of our current scientific understanding, and it almost seems like you're reading fiction. I'm thinking I might get Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries since Neil deGrasse Tyson is a very awesome man (note, haven't read it myself, but I'm sure it's good). The book isn't just about black holes, but all astronomy is pretty fascinating.

I know you're not looking for games, and before this semester I would have recommended Solar 2, but my astronomy class sort of ruined that game for me (because of its inaccuracies) >__<...but it does have black holes in it.

A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking is a fantastic piece of non-fiction work with everything between the Big Bang and Black Holes. Definitely worth a read for any space nut out there.

#20 Posted by Sterling (2153 posts) -

@Fredchuckdave said:

Event Horizon

I love that movie.

#21 Posted by sir_gunblade (122 posts) -

@VipeR said:

There's an awsome short story called "The last question" by Isaac Asimov. Think it's considered one of the best short stories written, worth a read!

I just got done reading this. Amazing.

#22 Edited by Daneian (1228 posts) -

Read Hyperion!! Watch Solaris!!

@foggel said:

@leafhouse: Hey, Muse is great.

Knights of Cydonia is my favorite song ever, but yeah, fuck Supermassive Black Hole

#23 Posted by Hunter5024 (5612 posts) -

A black hole the size of 17 billion suns sounds like the kind of thing that a nerdy goth teenager would write in a poem about his soul. If the contents of a nerdy goth teenagers poem are part of our reality than the universe is truly a terrifying place.

#24 Posted by believer258 (11785 posts) -

@Hunter5024 said:

A black hole the size of 17 billion suns sounds like the kind of thing that a nerdy goth teenager would write in a poem about his soul. If the contents of a nerdy goth teenagers poem are part of our reality than the universe is truly a terrifying place.

What about manly men who just wonder how they might conquer that immense power?

Of course, until you achieve faster-than-light travel, escaping it is impossible, but, hey, it's cool to imagine.

#25 Edited by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

Leviathan Wakes and Caliban's War by James SA Corey. Those are books 1 and 2 of the Expanse (trilogy?) in progress. It is space opera told with restraint. Story is kept deliberately small scale relative to typical space opera. I think it benefits quite a bit from that choice of direction. Just don't expect the gravitas of Foundation series or Dune series. It's more like Peter F. Hamilton but without all the dumb and narrative faux pas.

If you're more thinking of just a single novel: I cannot recommend A Fire Upon The Deep by Vernor Vinge enough. That is easily one of the best books I have ever read across all genre.

#26 Edited by Hunter5024 (5612 posts) -

@believer258 said:

@Hunter5024 said:

A black hole the size of 17 billion suns sounds like the kind of thing that a nerdy goth teenager would write in a poem about his soul. If the contents of a nerdy goth teenagers poem are part of our reality than the universe is truly a terrifying place.

What about manly men who just wonder how they might conquer that immense power?

Of course, until you achieve faster-than-light travel, escaping it is impossible, but, hey, it's cool to imagine.

Black Holes: where manly power fantasies meet teenage poetry.

#27 Posted by Atlas (2435 posts) -

It's funny that I saw this having just finished watching a documentary about the Byzantine Empire and the late classic/medieval city of Constantinople. While so many seem enchanted by the infinity of the cosmos, and the possibilities of tomorrow and of other worlds beyond our reach, I seem to want to look backwards, and to study the world that we can see. Hell, we don't even know for sure what's at the bottom of our oceans, so why are we so eager to look outwards? Do we find our world so uninteresting, our story as humans so benign? Science has never compelled me as much as history has, and the same applies to the classic contrast between fantasy and sci-fi; I'll take Lord of the Rings, A Song of Ice and Fire, and Dragon Age: Origins over Star Wars, Dune, and Mass Effect any day. And I find it quite fascinating that people actually describe things in space as being terrifying. Sure, if you thought about them hard enough, they probably are, but what were you expecting?

That said, I do want to show my support for Dune, which I read this year and think is a fascinating book. It's nothing like I've ever read before, and it's not hard to see how it both defined and transcended a genre simultaneously.

Also fuck Muse. They're the most overrated band in England, probably. There's like...three Muse songs that I actually like; the rest is pretty mediocre. Also, that guys is a terrible lyricist; show me one Muse song that doesn't at some point include the word "you", especially on Origin of Symmetry and Absolution. They're not bad albums, really, but some things about them are impossible for me to like. The attempt at a Rachmaninoff style bridge in "Butterflies and Hurricanes" is...laughable.

I know, I hate Muse far more than is probably reasonable.

#28 Posted by quicksand31 (72 posts) -

I really like 2001: A Space Odyssey. Both the book and film. My jaw literally dropped at one point while reading the book.

And I'll co-sign others recommending Death By Black Hole. Incredibly easy to read and understand.

#29 Edited by Sanj (2369 posts) -

If you like space, you should check out Wonders of the Universe. Here's a clip about the Andromeda galaxy:

Watch in HD!

#30 Posted by SSully (4153 posts) -

@Atlas said:

It's funny that I saw this having just finished watching a documentary about the Byzantine Empire and the late classic/medieval city of Constantinople. While so many seem enchanted by the infinity of the cosmos, and the possibilities of tomorrow and of other worlds beyond our reach, I seem to want to look backwards, and to study the world that we can see. Hell, we don't even know for sure what's at the bottom of our oceans, so why are we so eager to look outwards? Do we find our world so uninteresting, our story as humans so benign? Science has never compelled me as much as history has, and the same applies to the classic contrast between fantasy and sci-fi; I'll take Lord of the Rings, A Song of Ice and Fire, and Dragon Age: Origins over Star Wars, Dune, and Mass Effect any day. And I find it quite fascinating that people actually describe things in space as being terrifying. Sure, if you thought about them hard enough, they probably are, but what were you expecting?

That said, I do want to show my support for Dune, which I read this year and think is a fascinating book. It's nothing like I've ever read before, and it's not hard to see how it both defined and transcended a genre simultaneously.

Also fuck Muse. They're the most overrated band in England, probably. There's like...three Muse songs that I actually like; the rest is pretty mediocre. Also, that guys is a terrible lyricist; show me one Muse song that doesn't at some point include the word "you", especially on Origin of Symmetry and Absolution. They're not bad albums, really, but some things about them are impossible for me to like. The attempt at a Rachmaninoff style bridge in "Butterflies and Hurricanes" is...laughable.

I know, I hate Muse far more than is probably reasonable.

This is the first time I ever wanted to use the "Well thats like your opinion, man" meme. We all have interests and things that drive our curiosity. We who are eager to search outward into our universe for answers have the same drive that makes you want to search backwards. Honestly both are fucking amazing and just make me sad that I will never have enough time in my life to know about the intricacies of both, but damn it's going to be fun trying.

#31 Posted by haffy (673 posts) -

Andromeda starts by the guys ship getting stuck in a black hole.

Don't really know anything about it though, my dad used to watch it.

#32 Posted by Sterling (2153 posts) -

@sir_gunblade said:

@VipeR said:

There's an awsome short story called "The last question" by Isaac Asimov. Think it's considered one of the best short stories written, worth a read!

I just got done reading this. Amazing.

Thanks for the link. Was a good read.

#33 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

i kinda wanna be launched into a blackhole on a super fast rocket.

that'd be a cool way to die

#34 Posted by commonoutlier (136 posts) -

@Masin said:

A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking is a fantastic piece of non-fiction work with everything between the Big Bang and Black Holes. Definitely worth a read for any space nut out there.

Oooo, I'll definitely check that out, too. Stephen Hawking is another awesome dude, so I can't pass that up.

#35 Posted by Atlas (2435 posts) -

@SSully: I would accept your meme, because it was a cranky post on my behalf. The problem with history vs. sci-fi is that we are making discoveries about our history all the time, but you never see a forum post that says "Hang Chinese coins found in Alexandria". History is, in a way, much less impressive and sexy, but also much more relevant - at least for the time being.

#36 Posted by believer258 (11785 posts) -

@oulzac said:

@sir_gunblade said:

@VipeR said:

There's an awsome short story called "The last question" by Isaac Asimov. Think it's considered one of the best short stories written, worth a read!

I just got done reading this. Amazing.

Thanks for the link. Was a good read.

Indeed it was. Thank you, Viper and Sir Gunblade.

#37 Posted by Lego_My_Eggo (1027 posts) -

Sunshine is a good space movie if you haven't yet seen it. And the science channel, when there not airing a marathon of "Oddities" usually has some good shows about space, talking about crazy things like Neutron stars.

#38 Posted by PlowDriver (32 posts) -

Watch 2001: A Space Odyssey. It is a fucking brilliant movie!

#39 Posted by f1seb (1 posts) -

It is certainly not going to be the easiest of feats but if you do it you will be happy you did so. I would recommend to read what has been called the "Hyperion Cantos". Four books.

1. Hyperion

2. The Fall of Hyperion

3. Endymion

4. The Rise of Endymion

by Dan Simmons

#40 Posted by Sinusoidal (1409 posts) -

@HerbieBug: But, but, Hamilton's dumb makes his books all the more special! That and I hear if you put his books together on a bookshelf, their combined mass collapses into a black hole... I'll have to check out this Corey fellow.

A Fire Upon the Deep is awesome, but I liked A Deepness in the Sky better.

#41 Posted by Sursh (243 posts) -

pandora star by peter hamilton is a genuine masterpiece of science fiction. ignore everyone else and listen to me, sursh. the genius.

#42 Posted by Shirogane (3568 posts) -

@Clonedzero said:

i kinda wanna be launched into a blackhole on a super fast rocket.

that'd be a cool way to die

No....no it wouldn't. You might want to go read up on black holes a bit and rethink that.

For a TV series, i have a friend who thinks highly of Battlestar Galactica, though i've never really watched it myself, i did recently read some of the wiki on it, has some interesting things.

#43 Posted by Sinusoidal (1409 posts) -

@Shirogane said:

@Clonedzero said:

i kinda wanna be launched into a blackhole on a super fast rocket.

that'd be a cool way to die

No....no it wouldn't. You might want to go read up on black holes a bit and rethink that.

Why not? He'd most likely be crushed in an instant, no pain. Worst case scenario, he survives to the event horizon, time stops and he's stuck in limbo forever. Hrm, maybe not cool. Science actually has no unmitigated idea what will happen. Conceptually, it definitely is a cool way to kick it.

#44 Posted by PenguinDust (12491 posts) -

@mordukai said:

@believer258 said:

Or a movie.

DONE!

Hey now, that was a great movie when I was 8 years old. The science is way off and the story ridiculous, but for someone yearning for a some sci-fi between Star Wars episodes, this (along with Battlestar Galactica) satisfied my need.

If you don't mind anime, I'd recommend the following TV series and movies:

  1. PlanetES (2003) [trailer]
  2. Moonlight Mile (2007) [trailer]
  3. Royal Space Force: Wings of Honneamise (1987) [trailer]
  4. Infinite Ryvius (1999) [trailer]
  5. Space Brothers (2012-ongoing) [trailer]

No giant robots, aliens or space-magic here. Just normal, near-future space exploration and settlement.

#45 Posted by mbr2 (564 posts) -

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. Read these and mourn over modern sci-fi.

#46 Posted by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

As somebody who read a lot about black holes when they were younger, allow me to share my expert opinion on that article.

"Jesus fucking christ, what the everloving shit is that thing. That terrifies me to the very core of my goddamn being."

#47 Posted by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

@Sinusoidal said:

@Shirogane said:

@Clonedzero said:

i kinda wanna be launched into a blackhole on a super fast rocket.

that'd be a cool way to die

No....no it wouldn't. You might want to go read up on black holes a bit and rethink that.

Why not? He'd most likely be crushed in an instant, no pain. Worst case scenario, he survives to the event horizon, time stops and he's stuck in limbo forever. Hrm, maybe not cool. Science actually has no unmitigated idea what will happen. Conceptually, it definitely is a cool way to kick it.

Here's a term you might want to look up: spaghettification.

Now, it's a very scholarly term, I'll admit, but allow me to paint you the clearest picture I can.

Don't.

#48 Posted by Downloaded (176 posts) -

Ender's fucking Game.

#49 Edited by NTM (7334 posts) -

Alien, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Trek. Event Horizon isn't a good movie as it seems a lot of people on here make it seem. I am entirely with you though. While I can have many things on my mind, outer space and just imagining what's out there is on my mind almost every day. I actually have Dead Space to thank for that.

I think I've always liked sci-fi, but Dead Space got me into not only science fiction, but science in general. I recommend watching the science channel if you can, it's very interesting. Oh, and thanks for the news. Did you hear about the planet they found that may hold water on it? If I find a link, I'll post it. It was new a few weeks ago. If you're interested in other things science, here's some links you can check out.

http://www.futuretimeline.net/index.htm

http://hubblesite.org/

http://www.nasa.gov/home/index.html

I think you'll like the hubblesite.

#50 Posted by believer258 (11785 posts) -

@PenguinDust said:

@mordukai said:

@believer258 said:

Or a movie.

DONE!

Hey now, that was a great movie when I was 8 years old. The science is way off and the story ridiculous, but for someone yearning for a some sci-fi between Star Wars episodes, this (along with Battlestar Galactica) satisfied my need.

If you don't mind anime, I'd recommend the following TV series and movies:

  1. PlanetES (2003) [trailer]
  2. Moonlight Mile (2007) [trailer]
  3. Royal Space Force: Wings of Honneamise (1987) [trailer]
  4. Infinite Ryvius (1999) [trailer]
  5. Space Brothers (2012-ongoing) [trailer]

No giant robots, aliens or space-magic here. Just normal, near-future space exploration and settlement.

I like some anime. I've heard of Planetes before and I'm interested in watching it. How long is it? I don't want to see something that's 100+ episodes but a 26 episode thing would be fantastic.

@Sinusoidal said:

@Shirogane said:

@Clonedzero said:

i kinda wanna be launched into a blackhole on a super fast rocket.

that'd be a cool way to die

No....no it wouldn't. You might want to go read up on black holes a bit and rethink that.

Why not? He'd most likely be crushed in an instant, no pain. Worst case scenario, he survives to the event horizon, time stops and he's stuck in limbo forever. Hrm, maybe not cool. Science actually has no unmitigated idea what will happen. Conceptually, it definitely is a cool way to kick it.

Not really. mentioned spaghettification, which essentially means that black holes will treat you like a cheap rubber band. Crossing an event horizon means you're dead. If you somehow survive that, you'll be killed by radiation. It's not gonna feel good.

Some great suggestions here, people, I'm definitely keeping a lot of them in mind!