Disclaimer: If any of the ideas found here seem borrowed from other science fiction stories they probably are. I’ve been obsessively reading science fiction for over 2 decades and it has, without a doubt, affected how I view both the real world and the ones in my head. The goal here is to take the ideas of your superiors and mindlessly (sometimes mindfully) slave away trying to refine them just a little. Then regurgitate them in the hopes that even a single one of your peers will think it’s unique or enlightening. If you want to know where the bulk of this influence came from:
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress – Robert Heinlein
A Fire Upon The Deep – Vernor Vinge
The CommonWealth Saga – Peter F. Hamilton
FireFly – Joss Whedon
2001 A Space Odyssey – Arthur C. Clarke
Another interesting mention is Charles L. Redman’s Human Impact on Ancient Environments In the first chapter he explains the basics behind Easter Island which I’ll try not to screw up here: The Inhabitants were Polynesians (pacific ship fairing people) who literally found heaven on earth. There were no land mammals so they fished like they had always done but eventually deforested the entire island. Over time they lost their ship building materials and then later their whole identity as a seafares(this happened over hundreds of years). Once they couldn’t build boats they started eating the birds which is unfortunate because Easter Island was thought to be one of the largest breeding grounds for birds in the pacific. There were 30 species at the time and only 1 remains now. When the Europeans showed up they couldn’t figure out how the island was essentially sterile and how giant stone statues were erected.