The problem with tech, space exploration and sci-fi: if we could build a real-world HAL 9000, we could also send him on missions all by himself, in a spaceship the size of a shipping container or two.

@felix also, as Charles Stross has noted, if you could terraform other planets, you could terraform *Earth*.

In _Aurora_ Kim Stanley Robinson argues that interplanetary colonization is also a no-go because a) if the planet already has life, it's likely going to be incompatible with/hostile to Earthlings, and b) if it's lifeless, it will take way too long to terraform—if you could make a self-sustaining habitat that would keep the colonists alive long enough, you wouldn't need the planet.

Putting aside the ethics of the whole enterprise.

@nev Oh, of course, but that's a much bigger discussion. Two of them, even.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Wandering Shop

The Wandering Shop is a Mastodon instance initially geared for the science fiction and fantasy community but open to anyone. We want our 'local' timeline to have the feel of a coffee shop at a good convention: tables full of friendly conversation on a wide variety of topics. We welcome everyone who wants to participate, so long as you're willing to abide by our code of conduct.