Friday, July 20, 2012

Forbidden Planet Readalikes: A short bibliography I wrote to supplement a movie program at Portage District Library

Widely believed to be lifted from the play The Tempest by William Shakespeare, the movie Forbidden Planet is about a genius whose powers get the better of him. The plot involves unexpected mysteries found exploring distant planets, and "things man was not meant to know" in the form of "monsters of the id."

Here are some other science fiction books that deal with mysteries on new planets:

The Engines of God: Jack McDevittMcDevitt. Terraforming threatens critical research on the enigmatic alien ruins on Quraqua and its moon, which include a bizarre false city dubbed Oz.

Foreigner: CJ Cherryh. A human starship, lost in space, discovers another race. Overconfident, they are defeated in a war and must live on a reservation.

The Outback Stars: Sandra MacDonald. The crew of a space ship discovers strange thing about the alien faster than light travel system that they use.

Rendezvous with Rama: Arthur C. Clarke. When a 31 mile long alien starship enters Earth's solar system, a group of human explorers intercept the ship in an attempt to unlock its mysteries.

Ringworld: Larry Niven. Louis Gridley Wu travels beyond the edges of space known to humans, and joins an alien's expedition to a world constructed like a continuous ring around it's sun. Nobody knows who or what created this gigantic planet, but they seem to have been aware of us!

The Sparrow: Mary Doria Russell. Human exploration of a distant world results in the lone survivor being brutally enslaved.

Speaker for the Dead: Orson Scott Card. An indirect sequel to Ender's Game, the alien life on a human colony world turns out to be unlike anything seen before.

To Your Scattered Bodies Go (Riverworld Series): Philip Jose Famer. All of humanity is resurrected on the banks of a river. Mark Twain, Richard Burton, and Alice in Wonderland decide to find out what's up with that.

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