Spacers versus terrestrials

As an avid fan of Asimov I borrow certain concepts from the great master of science fiction (SF, not “sci-fi”). The most important concept I have borrowed into my own work, in particular within the context of the Elysia universe, is the whole Spacer thing.

However, the main difference between the Elysia universe and Asimov’s world, is that my work in primarily set in our own Solar System and within the next few hundred years. And with the exception of the Moon, Mars and Uranus, most space colonists (Spacers) live in orbital space settlements rather than on the surface of a celestial body.

Nevertheless, there is one similarity between my world and Asimov’s world: spacers and terrestrials have fundamentally attitudes towards robots/automation. On Earth robots and automation are restricted but heavily used by Spacers. But the motives for this divide is a little bit different in my work.

In the Elysian universe automation has led on Earth to mass unemployment and consequently to wide-spread poverty. No surprise most terrestrials oppose robots and automation and after a series of violent incidents, the authorities on Earth have implemented legal restrictions on automation.

This is in shrill contrast to Spacer society, as in outer-space a permanent labor shortage has made automation an inevitable necessity. No Spacer would ever consider to outlaw robots, as it would destroy the entire economic substructure of their society.

Like in Asimov’s work there is a great deal of animosity between both groups. And it is not hard to explain why. Due to mass unemployment and overpopulation (I assume that there will be 12 billion people on Earth by 2100), GDP per capita is on Earth much lower that in Outer Space.

Further Earth’s economy heavily relies upon the import of extraterrestrial resources – which is not sold cheaply. But on the other hand, there is very little what Earth could sell to the Spacers. Hence Earth suffers from a huge trade deficit, which even further deepens its economic troubles.

And finally all Spacer societies have a very restrictive immigration policy and on overage only one million terrestrials are allowed to immigrate to Outer Space each year. Though some terrestrial governments have sought to create their own settlements, those attempts have been aborted. Either because they did not have the means to pursue such a program or because of nuclear blackmail by the Spacer community.

This will be the last post on this site for the coming months. In the mean time I will work on my “Urando Trilogy” and time restraints will not allow me continue writing stories in the Elysia universe simultaneously.

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