L is for Lost in space #atozchallenge

Posted April 13, 2013 in A-Z Challenge / 10 Comments

[Image by S.Ivanov, Creative Commons 3.0]

Today I’m continuing with the Blogging from A-Z Challenge hosted by Arlee Bird and his team of awesome bloggers. My theme is: Elements and features of speculative fiction and entertainment. So throughout April I will be blogging about characters, objects and themes that appear in sci-fi, fantasy and dystopian series. Today’s post is all about being Lost in space.

Being lost in space is a common trope in science fiction. A catastrophe destroys planet Earth or makes it uninhabitable, leaving a few survivors travelling the universe with no particular home. Or sometimes Earth still exists but the protagonists have been separated from it by a huge spacial and temporal distance and are desperately trying to find their way home.

Here are some examples:

  • In The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Earth is destroyed to make way for an intergalactic bypass and Arthur Dent finds himself ‘hitchhiking’ through the universe, having various adventures with Ford Prefect, Zaphod Beeblebrox and Trillian, the only other human to have survived Earth’s destruction. 
  • In the TV show Stargate Universe, an expedition team on board a ship called ‘Destiny’ is stranded several billion light years from Earth and has been travelling through the universe unmanned for millions of years with no apparent way home.
  • In Across the Universe by Beth Revis, the spaceship Godspeed is travelling towards a distant planet with 100 cryogenically frozen people and a society made up of several generations on board. As the novel goes on, it becomes doubtful as to whether the ship is making much progress towards its destination.  Amy is woken up fifty years before they are due to arrive on the new planet and is left feeling isolated and longing for her home and family.
  • In the comedy TV show Red Dwarf, Dave Lister is survives a radiation leak that wipes out the crew of the ship Red Dwarf, as he is in suspended animation at the time. The ship’s computer, Holly, keeps Lister in suspended animation until the background radiation reaches a safe level-which takes three million years. When he emerges from stasis he finds himself to be the last human being in the universe. The series follows his attempts to return to Earth, aided by the hapless crew of non-humans (a mechanoid, an alien and a hologram).

Recommended Reads:

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10 responses to “L is for Lost in space #atozchallenge

  1. I work with a few folks whose minds seem lost in space. Does that count? 🙂

    STAR TREK's VOYAGER is my favorite program of the lost in space variety. Great, fun post as always!

  2. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a classic. Can't wait to introduce it to my kids some day when they're bigger. Across the Universe was also very well done. I really enjoyed the whole series. Great lost in space books. It's a topic I really enjoy.

  3. @Cynthia-Thanks for the recommendation, I'll have to check them out!

    @Ella-thanks, it made me want to read/watch them all again too!

    @Nick-Red Dwarf is awesome. I've watched it countless times and it still makes me laugh out loud. Across the Universe was much darker and more interesting than I expected, not your usual YA romance.

    @Kate-me too! Douglas Adams is an absolute legend.

    @Roland-I'm probably guilty of that myself! I love Voyager too but my favourite will always be the Next Generation as Patrick Stewart makes it awesome.

    @Michael-I've never seen that show but heard it was pretty naff!

    @Laura-Yay, another Red Dwarf fan!

    @Janeal-I agree, Hitchiker's Guide is epic. I've only read the first in the Across the Universe series, can't wait for the rest!

    @Daniel-how could I NOT include Douglas Adams?!

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