Anyone read the book? Two issues:
1. Earth had past civilization
2. An advanced civilization upon landing on a new planet and separated, will have a tendency to go back to the primitive state, since the infrastructure will not be there to support technology.
Here is an excerpt (scanned):
"Do you have a theory,"
"Several. But explanations of each of them would take more time than we have."
"Please share with us the theory that you believe most likely. "
"The saucer is man-made."
"You mean people like us?"
"I mean our ancestors."
A murmur ran through the airport crowd that was watching this with Rip. He looked around at the people there, white, black, Hispanic, Asian, some of indeterminate race. All of them were listening intently to Professor Soldi.
"Civilizations don't just happen," the professor explained. "Hunter-gathering Stone Age societies are at one end of the continuum, we are somewhere closer to the other end. Each technological level, if you will, above Stone Age hunter gatherers requires a different level of social organization to support it. Increased specialization is the rule. The industrial age required millions of workers and consumers. The postindustrial age required even more specialization, a larger base of workers and consumers. We are now moving into the era of the global economy, in which the brains, talents, and skills of workers all over the planet will be melded together in gigantic enterprises to create further technical progress. Our destination is the technological future that created the saucer."
"I think I understand," the interviewer prompted.
"The properties of the technological continuum that we have just talked about are rigid; in effect, they are laws. Since each level of technological achievement requires more and more people, more and more social organization, it follows that without the specialized people, the technological level cannot be sustained."
"Keep going," the interviewer said.
"A society that can build a device like the saucer, put it in an interplanetary spaceship, and cross the vastness of interstellar space will not be able to replicate that society any~where else unless they bring their whole population, or most Of it. Upon arrival at the planet they intended to colonize, the small number of people who could make that voyage would drop to a technological level that they could sustain."
"You are saying that if the saucer brought colonists, they became hunter-gatherers to survive."
"Precisely," said Professor Soldi. "Spaceships, computers, tools, weapons, lasers, advanced medical devices, books, learning-they lost everything. There weren't enough people to maintain or manufacture any of that. The abandoned saucer was finally covered with sand by the wind. The people lived in caves and learned to make tools with stone and ate their meat raw. The past was passed on as legends and myths. Eventually over the generations the legends and myths became unrecognizable, completely divorced from historical fact. The past was lost, just as the saucer had been."
06-25-02, 03:25 PM
I haven't read the book...this may seem like a rudimentary question, but is it science fiction? It sounds interesting but I think that even if you couldn't build a city with the ten person crew of a flying saucer you could still hold onto books and computers and stuff, and just use the instructions to gradually build what you need.
If we came from another civilization, what happened to the rest of us?
They would have been left behind. Maybe still out there somewhere. Yes it's science fiction.
BTW, you'd have to have at least 50 people for the gene pool to be viable. Ten wouldn't be enough.
Here's a competing theory... say hello to my little friend - evolution! The creatures responsible for the saucer wandered into the desert and died off within geologic seconds. Meanwhile the native fauna trundled on. Coonts seems to ignore our genetic kinship with oh, the billion or so other species on the planet. And if I may (begin this sentence with a conjunction) riff off of Alpha's assertion that you would need at least 50 viable members for a successful gene pool, I would think that you would most likely need much more to account for the variation we see today. However, I don't disagree with the rather banal sociological observation that a small group of people, no matter how technologically advanced, will revert to more primitive forms of society to adapt to their environment (c.f. Lord of the Flies).
Turning to points of style, the passage describing the variety of races present at this conference is as clunky as I would expect from someone who made their career on military thrillers. No I haven't read the book, though I audaciously panned the blurb on the general books thread.
John Le Coq
Anyone who wants to comment that read the book?
Very good book. Will no doubt make an even better movie. Plans are already in the works... I enjoy the questions raised but am not real interested in the debate. I rather enjoy the questions better than the answers.
I hope, they spend the money to make the movie - not a TV movie but in theaters and also design it such a way to add additional stuff in the DVD release or use an extended version (like 3 hours).
By chance I happen to know that they are.
Are you connected to the project by chance? Tell us more....please....pretty please...
Guilty. But my lips are sealed. I'd love to hear suggestions in terms of translating the book to screen and casting suggestions for that matter. We'd love to please those who really appreciate the book.
The book was so good, I read the whole book staying up almost all night which I rarely do. I can provide some technical suggestions offline such as how a computer board and computer system should look in the future. I can also provide a mock up electromagnetic propulsion system within earth's atmosphere and ion propulsion in deep space if we need to. The hydrogen provides the massive energy needed for lift and movement. The mental command interface is easy to show and explain without helmet i/o.
The key is the technical detail should be accurate extrapolations of present technology but not too far out. For computers, even 50 years out is tough to swallow because of Moores Law. We already have display technology that would make EFC Global old hat.