Thoughtful Thursday: Where would you want to live in space?

One of the joys of science fiction is imagining living in space. If you could, where would you choose? There are several choices.

How about a “local” planetary colony? In Arabella of Mars, by David D. Levine, the title character comes from Mars. Many golden age writers imagined moon settlements, an idea Andy Weir tackled most recently in Artemis. THE EXPANSE, by James S.A. Corey, takes a look at smaller settlements in the Kuiper Belt, with humans already experiencing the physiological impacts of living in zero gee.

You could live on an exo-stellar colony, like the folks in Emma Newman’s Planetfall or John Scalzi’s The Last Colony. It’s hard work, and not for everyone, but to some extent, you get to make your own rules. If moving to Alaska or living on a rural tropical island has been your fantasy, and you’re big on DIY projects, then exo-stellar might be for you.

Another choice is living on a space station. While you can’t stretch out quite as much as you can on a planet, living on a station brings you into contact with a wide range of beings, human and extraterrestrial. It’s like living in a cosmopolitan port city. Ann Leckie’s Provenance provides an interesting space station that is also a cultural center. Television shows gave us the Deep Space Nine station and Babylon Five – although Babylon Five had just a little too much going on for me to want to live there!

Lastly, there is the generation ship. Do you want to be a perpetual traveler? Do you see yourself as part of a project that is bigger than yourself? I like to see how things end, so this really doesn’t appeal to me, but it might for some. Aurora, by Kim Stanley Robinson, has a different take on the colony ship. In Six Wakes, Mur Lafferty’s book, cryo-suspension is part of the plot. I enjoy sleeping, so maybe a cryo-ship would be for me.

Which is your choice, or do you have something completely different? Let us know in the Comments. One random commenter with a USA mailing address will win a book of their choice from our stacks.


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MARION DEEDS, with us since March 2011, is retired from a 35-year career with county government, where she met enough interesting characters and heard enough zany stories to inspire at least two trilogies’ worth of fantasy fiction. Currently she spends part of her time working at a local used bookstore. She is an aspiring writer herself and, in the 1990s, had short fiction published in small magazines like Night Terrors, Aberrations, and in the cross-genre anthology The Magic Within. On her blog Deeds & Words, she reviews many types of books and follows developments in food policy and other topics.

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21 comments

  1. Kelly Lasiter /

    I think a less eventful version of Babylon 5 would be about my speed.

  2. Von Berry /

    I think the moons of Jupiter, perhaps Enceladus would make a cool place to live. There maybe liquid water deep under the surface. Who knows?

  3. Actually, I’m more of a planetside person. I need a horizon and ground, so exo-planet colony for me, I guess.

  4. Me? Karl Schroeder’s Virga. A ‘bubble’ the size of Earth filled with air, water, a few asteroids, ecosystems, artificial suns and people.
    Despite the excitement of the books, I think it wouldn’t be a bad place to live.

    • That sounds intriguing!

      • Yeah, it is. Freefall if you want it, rotating towns, settlements and cities. Technology in the series is limited so humanity has a chance against AIs, transhumans and posthumans. At the end of Ashes of Candesce ernyyl nqinaprq grpuabybtl vf ninvynoyr, ohg abg nyy gur gvzr.
        Not an ideal world, but a large one and, ultimately, a hopeful one.

    • I love Virga!!!

  5. Noneofyourbusiness /

    I’ve often thought it would be nice to live on a scifi version of Mars, with red gardens and marble architecture.

  6. John Smith /

    I could live in some sort of floating space colony or on a planetary surface, but it would have to have normal gravity like on earth, and I would need to live in a 20- to 30-room apartment based on the best pre-war apartments designed by the architect Rosario Candela. Other people would need to not revert or convert to various primitive or diseased states, and I would be happy if my huge apartment was entirely separate and self-contained, with its own food sources and wine cellar, enough to last for my lifetime, just as long as I could have a library of art-movie and Warner-Brothers-cartoons DVDs, and numerous pet cats!

  7. Michael Voss /

    I’d like to try out Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars at the end of GREEN MARS. Or perhaps a colony on one of Saturn’s larger moons – for the view, of course!

  8. Lady Morar /

    Whenever we watch Babylon 5, I tell my son I’d love to live there!

  9. Victoria Hannah /

    If I had to choose solely on Sci-fi books alone, then Countess (Vicereine) Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan words: “egalitarians adjust to aristocracies just fine, as long as they get to be the aristocrats” feeds my choice. So if I can be Vor, Barrayar suits me because I love period dramas. So a fine combination of Sci-Fi and Period Drama…perfect.

    If I can expand to TV, then Betazoids would be awesome. They just seem so awesome!

  10. The Distinguished Professor /

    A self-sustaining arcology.

  11. I’d like to live on a trading ship such as the one in Elizabeth Moon’s Vatta’s War saga. I’d get to visit many exotic places as we travel around the universe to purchase and sell things that are made in all those exotic locales.

  12. I had to think about this one because one world came to mind immediately, so I had to think it over. I would like to live in the world with “Murderbot.” And yes, I would watch, “Sanctuary Moon”!

  13. Sethia /

    I would find a ship like Serenity from Firefly, and vist many diffrent places!

  14. Victoria Hannah, if you live in the USA, you win a book of your choice from our stacks.
    Please contact me (Marion) with your choice and a US address. Happy reading!

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