Anyone for space tennis?

Welcome back to another blog hop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.

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Are any of your characters fans of a particular sports team?

Once again, I’m approaching this subject from my usual position, way out in left-field.

With most of my novels set in a future or an alternative now, the chances to include sports are a little more limited than they are for writers of contemporary or even historical fiction.

I’m sure that a lot of team games will survive into the future, and we’ll probably get some new ones as well. Sport is such a civilising influence, as well as a great way of building a community. Once our galactic explorers have settled on new worlds and have some free time, they are sure to set up some sort of sport for recreation.

However, the idea of something like an interplanetary football league would naturally have its challenges.

Individual games such as golf or extreme sports like climbing or surfing may have a place, especially on planets which provide a more challenging environment for the participants to test themselves.

Imagine the attraction of surfing 300-foot high multi-coloured phosphorescent waves. All under the glow of twin red-gold suns, or climbing alien mountains in low gravity.

How about playing golf where the ball travels further than the eye can see.

That’s not forgetting the possibilities of sport in zero gravity, with all its potential.

I’ve only included a couple of sporting references in my novels, there were some futuristic card and dice games (in The Hitman and the Thief) and the fact that up-to-date sports video recordings can be a good currency in some places (in Freefall).

A lot of my stories include what I like to call pleasure planets, places which, for whatever reason, have chosen to dedicate themselves to providing entertainment, often including sports and pastimes. It could be because they are resource-poor, or environmentally conscious. It might just be because their geographical features are well suited.

However they have come about, they are great places for plots to develop, a meeting point for all kinds of characters and a source of plenty of cash, together with all the vices that brings.

Apart from that, there aren’t really any other mentions of sports in my work. In general, my characters are too busy trying to survive and work out what’s going on.

What about my amateur detective Andorra Pett? Her tales are set a little closer to where we are now. Sadly, she has little interest in sport, she wasn’t very good at it while in school. Being naturally clumsy, she tended to be left until last when teams were picked. In fact, she was thought to be the best player to get on the opposing team, due to her inability to do anything that might assist her own players.

Perhaps there’s scope for me to write a Sci-fi sports story?

Then again, I might rework cricket for my Steampunk worlds, after all, it would fit in nicely with the Victorian style of the era. I can see it now, the possibility of clockwork bowling automata,

Here we go again.

Until next week.

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2 Responses

  1. P.J. MacLayne

    I think the workout provided by a hearty game of tennis would be ideal for space travelers. Or maybe racquetball would be better.

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