Is there any way to make a planet with a corkscrew orbit (like this) that could host a sci-fi civilisation? It'd be amazing if there was a way to make life arise naturally, but colonize-able works too. I realize that this is probably a rather stupid idea, but if it was possible, it could make for an extremely amazing world!
This is because a corkscrew orbit isn't a real thing. The author of the paper that New Scientist was reporting on is a molecular physicist, which doesn't bode well.
Greg Egan has a nice dissection of the idea here.
If you want to skip all that, it's still probably a bust. He based it on the binary system Kepler-16. Those stars are 0.22 AU apart (about a quarter of the distance between the Earth and the Sun), getting a planet orbiting (oscillating?) between them will make it far too close to support Earth-like life.
Of course, if you want to colonize it and you've got a civilization capable of that, then perhaps they have the technology to make it livable.
Turn the planet into a ship, in some sense it is this already, use electromagnetic manipulation to establish a basic control, and or propulsion mechanisms and their necessary master systems, locate these geoelectromagnetic propulsion "engines" in pre-computer modelled stategic locations on earth, use these engines to manipulate the natural geoelectromagnetic processes that control axis and orbital positions, this to give the ability to navigate the planet, thereby reestablishing a suitable orbit, while also retaining the system control abilities and the ability to counteract or constantly keep in check future orbital anomalies as the system capabilities either forecast or detect variance in positioning systems.
It may become necessary to do the same to the moon, or to neutralize the moon's gravitational effect on the earth's axis and orbit , as this is an ongoing significant contributing catalyst for the earth's axial and orbital deviations.
The two bodies and the geoelectromagnetic compensation system can be constantly kept in a feedback controlled condition, using the many earth geospatial technologies being previously computer modelled to establish a usable predictive analysis for use in the electromagnetic compensation engines control system,and being interlinked to these systems with automation employed to constantly use all available gps systems and the many and various interlinked geospatial systems networked together with all suitable smart technologies and neural net computing systems to make calculations and adjustments by measuring planet/moon orbital positions and/or computer modelling to maintain a constant stability of said axis and orbit.
Could be used to reposition another planet into a suitable orbit as well, noting this would require the abilities to construct and or build off-world the systems necessary on a removed planet at some distance from earth.