Imagine countless generations of humans engineered for a single purpose: to pilot a rock through deep space so that it will strike an enemy stronghold in an offensive planned ten thousand years hence.
Watch the engines gutter and die as the ramshackle spacecraft containing your youngest son begins its centuries-long journey to Earth, to deliver his desiccated corpse to the same people who sold your ancestors as soldier slaves to the White Knights.
Fight back the fear to stand proud and indignant as you wait to surrender the colony world to the alien invasion fleet. Hope against hope that your cache of precious and guilty Earth treasures will remain hidden from the invaders: the uplifted gorillas.
Well, I have imagined these other worlds.
I didn’t say I’d written them, though! The engineered humans come from Stephen Baxter’s Xeelee Sequence and the engineered gorillas from David Brin’s The Uplift War (which also inspired the name for my Uplift Ale home brewed beer). The mother’s goodbye — that was one of mine.
Buffy, B5, Battlestar Galactica, Firefly: I love these interstellar vistas; epic problems played out over an epic scale and told by great storytellers. My guilty pleasure is to indulge in DVD box sets or multi-volume book series. I am in awe of authors who deliver the epic feel and sense of wonder in a single volume (David Brin: Earth, Vernor Vinge: Fire Upon the Deep)
That is what I like to read and to watch. That is what I aspire to write.
I hope that you will join with me as I dream of possible futures and other worlds.
The future is what we make it.
Tim C. Taylor — July 2011
P.S. I’d love to hear from you. Mail me at tim@timctaylor <dot> com or follow @TimCTaylor on Twitter