Poul "Kyrie" in Jerry Pournelle, ed. Black Holes.
1978, Fawcett. Explores the distortion of time near a black
Isaac "The Billiard Ball" in Asimov's Mysteries.
1968, Dell. Committing murder using general relativity.
Stephen "Pilot" in Vacuum Diagrams. 1997, Harper Prism.
An asteroid space ship being chased by an enemy missile goes through
the ergosphere of a rotating black hole, taking energy out and
making the chasing missile fall in the event horizon.
Gregory Eater. 2000, Eos/HarperCollins. An ancient intelligent
black hole comes to our solar system.
David "The Crystal Spheres" in The River of Time.
1987, Bantam. Advanced races use black holes to bear with the
loneliness of a universe in which life is still rare.
David Earth. 1990, Bantam. A mini black hole falls into
the Earth's core.
Joe The Forever War. 1974, Ballantine. An interstellar
war is fought using black holes for travel between battles.
Bill "Meet Me at Apogee" in Carr, T., ed. The Best
Science Fiction of the Year 12. 1983, Pocket Books. Posits
a future in which people (with alien help) organize levels of
descent near a black hole; so the two-month level is where one
day of experienced time for the traveler equals two months in
the outside universe. Prospectors and people with incurable disease
hire pilots to take them down to lower levels.
Geoffrey "Impact Parameter" in Impact Parameter. 2001,
Golden Gryphon. A newly discovered gravitational lens turns out
to be a wormhole being used by an alien civilization to visit
Geoffrey "Approaching Perimelasma" in Impact Parameter.
2001, Golden Gryphon. In the far future, a virtual human is dropped
into a black hole and makes an interesting discovery about space
Paul "How We Lost the Moon" in Crowther, Peter, ed. Moon Shots.
1999, Daw. A glitch in a fusion experiment on the Moon creates
a mini black hole that eats our satellite.
Jack & Shara, Michael "Lighthouse" in Cryptic:
The Best Short Fiction of Jack McDevitt. (2009, Subterranean
Press) [also on the web at: http://www.webscription.net/chapters/1596061958/1596061958___8.htm]
An alien race decides, as a public service, to mark the location
of unaccompanied black holes in the Galaxy by putting very strange
brown dwarfs around them that could not exist in nature. Shara
is an astronomer.
Larry World Out of Time. 1976, Ballantine. Protagonist
uses a supermassive black hole to travel into distant future.
Larry "The Hole Man" in A Hole in Space. 1974,
Ballantine. How to commit murder using a mini-black hole.
Larry "The Borderland of Sol" in Tales of Known Space.
1975, Ballantine. Space pirates use a mini-black hole.
Fred Gateway. 1977, Ballantine. Enjoyable novel
with rotating black holes, event horizons, and "black hole
guilt". (Has a series of sequels where the science gets too
"far out" for inclusion on this list.)
Carl Contact. 1985, Simon & Schuster. The protagonists
use a kind of black hole-wormhole "subway" system for
interstellar travel. The system was designed by astrophysicist
Kip Thorne and his students and later shown to be scientifically
Charles "Killing Vector" in Vectors. 1979, Ace.
Mini-black holes are used for space propulsion. Sheffield has
a PhD in physics.
John The Ophiuchi Hotline. 1977, Dell. Complex novel,
in which mini black holes are hunted as energy sources.
John "The Black Hole Passes" in The Persistence of
Vision. 1978, Dell. A mini-black hole threatens two deep space
J. Craig The Krone Experiment. 1986, Pressworks. Mini black
holes pose a threat to the Earth; written by an astronomer.
Connie "Schwarzschild Radius" in Preiss, Byron &
Fraknoi, Andrew, eds. The Universe. 1987, Bantam. Haunting
story combining episodes from the life of Karl Schwarzschild and
black hole images.
to topic list
Poul "Pride" in Asimov, Isaac, et al., eds. Comets.
1986, Signet/NAL. About "Nemesis," the hypothesized
star whose interaction with the Oort Cloud is supposed to result
in "comet showers" coming into the inner solar system.
Isaac, et al., eds. Comets. 1986, Signet/NAL. A collection
of stories about comets and their interaction with humanity.
Stephen "Sunpeople" in Vacuum Diagrams. 1997, Harper Prism.
A human expedition on a Kuiper Belt object finds a life-form made
of ice with liquid helium for circulation.
Gregory & Brin, David Heart of the Comet.1986,
Bantam. About a 2061 expedition to Halley's Comet.
Gregory & Carter, Paul Iceborn. 1989, Tor. Proposes
a form of life that can survive on Pluto and in the Oort Cloud.
Fred Comet Halley. 1985, St. Martin's. Life is found in
the famous comet.
Philip "The Blindness" in Clarke, Arthur, ed. Time
Probe. 1966, Dell. A 1946 story by astronomer Robert Richardson:
Halley's Comet disrupts our ozone layer.
Duncan "The Comet, the Cairn, and the Capsule" in Asimov,
Isaac, et al, eds. Comets. 1986, Signet/NAL. Several civilizations
leave messages on the nucleus of an interstellar comet.
Alastair Pushing Ice. 2005, Ace. Humanity in the future
captures comets in the outer solar system and sends them inward.
Robert Illegal Alien. 1997, Ace. Plot hinges on an alien
race from a multiple star system being unaware of the existence
of a close-in Kuiper belt, since theirs is cleared out.
also under "Impacts"
to topic list
(The Origin and Evolution of the Universe as a Whole)
Isaac The Gods Themselves. 1972, Fawcett. Ambitious
novel that "solves" the origin of the big bang and quasars.
Stephen "Last Contact" in Dozois, G., ed. The Year's
Best Science Fiction, 25. 2008, St. Martin's. [Also available
on the web at: http://www.solarisbooks.com/books/newbookscifi/last-contact.asp]
In the near future, the acceleration of the universe's expansion
increases to such a degree that even stars in our own galaxy begin
to be carried away very fast. The protagonist witnesses the Big
Gregory Cosm. 1998, Avon/EOS. A Brookhaven physicist makes
a universe in a particle accelerator and watches it evolve.
Gregory "Matter's End" in Matter's End. 1994,
Bantam. Physicists in India find that protons do decay as predicted
by some Grand Unified Theories, with dire consequences for reality.
David "An Ever-Reddening Glow" in Hartwell, D. &
Cramer, K., eds. The Hard SF Renaissance. 2002, Orb. Very
clever parable, which posits that it is the stretching of space
by the general relativistic "metric surfing" (travel
near the speed of light) of countless intelligent species that
is responsible for the expansion of the universe, and that no
species is willing to give up the thrill. (Very nice parallel
with the ecological damage we all do to the Earth.)
Chiang, Ted "Exhalation" in Hartwell, D. & Cramer,
K., eds. Year's Best SF 14. 2009, Eos. Fascinating
parable about the heat death of the universe, described in terms
of differences in pressure, instead of differences in temperature.
Cosmological speculation by a protagonist who seems to be a mechanical
Mark & Benford, Gregory A Darker Geometry. 1996, Baen.
A convoluted, brilliant novel of multiple universe, in which ours
is manipulated by advanced beings from another universe about
to enter Big Crunch.
Robert Calculating God. 2000, Tor. Two alien races join
humans in trying to understand a God that survived the Big Crunch
Big Bang and is manipulating evolution for its own purposes.
John Roger's Version. 1988, Fawcett Crest. A computer student
and a professor of divinity grapple with questions of cosmology
to topic list