Date: 2019-02-08 03:33 pm (UTC)
petrea_mitchell: (Default)
From: [personal profile] petrea_mitchell
One thing I loved about Pandora's Star/Judas Unchained was the author's realization that, once you have convenient wormhole portal technology, there's no need for any of that tedious mucking about with spaceships at all, except for exploratory missions. One simply gets on a train, because the portals are conveniently set up at planetary surface level.

(At least that's the only instance I know of. I can name two other works using trains for interstellar travel: Galaxy Railways and Timothy Zahn's Quadrail series. But IIRC both of those require people to first get into space before using the trains.)

Date: 2019-02-08 04:31 pm (UTC)
jessie_c: Me in my floppy hat (Default)
From: [personal profile] jessie_c
John De Chancie's Skyway books used interstellar truckers. It's another of the "abandoned alien artifact" stories.

Date: 2019-02-09 12:51 am (UTC)
nelc: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nelc
Michael G Coney had his The Celestial Steam Locomotive and Gods of the Greataway, which I can no longer remember anything about, except that they had Trains in Space.

How To Train Your Way To The Stars

Date: 2019-02-09 03:28 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Ben Aaronovitch's Doctor Who novel "Transit" features a version of London's subway network that has portals on major cities and planets and is reaching for Arcturus, which goes not entirely successfully. So, nearly interstellar.

I have a theory for the "Doctor Who" setting that whenever you change an event, especially in the past but maybe not always, all the other Doctor Who stories are liable to be invalidated, so that's one explanation for this space train network never appearing before or since, it got written out of history - another answer being that yet again humankind realised that their latest popular invention was terribly dangerous and they got rid of it. Like when the T-Mat teleport network was - well, that's another story; or, was.

Re: How To Train Your Way To The Stars

Date: 2019-02-13 03:57 am (UTC)
scott_sanford: (Default)
From: [personal profile] scott_sanford
Logically, for Whovian values of logical, there should be a route on the London Underground that runs chronologically, linking together different eras.

No doubt fares are complicated. Like, it can take an Oyster card only if loaded with pre-decimal currency...

Date: 2019-02-09 01:49 am (UTC)
austin_dern: Actually predating the Tron sequel.  You can tell by how the chest patterns look. (Tron)
From: [personal profile] austin_dern
Now I'm envisioning a setting where the ancient aliens left behind a galaxy-spanning portal network of unimaginable complexity. But they did go through and document it, and left several copies of the documentation at every portal ingress and egress. It's just the documentation is also of unimaginable complexity. Our hero is a plucky young grad student who thinks she might be the first person to understand the ``Structure Of This Design Document'' all at once.

Date: 2019-02-09 02:00 am (UTC)
philrm: (Default)
From: [personal profile] philrm
I would totally read that.

Date: 2019-02-09 06:47 am (UTC)
bunsen_h: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bunsen_h
There's the Gateway example where the data storage devices are so odd that nobody even recognizes them for what they are, let alone understands their contents. (What kind of weirdo doesn't carry a circularly-polarized microwave emitter between their legs? Sheesh!)

One civilization's "data archive stored at the atomic level in ceramic disks" is another's "we think they were, like, tokens for using the transit system".

Date: 2019-02-09 05:57 pm (UTC)
dwight_benjamin_thieme: My daughter Ellen in her debut as Rusty from Footloose (Default)
From: [personal profile] dwight_benjamin_thieme
I don't know if there's enough of the type to make categorizing them in your lexicon worthwhile: What about stories like Masters of the Maze? travel is restricted, but OTOH, it's not instantaneous either; you have to traverse a path.

An aside: I'm surprised no one mentioned the Telzey Amberdon novel The Lion Game wherein most of the story takes place in a networked cluster of disconnected rooms.

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