Leaving Earth

by Warfox

Original COMPLETED Drama Psychological Romance Sci-fi Male Lead Multiple Lead Characters Non-Human lead Post Apocalyptic Strong Lead Virtual Reality

After Dr. Hawthorne Crenshaw's university experiences a terrorist attack, he undertakes a titanic effort to colonize a new planet in an effort to rescue some small part of humanity from what he suspects is an unstoppable spiral into a Dark Age on Earth. Subjecting himself to tens of thousands of years of repeated cycles of cryogenic freezing and unfreezing to monitor his passengers, he and his AI T.I.A. shepherd Earth's first, and perhaps only effort into colonizing a new planet.

Cover by Ana Ristovska

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Warfox

Warfox

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Prologue: Parting Message ago
Chapter 1: Good Night ago
Chapter 2: Thursday, March 19, 2099, Day One ago
Chapter 3: Friday, March 20, 2099, Day Two ago
Chapter 4: Saturday, March 21, 2099, Day Three ago
Chapter 5: Sunday, March 22, 2099, Day Four ago
Chapter 6: Cycle 2, Wednesday March 23, 2133 ago
Chapter 7: Cycle 2, A Message for Earth ago
Chapter 8: Cycle 2, Silence is a Message All its Own ago
Chapter 9: Cycle 2, Unintended Consequences ago
Chapter 10: Cycle 2, Three Paths ago
Chapter 11: Cycle 3, Tragedy and Comedy ago
Chapter 12: Cycle 3, Planning and Review ago
Chapter 13: Cycle 3, Working it All Out ago
Chapter 14: Cycle 4, Mount Ararat ago
Chapter 15: Cycle 4, Settling in for the Long Haul ago
Chapter 16: Cycle 12, Breakthrough ago
Chapter 17: Cycle 12, Reaching Out ago
Chapter 18: Cycle 12, Ships Passing in the Night ago
Chapter 19: Cycle 12.5, Life Marches On ago
Chapter 20: Cycle 13, Working Against Time ago
Chapter 21: Cycle 13.5, Sacrifices ago
Chapter 22: Cycle 13.5, Crossing Paths ago
Chapter 23: Cycle 14, Coming Together ago
Chapter 24: Cycle 14, What We Can and Can’t Do ago
Chapter 25: Cycle 14.5, Enemy Territory ago
Chapter 26, Cycle 14.5, Escape ago
Chapter 27, Cycle 14.5, War ago
Chapter 28, Cycle 15, Alone Again ago
Chapter 29, Cycle 16, With Millennia Ahead ago
Chapter 30: Cycle 30, Time is Relative ago
Chapter 31: Cycle 42, Terrible Teen ago
Chapter 32: Cycle 61, Men at Work ago
Chapter 33: Cycle 62, Guilt ago
Non-chapter, Discord update! ago
Chapter 34: Cycle 77, Phoenix Rising ago
Chapter 35: Cycle 86, Happy Birthday ago
Chapter 36: Cycle 155, Building a Human ago
Chapter 37: Cycle 200, Steel Skin, Electric Blood ago
Chapter 38: Cycle 250, Read-Only Memories ago
Chapter 39: Cycle 500, Plans and Results ago
Chapter 40: Cycle 500, The Shower ago
Chapter 41: Cycle 500, Drops in the Bucket ago
Chapter 42: Cycle 1043 Priorities ago
Chapter 43: Cycle 1472, Hearts ago
Chapter 44: Cycle 1532, Columbia Trail ago
Chapter 45: Cycle 1572, Illusion of Choice ago
Chapter 46: Cycle 1574, The Past and Future ago
Chapter 47: Cycle 1576, A Lovely Surprise ago
Chapter 48: Cycle 1657, The Buzzsaw ago
Chapter 49: Cycle 2058, Planting Seeds ago
Chapter 50: Cycle 2702: Building a Future ago
Chapter 51: Cycle 2941: A New Home ago
Epilogue ago
Leaving Earth on sale on Amazon!(non-chapter) ago
Feedback Request on Physical Release pricing! ago
The Physical Paperback release of Leaving Earth is live! ago
Reviews

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etiolated
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Objectivism in Space

As the title says, this is pretty much The Fountainhead in space. I’m a sucker for hard sci-fi, so I forged through quite a few chapters, hoping to get past the politics and on with the story, but it never happened.

 

Basically, if you like Ayn Rand, you’ll probably like this. It’s well written, and hews closely to her formulas. If you prefer Alistair Reynolds, you may want to give this one a pass. 

Ozhika
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A story about a not so unlikely future.

Leaving Earth is the original story of a man who, after surviving a terrorist attack, begins to see that humanity is on course to be the cause of its own destruction. With this knowledge in hand, the only course of action action is to leave Earth. Leaving Earth is told through the perspective of an emotionally broken man who, despite his disillusion with humanity, realizes that the success of his mission may be the last chance for the survival of the human race. Maybe life itself.

 

Leaving Earth is not a generic science fiction story, and it is not fantasy disguised as science fiction. It is less Star Wars, or even Star Trek, and more 2001 or the Martian. I would place it in the genera of hard science fiction. But, unlike some works in that genera, the author doesn’t attempt to impress the reader with his knowledge of esoteric mathematical equations or concepts unfamiliar to the layman. The story takes current and plausible near future technologies and uses them in a realistic way. Furthermore, the author leverages the use of these technologies to smoothly introduce a very possible and grim future that the reader may live to witness. The authors reflection on this possible future, the future that spawned the terrorist attack that sent the protagonist on his voyage, are a commentary on many of the social, political, and economic issues of today, and are a sharp warning of the extreme results those problems may produce if left unchecked.

joempire
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 Great story. Looking forward to seeing where it goes. 

The story has a great deal of potential. Slice of life style detailing a dark "what if" story with solid grammar and editing. Characters are interesting, yet the nature of constant shifting perspectives may make me lose empathy with the main characters.

Keep up the solid work.

LilWubWub
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A story different from the rest

I have absolutely loved this story so far! There isn’t nearly as much action as other stories found on this site, but I believe that truly sets this apart! The characters feel life-like, with interactions that flow as natural as they could. The story also brings up subjects to consider when reading, which serve to captivate and stimulate the reader! The style of the author makes this an easy read, even if the concepts behind them are subjects that are hard to grasp! I highly recommend this story to anyone looking for something different than anything else on this website! 

Robertp3001
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A suprisingly well written story

I didn't really think much of reading this story because I typically like to read fantasy type novels but this story is just too good to pass up.  It's a story that doesn't require alot of emotional investement because there are really only two characters you have to care about in the story.

If you are bored, I would recommend giving this story a read.

Demiurge
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A very promising story

I've just finished chapter 14 and I have to say that your story is very promising. While it may seem slow moving, what with wanting to see more of what will happen during the colonization, this story is in fact quite realistic in some ways and doesn't seem rushed. I feel as if you have put a lot of thought into this and I hope to be able to read your work until such a time as it is deemed completed. Good work ! :)

RobotSamurai
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 Its been a really good story so far. It's one of the best Sci-fi stories on this site.

nightreader17
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Thought-provoking and Refreshing

Leaving Earth is a very thought-provoking and refreshing read compared to most other fictions on this site. In brief, it is a story of a scientist/programmer and a developing AI and their millenia-long journey to a neighboring star system as shepherds of the future of humanity, after earth is nearly wiped out by a nuclear winter. 

The best parts of this story is that it does not rely on technical jargon to sound impressive, as many sci-fi fics do. This is a read for people who enjoy the psychological aspect; thinking processes, brief philosophical thoughts, imaginings of a 'worse-case' scenario of current eco/poli/social trends in society. In particular, the focus on how an AI realistically develops its consciousness based on current technology is unique and compelling to read. 

The downsides; it is rather slow paced. If you are looking for action-packed adventure, look elsewhere (or maybe watch Star Wars again). After 200+ pages, we are still only ~150 years of a journey that will take 100,000 years. I suspect some time-jumps will take place, or the story will take a different route altogether, but if you are impatient and want just quick gratification then this may not be the story for you. 

Now, some criticism for the author (note, spoilers). 

Spoiler: Spoiler

Overall, it is a very refreshing and interesting read. If you're bored with all the lit-rpg or reincarnation or dungeon or cultivation fics on this site, I highly recommend you give this story a try.  

Brian P.
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An Emotionless Road Trip in a Cynical Future

In the future posited by Leaving Earth, humanity becomes a caricature of modern policies and social trends. The story seems to want to probe this premise but the society sketched out within isn’t realized enough for it to be compelling and the remaining characters are too dry to become invested in.

(Please note, this is a review up to Chapter 10)

Since H.G. Wells wrote of a man visiting the future in The Time Machine, and likely before that, writers have used the future to comment upon their own society. Sometimes aspirational and at other times a dire warning, the path of showing the future and speculating how it came to that point is well worn, and for good reason. It’s an extremely potent trope for showing us the warped version of our own selves and making us question the paths we are going down.

However, the dystopia we’re shown in Leaving Earth lacks a compelling vision of how society degenerates, instead throwing everything it can think of at us as reasons for the downfall of western culture. Social media, universal basic income, terrorism, anti-hate speech laws, religion, monopolistic corporations, foreign wars and police actions, liberal college campuses, fat acceptance, immigration and racial tension; you name a current trend or talking point and there’s likely between a sentence and a paragraph telling us of the calamities unleashed by allowing such a thing to exist. That paragraph is all we get, though, given to us as if we’re reading the synopsis of a future history book. There are no details given, no personal stories of how the world fell to the point social media created flash-mobs execute people with impunity. They are all presented as a fait accompli, leaving the reader with nothing substantive to ponder over beyond the cynicism through which the author seems to view humanity.

Much of this can be laid at the feet of the story’s premise: Dr. Hawthorne Crenshaw, whom we are told is a genius but socially stunted, is awoken every thirty-four years for four days, during which he will make some minor repairs to the colony ship he’s on, attempt to teach an A.I. how to be human and observe the rapid decline of western society. Because of this premise, as well as it being written in the first person from Dr. Crenshaw’s perspective for most of the chapters, we’re given the above summaries in an extremely utilitarian, emotionless style that fails to compel the reader to invest in either the future society or the characters learning of the events.

And were the focus on the journey, rather than the fall of Earth, this might be acceptable. I recall a similar setup in Dennis E. Taylor’s novel We Are Legion (We Are Bob) but where those novels focused on the internal life and technological advancement of their main characters, keeping Earth’s fate as an important side story, Leaving Earth doesn’t seem interested in the science of travelling through space; repairs and calculations take place off-screen or with a single sentence, denying us both the realistic descriptions of The Martian and the technobabble of Star Trek. The artificial intelligence, T.I.A., begins as a blank slate and has yet to progress enough to be called a character in her own right. And Dr. Crenshaw, despite berating himself for bottling up emotions early on, feels as mechanical as any of Asimov’s robots.

Which leaves this reader to focus on a weakly drawn, Eurocentric vision of our future where everything one can think of evidently lead to ruin.

In fairness to the author, their grammar is good, especially for this website. It’s certainly worth reading the first few chapters, as they seem representative, and obviously some have found this story to be compelling. To them and the author, I wish you well but don’t feel any need to continue this journey with you.

Xplizit_Fluffy
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Please continue writing! I love the idea of the story when it comes to Dr. Hawthorn and T.I.A the A.I becoming companions on the trip to a new world.