Stranded On An Alien World
This episode is sponsored by Audible. We often see aliens crashing on Earth in scifi, but what would it actually be like to be stranded on some alien and hostile planet? So, welcome back to another Scifi Sunday here on SFIA, where we relax a bit of our scientific rigor from our normal Thursday episodes, to explore concepts from science fiction and see how realistic they are, or what the other implications of such situations are. Today’s topic was inspired by some of our recent episodes on damaged spaceships and crashed saucers, or being an alien refugee, and it made me ask what I’d have done in that fictional alien’s case and what a human should do if they crashed-landed on, or were exiled to, some alien planet. It was also partially inspired by our look at Alien Impostors some months back, which is actually the episode coming out next as I write this, because I do the videos a couple months after the scripts, and I found myself asking how I would have acted if I was the shape-changing entity we see from the film The Thing, or the Xenomorphs from Aliens, or the Predator from that franchise. The big question is always how the heck the alien can even survive on the planet, different air, different food, no knowledge of the environment, all messed up from being on a world that differs in so many ways, from gravity, lighting and pressure, to all the plants around it, that it probably feels like its in a hallucination or a fever dream. Which it might actually be too; an accident or crash can cause injuries, and it might be disoriented for neurological or chemical reasons, not just by the weird environment’s shock value. Of course, in fiction, the default answer is that
the creature is either from a parallel environment or is just that tough, in body or mind, and maybe any plotholes in the story where it acted dumbly can be attributed to that unfamiliarity and disorientation. Indeed when I thought about it, that’s not a bad excuse, given that an invader probably prefers to invade worlds a bit like their own, and that anything evolved to be its own world’s apex lifeform is probably pretty tough and clever. Plus it might be some engineered lifeform, like the Xenomorphs of the Alien Franchise, or just really augmented as a life form. We spend a lot of time on this channel talking about space colonization and about transhumanism, augmentation of the human mind and body, be it cybernetic, genetic, or various other options and combinations thereof. However, we often don’t spend as much time thinking about combinations thereof when it comes to settling space and being an augmented transhuman or posthuman doing it.
We tend to look from the basic human perspective. And when you think on it from that post-human perspective, finding yourself crashed on some alien planet is not necessarily a pathway to instant doom. As I’ve pointed out in other episodes, if an alien ambassador shows-up, demanding to be taken to our leader, shooting them is not just dangerous because their civilization might want some payback. It’s entirely likely that they, personally, are so amped up on mental and physical augmentation that they might be entitled to their own comic book. If you shot them, it's entirely possible their nanobot laden blood might be oozing into the ground getting ready to replicate and build some subterranean manufactory that will burst forth ten thousand war machines a month later. Or preemptively,
their ship launched some self-replicators at a crater on the moon or a few spare asteroids as it was approaching, with orders to copy the ambassador and give him an entourage of killbots. We don’t really know how far things like self-replicators can really go in terms of productivity and speed or durability. In terms of realism, nanobots would be like viruses, ultra-fragile, but fast to reproduce and numerous, and very specialized. So for today we will assume that our person crashing might have access to some very advanced technologies but not quite that impressive. We’ll assume the person or alien in question here isn’t regenerating at Wolverine or Mr. Sinister levels and the ship doesn't either and isn’t made out of adamantium, even if it might be way tougher than steel. Afterall, if their repair capacity was that great,
then the ship probably could fix itself while it was crashing, and our stranded person or alien could be a wrecked corpse impaled on their own control console after they both slammed out the front of this ship, and it would still have them all put back together again in short order, and ready to go, once it finished sweeping up all your scattered and half-incinerated remains. So even if it took a few hours, assuming you fell to the ground in a remote place, you’re good to go. And the same for any easily repaired damage that’s basically the equivalent of a flat tire. Also odds do favor you falling out in the middle of nowhere, because even nowadays, most of this planet is nowhere. Even ignoring how much of this planet is water, or ice,
half the planet’s population is packed into 1% of its land, a lot of the remaining land isn’t just rural but downright uninhabited, tundra or desert or mountain, where it might be a mile or more to any human-built anything, let alone a person who was coincidentally watching the sky when your ship meteored in. And a crashing ship would tend to look like a meteor and radar might not see it, or just see it and tack a note on that X Return at Y Time had Z vector in case anyone wants to reference it against some meteorite they found. There’s no joint service that investigates meteors even in the US, let alone worldwide. If your ship leaves some mile-wide swath of fiery ruin in its wake through a forest, yeah, you’ll be getting noticed pretty quickly, and depending on the country, the welcoming party might be arriving in the form of helicopters and commandos. But even in cases like that, I’d figure you’d still have several minutes to get out and move somewhere else.
And you might be able to move really fast. I mean, if you survived a crash like that, it's possible your crash system was good enough that you’re uninjured, or at least that a vehicle on your ship was, your high-tech personal shuttle, rover, dunebuggy, or hoverbike, or that you survived it because you are a pretty tough post-human. So, maybe you can run fast, or maybe you just dished up 32 flavors of buttkicking on the welcome party. But, assuming you didn’t stumble out of your ship armored and armed to the teeth with megaweapons, and decided you needed to abandon your ship, you’re going to be limited to what you’ve got on you, and what you can forage from the electronics and hardware stores to fix your ship, build a new one, or build a signaling device. This of course assumes there are any hardware stores, and that you can fix anything. So I thought we would contemplate a few different cases here. We have four different people from four different hypothetical future human civilizations, Martin, Athena, Turok, and Noonien.
Martin is an anthropologist exploring a planet designated 6319, with intelligent life and civilization, and not too far from achieving spaceflight themselves. Athena is a fleet officer whose ship was patrolling a remote system, when it got damaged and she had to abandon ship in a drop pod, and landed at daybreak on a planet BSG-2004, with intelligent life, but little to no technology. Turok is the warden of Planet Tal’Set with alien life, but not intelligent and sapient life. He maintained the quarantine of it from his space station, but crashed on that planet after the station blew up while he was returning from a survey.
Noonien is an augmented human who is stranded on Ceti Alpha, a barren and lifeless world. Congratulations to everyone who got all those references and easter eggs, though for those who did, we’re not holding much to the specific characters beyond that. Now, in Martin’s case, his people had found a planet, 6319, inhabited by aliens who weren’t all that dissimilar to them in basic appearance, and like every alien world we’d found in the galaxy with intelligent primitive life on it, we slapped a quarantine down banning anyone from going there, even to study, because so many early attempts failed at doing that well. Tampering always occurred.. But he’s an anthropologist, so he and some others decided they would check it out anyway. Martin was selected for both his skill in the
field and his willingness to die if necessary to prevent either tampering with the planet, or exposing his secret allies. He had to agree to extensive cosmetic surgery, and by pooling their resources, they were able to get a small and decently stealthy spaceship. Though their great achievement was getting a sympathetic officer of the fleet stationed there for quarantine, who was able to take the detection grid offline for a while for maintenance while Martin snuck in.
He was almost done with his mission of several decades and was ready to leave, but that officer in the fleet had long since rotated out and they weren’t so sure that stealthy ship would be up for the task, especially as it hadn’t had the best maintenance over the decades and he guessed the fleet might have had some upgrades. So he decided to try to mimic one of the new aircraft the people of 6319 had recently invented to disguise his atmospheric ascent from the fleet’s interest, but one of the radar stations of 6319 - who amusingly also call their planet Earth in their local language - spotted him, and one of their fighters shot his spacecraft down. Martin is surprised they could do that, but figures they must have hit some vital ship component whose backup wasn’t working anymore, after decades of skilled but limited maintenance by himself. It can’t make the speed to get to space and isn’t going to stay in flight much longer, but he’s able to glide the ship down near one of the many hideouts and bolt holes he stayed at around the planet for some weeks or months at a time in his studies, just a cave really but out of the way. The ship is badly damaged, possibly beyond repair, as is his transmitter, a powerful laser which can be used once a local year at an exact moment, to send a very brief pulse of data, with the help of gravitational lensing, to a very distant satellite around another star that his allies own and can then transmit it on to them. He estimates that if
he can get his transmitter working again, then he can signal his distress, and that in as little as fifty years they might be able to receive that message, come up with a way to help, and get it here. Alternatively, he can try to repair his spaceship. He believes he has vital information on the people of 6319 that is well worth risking his life to get to the academic community, and while he has a modest if condescending fondness for the locals, he does not want to spend the remaining centuries of his life here. So what are his options? Well first, he is nigh immortal in an aging sense. He wouldn’t survive being blown-up or machinegunned,
but he’d probably recover without treatment from any wound that wasn't instantly lethal, and he’s basically disease-proof. He doesn’t have any magic technology on him though. Just a few implants designed to help with the recording and storing of data, none of which are necessarily much more advanced than a smartphone without internet, and those are all designed to burn themselves out if he dies or signals it, so that he doesn’t break his species’ prime directive. He is very smart and technical too, but he hasn’t got endless diagrams of high-tech devices in his head, or a sonic screwdriver or any other widget the people of 6319 could use to back-engineer tech off of. His spaceship has lots of tech of course, but even that is kept to a minimum, and it has all sorts of tamper safeguards, including outright blowing itself up, some of which he is unable to turn off. He has more options than those that might first come to mind though. To begin with,
he could signal the fleet easily enough. They will come and get him, he thinks. They might just drop a small fake asteroid on his position to blow him up, but what he knows of the protocols are that they would want to get their hands on him to interrogate him to find out what he’s done on this unauthorized expedition, who it was with, who his allies were, and where bits of their technology might be lying around this primitive planet. That’s not the end of the world, he will go to jail for a long time, but it's no gulag - hopefully anyway; he’s been out of touch for over a century, so things might have changed - and they won’t spitefully destroy his data. His people are curious by nature, they just follow a prime directive, illegally acquired data is not destroyed and indeed he isn’t the first person to have done an illegal anthropology trip and then semi-anonymously published the results. His next option is just to keep at what he’s already been doing, until this civilization becomes spacefaring themselves and no longer comes under the protection of the Prime Directive. He
expects that the alterations to him which make him incredibly long-lived and durable, will hold up for many centuries, but he believes with sufficient time he could build a cryo-unit to go into stasis for a couple decades at a time and check conditions. One thing his ship isn’t lacking is a library of old TV shows and films, and he has watched a lot of the stranded alien or time traveler ones from obvious personal sympathies with the characters. So he knows of Star Trek and how often they have been back in time or around some primitive world and had to talk about abandoning ship and living out the remainder of their lives among the people of that time, as got suggested in Star Trek: First Contact, when they’re back in time, fighting the borg before humanity discovers warp travel. He wonders why they didn’t just tear out a few replicator units and have an agreed upon rendezvous point where they could manufacture stasis pods set for one day after they left their own time. Or even cobble together simple freezer pods to hide in a camouflaged cave and a beacon designed to go off on a chosen time and date to come rescue and restore them. He can try to fix his ship, he is very
knowledgeable of the culture after all, and does look like one of them. He is still an alien to them so often comes off a bit weird in manner and tone, but he could probably pass for eccentric. He knows he would need a lot of money to fix his ship, the damage and repairs are going to require too complex a supply chain, or way too expensive of custom and highly precise work, even if he limits it to bits and pieces that aren’t functioning super-tech, and does those parts on his own. He has a lot of ways to get rich, the most tempting being
to pick a technology he knows they’re going to invent sooner than later and running with that. Being a tech billionaire that’s eccentric wouldn’t be surprising but would tend to draw official interest in his background, and he believes the 6319-ers Air Force suspects they shot down an alien craft, or an enemy nation’s prototype, and might be hunting for him. A tech billionaire who keeps coming up with new tech might trip a mental alarm fingering him as an alien visitor. On the other hand, the vast majority of technology isn’t invented by a future billionaire, he doesn’t have to introduce semi-conductors or the internet. A relatively mundane widget that’s very useful for flight might easily let him run a profitable factory with a connection to aerospace that would conceal a lot of his weirder and secretive buys as merely a company experimenting and trying to keep their R&D quiet. But it could be even more mundane. The most important invention of 1962 is usually considered to be the communications satellite, but the invention of the cordless electric drill the year before in 1961 was a very big deal, and someone who also already knew what tool innovations of that sort were popular among his people of that era could rapidly dominate that market, or simply be content to be a millionaire many times over, and with no one thinking alien visitor. His goal is still to slip by unnoticed afterall, and get
his equipment fixed or wait out the time till he can openly book a spaceflight to his homeworld, centuries down the road. His goal is not to set himself up as another Thomas Edison or Tesla, or Musk or Gates or Jobs. He’s not aiming to takeover this planet or be worshiped as a god, after all. Athena, emerging from her drop pod on planet BSG-2004 with the sun rising at her back while dozens of the primitive natives gather in awe to see this fiery egg falling from the sky, probably has some reason to wonder if that might be the easiest course of action. She’s somewhere in
the gray area between being a cyborg and android herself, and thus inhumanly strong and durable, and she doesn’t really look like the locals, who are humanoid but not much more similar in appearance beyond that. So she’s quite capable of playing god to the paleolithic culture that found her but also not really in a position to either live on her own completely, or change her appearance to match theirs. She looks human, really thinks of herself as one too, and she can’t change shapes or perform cosmetic surgery on herself and she would need to be a foot shorter and have her knees turned around backwards to have a chance of passing as one of them, no amount of makeup is going to make her look like one of them. She thinks that, given enough time and contemplation, she could figure out how to build some sort of transmitter, but that might take her many decades, she really has no bigger advantage in doing this than you or I would, with a decent basic knowledge of how radios and electromagnetic radiation and power generation work. She figures
she can use her decent basic grasp of science and some experimentation and sheer determination to eventually get a radio working. But a spaceship? Not a chance. She knows the transmitter in her pod is broken because it says so, along with how it’s running out of power, and she has no idea how to fix that any better than most of us would if the camera on our phone was clearly smashed and we don’t even know which bits of circuits connect to that, and the diagrams are on the same system that’s currently busy running out of power. Athena knows her best path to getting that pod -or any bit of it- working again, would be to hope she can guide and teach these primitives into becoming a technological culture and letting them poke at the pod in several centuries when they get there. She’s not sure if the pod would still be useful by then or if she would still be functioning. In practice, she is assuming her fleet’s home base is eventually going to send an investigation out but she’s not sure if anyone else survived or would just happen to have had the good luck to land on this planet, which is a very tiny target against an entire solar system, but also way too big for her to have any chance of searching for other folks from her ship. She also doesn’t know how long it will take before a search and rescue effort is made - if ever - or some other patrol comes through, but figures it would likely be some decades at least.
So, her options are to go full-on hermit and survive as long as she can, possibly viewed as some loch ness monster or Grendel equivalent, possibly as fairy or god. Or she can join this tribe. She doesn't speak their language and actually doesn’t have all the right hardware to do so, as it appears to be a mix of yips, barks, and high-tempo leg tapping, but signs and gestures work a bit. So she can’t even tell them yet that she’s not a god, and she’s not so sure she should try. They might assume she’s a demon instead, and they’re not really philosophically advanced enough to have a formal theology on what is or is not a god, so epic warrior of vast strength, durability, knowledge and lifetime, who fell from the heavens, might check that box, and even an honest explanation of the situation might leave it checked. Of course, we’re assuming Athena is somewhat ethical, but in the event she falls somewhere between ethical and tyrannical monster, she might decide being housed in a temple built in her honor, and being waited-on hand and hoof by the locals is an entirely justified reward for making sure their descendants thrive and survive. She held some rank in the service so she is used
to being in charge and knows the burdens of command and was screened out for obvious signs of extreme narcissism or being a psychopath, so there’s no question that she won’t be abusive to the locals, except maybe by accident. There’s also no plausible physical attraction going on here, the plumbing isn’t even vaguely compatible, so she’s not demanding to be fanned by scantily clad servants feeding her grapes like some Egyptian Pharaoh. But, like a Pharaoh, she is in a position to soon have tens of thousands of people working on some big task like pyramid-building. Or a mega transmitter. Now, in theory she could put a fair amount of time into teaching them basic metallurgy so that she could get some copper wire and just build a very crude steam engine, turning a dynamo and powering a big simple radio. That could be put
together in a relatively short time, maybe a few years tops, with a couple years spent learning the language and persuading, or conquering, nearby tribes. That would produce a radio signal loud and artificial enough that a search and rescue team would pick it up and investigate. We don’t know how they’d respond at that point if they did spot the signal. They
might embrace her and take her home, or clap her in chains for tampering with or enslaving a primitive world. Or they might celebrate her ingenuity, and leave a detachment behind to claim the planet or just nuke the surrounding region to cut out the contagion, so to speak, that region that received technological uplifting. She might be concerned something like that might happen. We also never said how her ship got damaged or what they were patrolling for, it could have been enemy ships and this world might be left alone because it’s part of some neutral zone. Or maybe the enemy is pretty vicious and she thinks her side is losing and wants to help these people get a chance to survive should the enemy win and turn their eye on smaller prey.
Or maybe the radio just doesn’t work. Whichever, if that option passes then Athena might realize that her own knowledge of science and technology is good, but not enough to rebuild a computerized spacefaring culture. She can tell them lots of basics and also lots of goalposts, like knowing whether or not deuterium or helium 3 was the better path to fusion reactors or not knowing how to build a carburetor but knowing they existed and what they were for. So, how fast can she take a paleolithic culture to modern tech? Well, the early periods are actually the easiest, once you get the language down, it shouldn’t be that hard to take any paleolithic culture to neolithic or early copper age just by showing them copper and pottery and few hours of discussing plants and plowing and such, again once you learned their language and had them explain their planet to you. There’s no guarantee for instance that the plants actually have seeds, maybe it’s all spores and rhizomes, maybe they don’t need a boost in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, and those aren’t the big nutrients to boost. Primitive doesn’t mean stupid, though they are aliens so there’s no particular reason to think their brains parallel humans, they might be smarter or dumber in all things or better or worse at certain mental tasks.
But that should be a one or two generation project, and then it’s really more about growing numbers and showing them what you know and describing what you can recall. We already know plenty of stone-age tribes from the colonial era picked up technology comfortably enough after a fairly short period of being awed by it. But if Athena determined that she had components that might not last more than a century or so, and that it would take at least three or four to get the tech to make a spaceship or interstellar beacons or replacement cyborg parts, she might devote her efforts to accelerating them as much as she can while writing down or dictating all the tech knowledge and descriptions she could recall, then teach them how to make liquid nitrogen and vacuum-walled chambers, neither of which are very difficult, along with everything she knew about cryo and restoration afterward, and have herself frozen. I suspect that might be easier to do as an ancient hero of the people who came from a distant star and asked for their help and gave it in return then as a fake god, as they would want you back as much as we would want back a Benjamin Franklin or Leonardo Davinci, and all the more so if they turned out to be alien, not least because they could serve as a guide or ambassador to their people for us, but you can make an argument for going either way.
Turok has no such option, as his own ship is crashing into the jungles of Tal’Set, the world he serves as guardian of and has done for a very long time. It’s a truly primitive planet, nothing with a brain much bigger than a chicken’s, but with some giant chicken-like creatures around. This world has dinosaurs, and here at least, they do have feathers, and they roam the jungles and mushroom forests trying to eat anything tasty, and Turok is about the right size.
Before he was dragging himself out of his crashed ship, he and a few others had the duty of guarding this planet from potential colonization or from reckless explorers, or from asteroids or other world-ending events. This world is quarantined and he is its keeper. The system is 23,000 light years from Earth and it’s the year 97,022 AD, so the main wave of colonization is still way far behind and this system is outright owned by the NPPP, which is headquartered on Earth but controls thousands of systems and defends them ruthlessly. The Native Planet Protection Pact may need 23,000 years before they even realize their station blew up and one of its few dedicated crew survived, let alone send anyone from Earth to help, or maybe hire a mercenary company closer to the spot to protect the system and rescue Turok, once more people settle it. Turok doesn’t know if his station was attacked, maybe by poaching dinosaur hunters, or just hit by a micrometeor, or had received sub-standard maintenance, he just knows that when he was docking from a routine sampling trip to the surface, the station exploded, damaging his ship, which was also low on fuel. He also knows that any rescue that might be coming is either going to be those hypothetical dino-hunters or else be several millennia in the making. There are only a handful of colonies within a thousand light years of here and most are from various groups which might be called eccentric or unreliable, who had essentially spent fortunes to migrate far, far from Earth when countless nearer worlds were still available.
Repairing and refueling his ship wouldn’t let him do anything other than maybe get back into orbit to scan the debris or for other ships, though he contemplates that he could cannibalize the various defense and recon satellites around the planet. There’s a whole constellation of them up there, but without active maintenance they probably won’t survive more than a century. Ironically his GPS is working fine and he has plenty of access to information on his ship. It’s not going anywhere,
though he’ll need to protect it from nature, and he has all the bits and pieces necessary to rig up some solar power for a bit and then make a dynamo and other electrical production hardware. What does he do? Try to repair and refuel? If he was attacked, does he try to deal with the poachers and become Turok, Dino-Hunter-Hunter, or does he just cut a deal with them, figuring he can’t stop them but he might be able to talk them out of particularly ecological harmful actions and get a ride back home, or some place than can become home. Or maybe he goes the cryo and beacon route too, sleeping on ice in the Savage Land until rescue comes or civilization arrives the slow way, by colony ship or by the intelligent descendants of the chicken-dinos. Maybe he could even engage in selective breeding and engineering to bring about smarter dinos and an eventual sauron civilization? He still has options and a lot more than our last case, Noonien, the exiled leader of a defeated empire, a once great Khan, now abandoned or fled to the lifeless world of Ceti Alpha, with only the basic tools for a meager survival. Is the world entirely lifeless or just devoid of anything abundant or complex? Or perhaps the world held life, once his great capital, but all that’s left after the bombing is deserts, traces of atmosphere full of radioactive dust, and his bunker where he and a few of his loyalists held out till the end, buried alive.
Now, crashing on a lifeless world like Mars presumably leaves few odds for survival without rescue, but a scenario like in Andy Weir’s Martian is more plausible with just a handful more technology than the character in that story had. It wouldn’t be likely there would be a breathable atmosphere unless it was a case like earth from a bit over a billion years back, before we had a real land ecology but after life had switched from regarding oxygen as a dangerous waste product, to one that could be used as part of our fuel process, then excrete carbon dioxide as a waste instead. Noonien is very augmented though, he could survive in a radioactive environment that would kill us in minutes, or in low-pressure or low oxygen environments for extended times, and he’s smart and tough and strong. He knows that with any decent supply of electricity he can turn not just water or ice but actual rock into breathable oxygen, rock is mostly oxygen afterall. He knows he can use wind turbines for power in dust
storms and solar thermal in an airless or low air environment, or hydropower or any number of options. The big question is if there’s anything to eat, either local or in his supplies, and if it can be made to last long enough to grow more. A ship or bunker might well have hydroponics, and a person stranded there as an exile probably would have that too. Though pre-packaged food might not have anything that was viable as a seed, possibly as a byproduct of processing and packaging it, and possibly intentionally too. His ultra-durable food stores given by his captors or
exilers are just a bit over the amount needed for him to survive the rest of his long life. In such a case, hypothetically, even a slurry of microbes grown from a sample from your own gut bacteria or excretions might provide sustenance. A sufficient mastery of biology and the right equipment might allow you to take DNA from food to clone up, and indeed, you might be able to vat-grow a clone of yourself, or many of them and more than one gender too. And the
name aside this isn’t Star Trek, so there’s no copy fatigue on cloning, one person could supply the gene-stock for an entire planet, especially with advanced tech but even modern tech could do, which would allow you to tweak genes to restore other hair and skin colors and other human traits. I could imagine Noonien and his fellow survivors or clones, living in some cobbled-together domes on some duststorm-wracked deathworld for generations, eking out an existence on what they could hydroponically grow by artificial lighting and manufacturing, or in algae vats, using power generated by wind turbines, and one day growing Ceti Alpha to be a terraformed paradise planet, home to a genetically diverse ecosystem and people. With sufficient technology, that might be possible just for one relatively normal human in an advanced spacesuit, one with limited 3D printing, nanotech, and good data capacity archives, able to keep a survivor alive who fell onto a barren asteroid, by just eating up the local scenery to build solar collectors, habitation domes and drums, biology labs and hydroponics, copies of its own AI to help, and eventually growing more plants, animals, and even people. And
maybe just turning the asteroid into one big space habitat or spaceship, able to take itself back to civilization. Or maybe just do a simple ship and place the person inside into hibernation. And of course that spacesuit might actually just be someone’s own internal augmentations, as opposed to something a normal modern human could wear. In any of these cases, with enough brains, technology, and sheer willpower a person can survive and get home, using real science rather than turning coconuts into radios like in Gilligan’s Island. Getting stranded on an alien world might be mostly a thing of science fiction, depending on the case, but as we saw today, survival is possible, with a combination of luck, skill, tools, and determination.
So this SciFi Sunday we were talking about getting stranded on an Alien Planet and referred to Andy Weir’s the Martian, and I was producing this video while writing up our upcoming December episode on Farming on Mars and discussed those potatoes he grew in the novel and film. I’m quite fond of that novel and it won our Audible Audiobok of the Month back in October 2019, in our episode on Hi-Tech Search and Rescue, as did his novel Artemis 4 years ago. Andy Weir is rapidly becoming one of the Greats of Scifi and his newest novel Project Hail Mary, featuring an amnesiac who is the sole survivor of a mission to Tau Ceti to save Earth, did not disappoint, and I’m very glad today to give Andy Weir’s Project Hail Mary our Audible Audiobook of the Month. All of our Audiobooks of the month are available on Audible, the Home of Storytelling, which has thousands of audiobooks and literally centuries worth of content for you to pick from, and more being added every day faster than you could listen to all of it, which is wonderful whether you’re stranded on an Alien Planet or just stuck inside for the winter.
But they don’t just have audiobooks, they also have many excellent podcasts, such as Science & Futurism with Isaac Arthur, where we have every single episode on Youtube, plus several audio-only exclusives I’ve made over the years. That’s just some of the great content in the Audible Plus Catalog, which also has sleep & meditation tracks available, as well as guided fitness programs, and Audible Original’s like Neil Gaiman’s Sandman Act III and Roadkill, the newest work by my friend Dennis E. Taylor, who many of you know from his awesome Bobiverse series, which are also available on Audible. The whole Audible Plus Catalog full of free
books and other content, comes as a bonus when you join Audible, for you to stream or download to listen to anywhere and anywhen, in addition to the usual one free title a month and great member discounts . Audible’s incredible selection makes it truly the home of storytelling, and listening to audiobooks lets you get more books into your life. Let Audible help you discover new ways to laugh, be inspired, or be entertained. New members can try it free for 30 days. Visit Audible dot com slash isaac or text isaac to 500-500. That’s Audible dot com slash isaac or text isaac to 500-500 to try Audible free for 30 days. Audible dot com slash isaac.
Incidentally for everyone who caught all those references, yes I was making fun of the 2004 TV Reboot of Battlestar Galactica’s last episode Daybreak. If you don’t know the series it's definitely worth a watch even if I didn’t like the ending, and if you’re in a rush and don’t want to sit down for nearly a hundred episodes, Spacedock did a fun 8 minute summary of the show a couple years back, and is definitely a great channel to tune into if you’re looking for more discussion of realism in scifi, or a lack thereof, to tide you over to our next Scifi Sunday episode, which will be on Planetary Civil Wars on December 11th. We’ve got a lot of episodes in November still coming up, starting this Thursday with a look at the concept of living planets, including asking if Earth might be one, in the The Gaia Hypothesis. Then it's onto our Thanksgiving Episode, Thursday, November 24th, for Reasons to Be Optimistic about the Future, followed by our Monthly Livestream Q&A two Sundays from now. If you want alerts when those and other episodes come out, don’t forget to subscribe to the channel and hit the notifications bell. And if you enjoyed today’s episode, and would like to
help support future episodes, please visit our website, Isaac Arthur.net, for ways to donate, or become a show patron over at Patreon. Those and other options, like our awesome social media forums for discussing futuristic concepts, can be found in the links in the description. Until next time, thanks for watching, and have a great week!