Sports—all kinds of physical and mental competition—have been an important part of every society recorded almost as far back as our history can reach. It stands to reason that the future would also have its share of sports and popular competitions. A look around at a lot of science fiction shows that other writers include sports in their work to entertain, to define a culture, to provide a backdrop for dramatic moments, and more.
One of the great classic adaptations of sports in science fiction involves zero gravity sports. The physics and physicality required to pull off something like zero-G volleyball or football is impressive. And who doesn’t love the idea of soaring effortlessly through the air to make the perfect catch or score a brilliant goal?
In the Pandora Project universe, we’ve posited a Roman Empire that adapted instead of falling, so the Ludi Romani (the Roman Games) are an event celebrated throughout the colonies. Other ancient games such as the daring and sometimes violent game of cnapan, a very old Welsh variant of a game common in all parts of the United Kingdom, also still exist.
We thought cnapan, with its madcap, anything-goes spirit and secretive system of rules would translate well into spaceships and colonies—there’s no defined field of play in many of the variations so it could just as easily take place throughout the body of a deep space cruiser as it could in the streets of a little town centuries ago. All it takes to play cnapan is something that vaguely resembles a ball and a bunch of people willing to hurl themselves at each other with no reward beyond bragging rights—you don’t even need gravity.
Is there a sport you’d like to see in survive into the future? A favourite sports moment from a book or movie? Anah’s particularly fond of the cycle race in the original movie Tron.
Anah Crow and Dianne Fox write sci-fi, paranormal, and contemporary queer romance for Carina Press, Samhain Publishing, and Amber Allure. They’ve been writing together for more than 10 years. You can find them on the web at anahcrowdiannefox.com and on Twitter at @anahcrow and @diannefox.