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Returning

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Online J.T. McDaniel Reading Selene by Stewart Giles
08 Jun 2017, 03:33 PM | Post: #1

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Returning

Returning starts with a simple premise. You cannot travel faster than light, but it just might be possible to travel at the speed of light. The obvious problem, while you may not experience the passage of time in the process, the rest of the universe still does.

By 2126 the UK is the leading space power, Russia is a liberal democracy, there hasn't been a war anywhere for many years, the US has regressed into an anti-scientific theocracy, and a certain BBC science fiction programme is getting ready to begin series 121. So things are thrown into a bit of turmoil when a 5.2-kilometre long starship suddenly parks itself in orbit next to the Sagan Space Platform. After a nervous few days, while the ship's computers chew on earth's broadcasts and work out translation software, contact is made and it's discovered that the starship's crew is (almost) entirely human, the ship comes from earth, and it has been in space for 86,985 years (or 15 years for the crew).

Senior crew members are received at Buckingham Palace, other crew members get to play tourist, and in Denver, a 15-year-old girl who accidentally became the first person to contact the starship is smuggled out of the country to accept an invitation to visit the ship. The official policy of the US and her former-televangelist president is that the ship is a British hoax, and if you disagree with that you just might find yourself living in a corner of Wyoming that doesn't show up on satellite images.


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Online J.T. McDaniel Reading Selene by Stewart Giles
10 Jun 2017, 06:47 PM | Post: #2

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RE: Returning

The one-person travel pods used to get from the starship to the space platform in Returning are described as "flat sided, slightly triangular polygons with round domes at the top." Upon first sight, they seem to make the space platform crew a bit nervous. Can't imagine why. Perhaps something to do with a sign hoarding on Wilton Place announcing, "Series 121. Starts 11th May."
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Online J.T. McDaniel Reading Selene by Stewart Giles
14 Jun 2017, 10:59 PM | Post: #3

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RE: Returning

Camp Antelope. A huge, heavily-guarded compound in Wyoming where the US government locks up anyone they believe poses a threat to civil order, but hasn't committed an actual crime. Such offences might include questioning official opinions about climate, history, or the age of the earth, being a gay man with needed skills (gay men without useful skills are just killed), saying anything negative about political leaders, or being an atheist and not having enough sense to keep your opinion to yourself. The America of 2126 is not the America of today, though there do seem to be people who'd like to change that. Perhaps needless to say, Camp Antelope doesn't officially exist. Then again, according to official US history in 2126, neither did the Japanese-American internment camps of World War II.
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Online J.T. McDaniel Reading Selene by Stewart Giles
19 Jun 2017, 03:11 AM | Post: #4

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RE: Returning

The starship Warrior is one of three despatched by the Gehunite Empire nearly 87,000 years ago. Sent to different quadrants of the galaxy, only Warrior has so far returned home. Her crew includes citizens of the Empire, and the independent countries of Callaa, Kaam, and Feria. Her commanding officer, Captain Kimewe Romiwero, is 45 when the ship returns in 2126, and the daughter of an admiral. Her navigating officer, Lieutenant Marina Fehmadaatin, is Callaaite, blond, beautiful, and had they ever met, would likely have sent Chuck Norris fleeing in terror.
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Online J.T. McDaniel Reading Selene by Stewart Giles
24 Jun 2017, 07:25 PM | Post: #5

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RE: Returning

If you only revisit a colony every few thousand years (because space, as Douglas Adams noted, is "big"), you have to be prepared to learn a new language. Imagine a modern City banker trying to converse with the writer of Beowulf. The Gehunites in Returning do it with technology. Interestingly, there's talk suggesting real-time computer translation of spoken languages is likely before the end of this decade.
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Currently Reading:Selene by Stewart Giles Last Book I Read:The World of Star Trek by David Gerrold Favourite Genres:Military, Police, Science Fiction, and hard science