What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

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Suggest books for me > Extinct Alien Civilisations

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Cumbling Michael (CumblingMichael) | 166 comments Hi folks. I'm looking for fiction books about xenoarchaeology, extraterrestrial archaeology, and/or the discovery of extinct alien civilisations. I'm familiar with the work of Jack McDevitt, and many of his books are good examples of the sort of thing I'm after. Please note, I'm only looking for fiction. I'm not interested in the sort of pseudo-science produced by David Hatcher Childress and Erich von Daniken.

Thanks in anticipation.


message 2: by Isabel (kittiwake) (last edited Jan 19, 2015 07:08AM) (new)

Isabel (kittiwake) | 115 comments Total Eclipse by John Brunner and Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds. Total Eclipse is a self-contained story about an archaological expedition on another plant, while in Revelation Space the archaeology is the jumping-off point for a series of books.


Cumbling Michael (CumblingMichael) | 166 comments Hi Isabel. Thanks for your post. I already have Revelation Space, but the John Brunner book is new to me, so that's one for my "to do" list.

Thanks again.


message 4: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Love | 1090 comments It's a short story, but have you read H. Beam Piper's "Omnilingual"? It's been anthologized often.


Cumbling Michael (CumblingMichael) | 166 comments Thanks, Pamela. Gosh - H. Beam Piper. There's a blast from the past. And I now see it's available as a free e-book on Project Gutenberg. So double thanks.


message 6: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Love | 1090 comments You're welcome. It's one of my favorite stories.


message 7: by Andy (new)

Andy Love | 2087 comments Isabel wrote: "Total Eclipse by John Brunner and Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds. Total Eclipse is a self-contained story about an archaological expedition on another plant, while ..."

"Total Eclipse" takes me back - I remember reading that one in 1980 or so. Great story.

Another book in this category (extinct civilizations) is James Hogan's Inherit the Stars.


Cumbling Michael (CumblingMichael) | 166 comments Thanks, Andy.

Now I've had a chance to look it up, I find that Inherit the Stars is only the first in a series of five. So that'll keep me going for a few days.

Cheers


message 9: by Andy (new)

Andy Love | 2087 comments Mike wrote: "Thanks, Andy.

Now I've had a chance to look it up, I find that Inherit the Stars is only the first in a series of five. So that'll keep me going for a few days.

Cheers"


You're welcome. I've only read the first three - but I think only the first one has the extinct civilization as a major plot point


message 10: by Ann aka Iftcan (new)

Ann aka Iftcan (iftcan) | 6967 comments Mod
The Ship Who Searched kind of fits your requirement. The 2 MC's (one is a brainship, the other her Brawn) both wanted to be archaeologist, and for one reason or another couldn't, so they do it as amateurs.

Retread Shop also somewhat fits your request. Starting with the location of the main part of the book. A space station that was orbited several billion years ago, and that has been added to and used by various civilizations ever since. Plus the trade of many of the beings who live on the Shop is plundering the civilizations of the past.


message 11: by Cumbling Michael (last edited Jan 22, 2015 03:47AM) (new)

Cumbling Michael (CumblingMichael) | 166 comments Hi Ann.

Thank you for your suggestions. More for my acquisitions list.

Your summary of Retread Shop immediately brought to mind the computer game “Mass Effect”.

Mass Effect has as its focus the “Citadel” a vast and ancient space station, long abandoned by its now vanished creators, and kept functioning by enigmatic semi-biological constructs. Having been empty for millennia, the Citadel is now occupied by a variety of alien species, and features a marketplace where alien artefacts may be purchased. The various aliens of the Citadel have appointed a galactic security force, composed almost entirely of aliens. Only one human (the main character) has ever been admitted to their ranks.

So we have a single human amongst a group of aliens, aboard a huge archaic space station, the makers of which are lost and unknown. We have a market, and we have a trade in alien technology.

I wonder where the makers of Mass Effect got those ideas?


message 12: by Peter (new)

Peter Meilinger | 474 comments Them Bones by Howard Waldrop doesn't fit your request but does fit the broader definition of "archaeology in science fiction" and isn't nearly as well known as it should be, so I plug it every chance I get.

It follows three separate storylines. The main story is about a scout for an army group that attempts to go back in time to change their future. He ends up in an alternate timeline where Europeans never explored or developed the Americas. The rest of the army group goes back much further than they expected in their own timeline.

The third storyline, the one that might interest you, is about a group of archaeologists during or just before the Great Depression who are frantically attempting to complete an excavation of a Native American burial mound before a nasty flood destroys it. Their interest goes through the roof when they start to discover artifacts that could not possibly have existed in that time and place.


message 13: by Cumbling Michael (new)

Cumbling Michael (CumblingMichael) | 166 comments Hi Peter.

Thank you for the suggestion. Having looked the book up on Wikipedia, you're right, it's not exactly what I'm looking for, but it's interesting, nevertheless. So it can go on my list.

Even here on our tiny Earth, in the relatively short history of humanity, many great civilisations have been and gone, leaving only ruins. The universe, on the other hand, is very, very big, and very, very old.

If we ever do discover evidence of advanced aliens, I think it's likely that what we'll find is not thriving societies, but their ancient remains.

Cheers


message 14: by Simon (new)

Simon Hedge | 2 comments Someone has to suggest Gateway by Fred Pohl. Spaceships to unknown destinations, long abandoned by unknown aliens, offer mankind opportunities but at huge risk.


message 15: by Cumbling Michael (new)

Cumbling Michael (CumblingMichael) | 166 comments Hello Simon.

Thanks for this. It sounds perfect. Andre Norton used a similar idea in Galactic Derelict.


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