SciFi Stories about Civilizations which have survived the "Big Bounce"
September 29, 2014 1:53 PM   Subscribe

Looking for stories/novelllas/novels about civilizations which have survived the "Big Bounce" and persisted into the next universe. Is there any such thing?
posted by brownrd to Science & Nature (21 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: There is a Futurama episode called The Late Philip J. Fry which involves the Professor inventing a forwards only time machine and overshooting their destination resulting in some adventures though time and eventually riding though the end and subsequent re-creation of the universe.
posted by Captain_Science at 2:02 PM on September 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

I'd love to read such a story, too. I'm a big fan of the Big Bounce.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:08 PM on September 29, 2014

The Marvel Comics character Galactus is an individual who survived the Big Bounce, though his civilization did not.
posted by XMLicious at 2:15 PM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Utriusque Cosmi by Robert Charles Wilson
posted by thecaddy at 2:18 PM on September 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I think Lexx sort of counts?
posted by LANA! at 2:29 PM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Something close, in David Brin's Uplift Trilogy.

The universe expands in a way that only certain galaxies are interlinked, and *can* be travelled between, but at a certain point of expansion, they split off, losing the ability for communication, transport, etc.
There is a sense of the deep time, whereas sometimes I've seen big bounce (such as in Lexx), which just glosses over the time and space involved.
posted by Elysum at 2:36 PM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The earliest one I know of is Tau Zero, by Poul Anderson.

See you 'round the monobloc.
posted by adipocere at 2:39 PM on September 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Adipocere (what a name... uck) so far you win the cigar.
posted by brownrd at 2:44 PM on September 29, 2014

Best answer: Off the top of my head ... Greg Bear's novel Hegira and his short story "Judgement Engine".

Frederik Pohl's Gateway books might qualify - as I recall, it is strongly suspected that there is a civilization that is 'bouncing'. I don't know that any of the books examine it too closely, though.

Stephen Baxter's Xeelee books ... maybe?

Greg Egan's Diaspora makes the cut (perhaps on a technicality).

I'll definitely be interested in what other people dig up.
posted by doctor tough love at 2:56 PM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I think this meets the criteria. Read it/liked it/ blown away by the sheer scope of it. Pretty sure it's a 'future history' connecting the aforementioned Xeelee books [but I'm more a classicist than a recent reader of the genre].
posted by j_curiouser at 3:07 PM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Obligatory Iain Banks/Culture contribution: in the Culture novel "Excession," an entity/spacecraft/thing arrives in the Milky Way having come from a 'previous' universe, as it were, and as evidence of its origin, brings along a spectacular artifact, the burnt-out cinder of a star which dates as being over a trillion years old.

The culture sees our universe as a layer of an onion, and other universes exist as other layers, nested within (younger) our outside (older) our own, according to their measurement of the curvature of the universe. The "energy grid" that exists at the boundary of our universe is considered impassible, but it appears that the visitor doesn't have that limitation.

Of course, such a visitor would be a tremendous prize for anyone who could capture it, and so the plot is spurred. You also get what I believe is the first look at the Zetetic Elench, a splinter faction of/from the Culture.
posted by Sunburnt at 3:13 PM on September 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

Best answer: The novella The Triumph of Time by James Blish is explicitly about this. It is included in the collection Cities in Flight.
posted by Malla at 3:25 PM on September 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

Probably not as hard sci-fi as you're looking for, but Galactus, Devourer of Planets is (in the main Marvel continuity) the sole survivor of the universe before ours.
posted by Etrigan at 3:51 PM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Malla James Blish is right up my alley.
posted by brownrd at 5:13 PM on September 29, 2014

Best answer: The eponymous restaurant at the end of the universe in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams survives it over and over and over.
posted by Flunkie at 5:18 PM on September 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Flunkie I forgot about that one: I have read that twice.
posted by brownrd at 5:25 PM on September 29, 2014

This isn't about a civilization going past the Bounce, unless civilization can be constituted by a half-smart pizza guy, a drunk robot, and a senile professor, but: Season 7, Episode 7 of Futurama, "The Late Philip J. Fry" (spoilers!) features Fry, Bender, and Professor Farnsworth trying out the Professor's newest invention, a time-machine that only goes forward in time, to prevent people from going into the past to do "something disgusting." (We know from a previous episode that Fry "did the nasty in the past-y" with a woman while time-travelling to the 1940s and consequently became his own grandfather.)

Due to an accident, the machine is sent ~7000 years into the future, to 10,000 A.D. Since they can't return to the past, they decide to head all the way to the death of the universe, and unexpectedly fly past the bounce, and I won't tell you what's there.
posted by Sunburnt at 5:50 PM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

It's been more then 20 years since I've read it, but I believe this is a polt point in 'The Second Experiment', by J.O. Jeppson, also known as Janet Asimov.
posted by bq at 6:05 PM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe has a minor conversation in it which reveals that the advanced aliens are remnants of or perhaps still part of a civilization that survived a Big Collapse. It's not relevant to the actual book - in fact, I believe the conversation happens in the last thirty or so pages of the four-book series, and damned if it isn't the least weird scifi concept in the lot - but it is there.
posted by restless_nomad at 6:45 PM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Isaac Asimov's short story The Last Question is all about what happens to a civilization at the end of the Universe — in this case, a heat death rather than a "Big Bounce."
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:38 PM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

I thought of another one. China Mieville's "Embassytown" is about a human colony that is hosted on an alien world by its technologically advanced denizens, the Ariekei. The plot of the story is about the consequences of an new attempt by humans to speak to the Ariekei in their own language.

The main character, though, is a kind of interstellar pilot/navigator, an Immerser, and the faster-than-light means of travel humanity uses relies on this universe's bizarre physics: There are, in a nutshell, two universes that coexist: the "Manchmal" ('sometimes') universe and the "Immer" ('always') universe. You (I presume) and I are of the Manchmal/Sometimes universe which has Big Bangs and Big Crunches and is sometimes here, sometimes not around. The Immer/Always universe does not have this cycle-- it persists while the Sometimes universe does not. The FTL method is one in which the human ships can navigate through the Immer to take shortcuts across the Manchmal. Early in the book, there's a brief episode of an Immer creature escaping into our Sometimes world, with some terrible and strange results.
posted by Sunburnt at 10:03 PM on September 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

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