By Ken MacLeod
Humanity has unfold to each superstar inside 500 light-years of its half-forgotten starting place, coloring the sky with a haze of habitats. Societies upward push and fall. Incautious experiments burn quick and fade. at the fringes, much less changed people get on with the task of settling a universe that has, thus far, been empty of clever life.
The old starship But the Sky, My woman! The Sky! is getting into orbit round a promising new method after a 400 12 months trip. For its long-lived population, the centuries were busy. Now a more youthful iteration is raring to settle the procedure. The send is a seed-pod able to burst.
Then they notice curious electromagnetic emissions from the system's Earth-like global. because the nature of the indications turns into transparent, the alternatives dealing with the people turn into stark.
On floor, moment global from the sunlight, a tender astronomer searches for his system's outermost planet. A relocating element of sunshine thrills, then disappoints him. It's just a comet. His physicist colleague Orro takes time without work from attempting to invent a flying-machine to calculate the comet's trajectory. whatever is especially abnormal approximately that comet's path.
They will not be the one ones for whom the realm has changed.
"We will not be dwelling within the universe we suggestion we lived in the day gone by. we need to commence studying the area everywhere again."