Ask The Reader: What are the Best Stories About Planetary Colonization?

You may have noticed us mention that friend of SF Signal Kevin Brusky runs his own game company (APEGames) in his spare time. When not delegating the onerous task of shipping stuff out to his various minions, he will browbeat John, myself, and anyone else he can corner into playtesting new games. Currently Kevin is working on a new game and he’d like to use the idea of planetary colonization as the theme. He asked me for a list of books that deal with colonization as a main part of the story. The only things we could come up with were: Robinson’s Red Mars series, Steele’s Coyote series and the game Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri. I’m pretty sure there are a bunch more cool stories/games out there that deal with mankind colonizing other planets, I just can’t think of them. So we turn to you, our readers and ask:

Do you have a favorite story about planetary colonization?

If so, let us know in the comments below. At the very least we should have a decent list of stories dealing with this subject. And who knows, maybe we’ll get a shoutout in the game instructions.

9 thoughts on “Ask The Reader: What are the Best Stories About Planetary Colonization?”

  1. A few older novels off the top of my head: Farmer in the Sky (Heinlein), Destiny’s Road (Niven), Dragonsdawn (McCaffrey), and possibly Speaker for the Dead (Card).

  2. Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov

    Time Enough For Love (and other Lazarus Long stories), by Robert A. Heinlein

  3. I think I’ve read more short stories than novels, though I’m having trouble remembering them. But…

    The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
    “The Word for World is Forest” by Ursula K. LeGuin
    “Call Me Joe” by Poul Anderson
    Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card

    Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris and Eden are more about exploration than colonization, but are still some of the best.

    There’s a big article here which may be of interest:

    http://sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/colonization_of_other_worlds

  4. I can’t believe no one has named the best colonization-meets-survivor on an alien world of all literary time and space, bar none: Anne McCaffrey’s Freedom’s Landing and subsequent books. Sooooooooo good. If you have not read them, go now, do eeetttt! So good.

  5. There are some really good stories regarding colonies in the manga 2001 NIGHTS, by Yukinobu Hoshino, specifically:

    A Gift From Earth
    A Stranger’s Footsteps
    Symbiotic Planet
    Colony
    An Hour’s Song in a Birdless Sky

  6. The book (series) that I liked the best is Niven, Pournelle, & Barnes’ “The Legacy of Herot.” The series includes “Beowulf’s Children” and “Destiny’s Road,” mentioned earlier.

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