How to introduce Earth

D Roe

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Apologies firstly if this has been covered elsewhere.

How does everyone introduce the concept of Earth? My story is set in the distant future away from our solar system. I can't decide if my story is about decendants of Earth or a totally different civilisation. Ultimately does it matter? How have others approached the subject?
 

Harpo

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How far away from our solar system? Maybe our old radio broadcasts are discovered, and then musings upon their source
 

Wayne Mack

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Unless being descendent from Earth is a plot point, it is immaterial whether it is mentioned. It could be either a brief background point or omitted. As an analogy, consider something purely on Earth. How often does a character ever reflect on which country his or her ancestors emigrated from? I am not sure whether a distant colony would spend much time thinking about their ancestors travelling from Earth.
 

Mr Cairo

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They find one of the deep space Voyager 1 or 2 satellites we sent into space with the "we are here" drawings on it
 
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If it a distant future then how about it being mentioned and hidden within nursery rhymes or kids songs? The sort everyone has grown up with and knows but few actually take the time to sit down and find the meaning behind. Maybe one of your characters does take the time or meets someone who has. Then the concept of ancient earth is introduced to both protagonist and reader.
 

Swank

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Earth is not mentioned in either Foundation or Dune. Unless you want it in there, it clearly doesn't do anything.
 

Swank

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Just a little background. The Earth in far flung SF is usually one of several things:

A burned out cinder or otherwise destroyed planet that is not worth bothering with.
The heart of an empire, or at least one of the seats of power.
A lost place in time, which may be the secret base of some cabal.
A lost place in time, which is part of the human empire without anyone realizing that it was the origin planet.
A backwater, unappreciated for its history.
A preserved nature reserve; populated only by animals, park rangers and perhaps primitive-living indigenous people.
 

Elckerlyc

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Unless it has to play a role in some (sub)-plot, mentioning isn't necessary. Nor is there anything against it to mention it as a half-hidden piece of mythology. Fabled Earth, except... what exactly is meant by 'earth´ or 'fabled earth'? Just a slice of mystery to season the story with.
 

tinkerdan

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In my own work the story takes place in far off space--in the middle of nowhere--on a space station; however, Earth is still a center of governing and at the very least claims to own that space station.
 

K.S. Crooks

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You could not mention Earth at all if it's not involved in the story. Earth could be mentioned in passing to indicate they are descendants. Earth could be mentioned to indicate how far away they are from more help or how close a great danger is to reaching Earth.
 

paranoid marvin

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As has been mentioned, unless the Earth has a direct impact on the story, then it doesn't need to be specifically mentioned. You may (if you wish) reference certain things in your writing to suggest to the reader that they may have originated on Earth, but if it doesn't affect the story in any way then don't bother - you'll only be making unnecessary work for yourself.
 

chriscarlton

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Dependent on how far in the future your story is set, you may be able to refer to Earth as something wholly changed or re-named. People called the Americas the New World and Europe the Old World for a while there. I also don't think you need to baby a reader. I.e you can imply something is probably earth and let them fill in the blanks.

Hope that's useful :)
 

F.J. Hansen

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That was my first idea, but then that’s the first Star Trek film
Not exactly. In that film, a Voyager probe was thrown across the galaxy where a Machine race found it and heavily modified it. On its journey back to Earth, the probe amassed so much knowledge and gained sentience.

Simply finding one of the real-life Voyager probes just as it was launched and examining the contents of the gold record that was placed aboard it would be completely different.
 

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