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Handbook for Space Pioneers: A Manual of the Galactic Association (Earth… (1978)

by L. Stephen Wolfe, Roy L. Wysack (Author)

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There was this book in my middle school library I really liked. I think it was written during the 1970s. It took the form of an information booklet for potential colonists for extrasolar colonies a few hundred years from now. I think there were 9 planets to choose from. The oldest and most settled was in Alpha Centauri (naturally). Life on this planet was actually pretty settled and there was a semi-sophant native. Another "old colony" was named Brobdingnag (after Guliver's Travels) because it had some large native lifeforms. One of the newer colonies was actually twin planets named Romulas and Remus, with each having a 44 hour day. Only Romulas had colonists; Remus had native humanoids that were a medieval level and unber covert observation by human scientists. I think the newest colony was named Athena, it'd hadn't even received it's first colonists yet.

The FTL colony ships were vertically oriented with passengers and crew in large towers. On the more rustic colonies the towers were detached and landed on the surface as housing. Intersteller travel was so difficult and expensive that every colonist had to surrender all of there property on Earth in exchange for passage. Colonists from countries where there was no private property were provided with an equivalent sum by their government.

Except for high government officials, starship crews, some scientists, and the odd super rich person it was strictly one-way. There wasn't even any trade (with one exception) between the colonies and Earth because shipping was so uneconomical.
The exception was a planted so rich in rare minerals (some of which didn't exist in the Sol system) that there was some trade. Unlike all the other planets with a single world ocean and one or more continents this planet was mostly land with two seperate oceans surrounded by land and didn't connect with eachother.

There were other spacefaring species. They were very different from humans. One was less than a foot tall, another was based on energy instead of matter. Earth was a member of an interstellar UN like organization named (& I definatly remember the name) the "Galactic Alliance of Intelligent Lifeforms" or GAIL. The Earth agency in charge of colonization was called GAILE as a result.
  MenaceSan | Jul 1, 2014 |
This is such a fun book. Though outdated and silly at times it is a very interesting attempt to look into the future history of extra-solar colonies and what they would be like. What better introduction than descriptions intended for possible settlers?
1 vote dhelmen | Apr 23, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
L. Stephen Wolfeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Wysack, Roy L.Authormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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To all Earth citizens:
As of today eight planets are available for colonization by pioneers. This manual is designed to help you select the planet that is most appropriate for you. Here you will find answers to many of the questions that you may have:
—How do I get there?
—How long will it take?
—What can I take with me?
—Where will I live?
—What is the climate like?
—What is the current state of development of the planet?
—How will my life style differ from the life I have on Earth?
—Are there any indigenous inhabitants?
—What jobs are available?
—What educational resources are there?
—What will I be able to do for recreation?
—What kind of vegetation exists?
In addition to all this vital information, one of the early colonists on each planet has provided a first[person account to give you, the prospective pioneer, a more intimate and personal view of day-to-day life there. Detailed maps and many illustrations of each planet make this the indispensable guidebook for all pioneers from earth.
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