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Leaving Earth forever, with no regrets - Input Junkie
May 24th, 2016
02:15 pm

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Leaving Earth forever, with no regrets
No, not me (I'd rather go to Shangri-La), but it's been on my mind for sf characters. The problem is, I can't remember what I read recently (not necessarily a recent work) which brought the subject to mind, but here are some stories. Since all of this is spoilers, a list is under a cut:


Friday by Robert Heinlein. Arguably, the whole book is about Friday looking for a home and having one after another getting pulled out from under her until she finally finds a home off earth.

The Rainbow Cadenza by J. Neil Schulman. The main character comes back to earth for plot reasons, but she has good reasons for never wanting to live there.

"The Persistence of Vision" by John Varley

The Women Men Don't See This is obviously mostly feminism, but there's something in there about a more general sort of alienation that I'm having trouble putting a finger on.

Any other stories?

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From:stoutfellow
Date:May 24th, 2016 08:59 pm (UTC)
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Damon Knight's "Ticket to Anywhere" ends on a somewhat similar note. (I haven't read the story in a long time, so I can't give details, but the protagonist winds up quite willingly leaving Earth forever, entering a network of gates connecting much of the galaxy. I seem to recall that there was something special about him - most humans were unfit and unable to use the network.)
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From:witchwestphalia
Date:May 24th, 2016 09:45 pm (UTC)
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Andre Norton's Witch World novels are fantasy but the first one is about someone to willingly steps through a gate to elsewhere not knowing where he's going or what it will be like. IIRC at least one other book in the series, Jargoon Pard, contains a similar journey.
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From:whswhs
Date:May 24th, 2016 10:53 pm (UTC)
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Tiptree also wrote "Beam Me Home," which is equally eloquent on the subject.
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From:elenbarathi
Date:May 25th, 2016 03:12 am (UTC)
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The Wilderness, The Million-Year Picnic, Dark They Were, And Golden-Eyed and Here There Be Tygers by Ray Bradbury... though maybe not entirely "without regret" in any of those stories. He's got some others of that sort too, but titles aren't springing to mind.

Vaster Than Empires And More Slow by Ursula Le Guin: due to relativity effects, if the Extreme Survey crews (who are all bright but crazy misfits) make it back at all, hundreds of years will have passed.

Orphans of the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein: the lost generational starship of the Jordan Foundation is still operational, but its crew and passengers have forgotten they're on a starship, and think it's the whole world.

Exploration Team by Murray Leinster: guy lives illegally on an extremely hostile planet with his trained eagle and four mutated Kodiak bears.

A World Out Of Time by Larry Niven: guy who had himself frozen before his death awakes in the far future as a slave, hijacks a starship and flees.

Call Me Joe by Poul Anderson: guy finds that life as a robust alien construct on Jupiter is better than life as a human paraplegic.

The Christmas Present by Gordon R. Dickson: "A little boy celebrates his first Christmas on a colony planet with a gift to his friend Harvey, a swamp-dwelling alien jellyfish. Harvey does not understand, but resolves to give a present in return; the only one he knows how to give." (This one makes me cry every time.)

Oh yeah, and The Gift by Ray Bradbury, though I don't recall whether the family was going to Mars permanently or not.

In Tarnsman of Gor by John Norman, Tarl Cabot is transported to Gor, where his father is. At the end of that book, he returns to Earth, but he goes back in Outlaw of Gor and stays there for something like 30 more books.

At the very end of A Canticle For Leibowitz by Arthur Miller, the monks shake the dust off their sandals and leave Earth just before the next nuclear holocaust.

Edited at 2016-05-25 03:52 am (UTC)
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From:ahmedakhan
Date:May 28th, 2016 01:23 am (UTC)

Off topic

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