One of the great things about modern astronomy is that it keeps enlarging the playing field for writing science fiction. Space is big, and the possibilities for science fiction seem endless. In these posts, I’m going to outline some of the coolest places in space that can function as effective settings for science fiction.
Seems obvious right? It was, even for the earliest writers of what we might today call science fiction. The early Greek writer Lucian of Samosata, for example, wrote an account (parodying other Greek travel accounts) of sailors being blown off course and ending up in the middle of an interstellar war on the Moon as early as the second century after Christ. And Johannes Kepler, a contemporary of Galileo, wrote a science fiction novel in 1608 outlining what the Earth would look like from the Moon.
But even after humans set foot on it, the Moon continues to have a romantic mystique in contemporary science fiction. The 2009 film Moon, staring Sam Rockwell, plays up the desolation of the Moon’s surface and the isolation of its single mining inhabitant quite well. It’s a setting so close and yet in many ways still so distant. And its tidally-locked orbit around the Earth adds interesting details for fiction set there. For instance, a day on the Moon lasts a full month, and the Earth always hangs in the same point in the sky. It’s details like these and they way they would affect life there that many writers enjoy playing with. (I give this a try in my short work “Drying Grass Moon.”