Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Five top inhospitable planets

Kelly Jensen is the author of a number of novels, novellas and short stories, including the Chaos Station series, co-written with Jenn Burke. Her latest novel is To See the Sun.

Jensen tagged five inhospitable planets in film and fiction at Tor.com, including:
Master Sergeant by Mel Odom

In Master Sergeant, Mel Odom introduces us to Makaum, otherwise known as the Green Hell. The planet is a maze of vicious vegetation defying every effort at containment. Like the burning sun and endless ice I’ve mentioned above, the jungle is inimitable, and it shapes the entire culture of the planet. It cannot be beaten back, but only be controlled for short periods of time, say for the purpose of clearing a landing pad. It’s a horrific and oppressive environment that leaves you wondering why anyone would want to live there.

Turns out, the planet is rich in natural resources. Of course it is! This is science fiction at its best. Why put the most sought after mineral in the galaxy on a barren rock where anyone can get at it when you can bury it beneath a man-eating jungle on a planet also infested with drug runners and gangs? Seriously.

Master Sergeant is military science fiction, which I also love, and outside the superlative world building also tells a great story. Inclusion on this list, though, is down to the jungle. Imagine a world where you can’t walk a foot without bumping into herbicide and fire resistant poison ivy? Lots of it. Then make it carnivorous. Further imagine how an environment like that would shape your life? I want to write that book. I have notes for that book.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue