I had time this weekend to start sketching some details for my sector of planet Kepler-22B. I'll post more here once the Galactic Adventures blog officially launches, as well as posting FATE-based stats for the my planetary sector.
Over the past two weeks, two recent hard SF books have been published that are 1) optimistic and 2) extrapolate an important future for Africa in our (inter)planetary civilization. These are Kim Stanley Robinson's 2312 and Alastair Reynolds' Blue Remembered Earth.
I have never had much luck reading Robinson, but Reynolds is my favorite SF author. I picked up both books. So we will give Robinson another shot. I got a kick out of his intercalary chapters about political economy and more. Somebody has been reading Steinbeck lately!