101

Swaths of radiation-loving fungi and roiling sun-side seas: the probe shots from tide-locked Proxima B changed Earth’s view of the Universe forever.

This story is based on the encouraging results of climate models of Proxima B, which indicate that the second planet around the “star next door” to ours could well be habitable. Would it be that surprising to find complex lifeforms there, despite the tide-locked planet and the intense radiation received from the close, temperamental red dwarf sun? Life has adapted to extreme conditions on Earth, without anywhere near as much evolutionary pressure. Either way, Proxima B is humanity’s first and best hope for discovery and knowledge outside of our own Solar System. // Personal Statement by the Author

//Matt ReardonĀ @SpaceLawyerSF writes science fiction and fantasy, often with political themes and a humorous tone, both largely based on his experience as a lawyer and as Secretary General of a parliamentary group at the French National Assembly. //

60

The customs line at Saturn L4 Photonic Railway Station took forever; 12 months and 10 AU from Earth to here, and this bit felt the longest.

Matt Reardon captures the myriad frustrations that may befall us when intergalaxy travel is possible in this story based on ongoing research into establishing a laser-thrust based “Photon Railway”. This railway has been suggested as an efficient means of transport between the planets, and even on an interstellar level, as developed most notably by Young Bae at Advanced Space and Energy Technologies.// Alex Massey

//Matt Reardon @SpaceLawyerSF writes science fiction, often with political themes and a humorous tone, both largely based on his experience as a lawyer and as Secretary General of a parliamentary group at the French National Assembly. //

55

Segmented tube creatures, giant watery tardigrades; all clustered around the probe’s lens, vying to be Enceladus’ first ambassador to Earth.

Just a few meters below the icy surface of Encaladus, lurks a warm underground sea, or so theĀ international Cassini mission to Saturn suspects. Matt Reardon bases this story on the recent findings concerning both the thinness of the ice shell at Enceladus’ South Pole, enabling probes, and the mounting evidence of organic life. This life is most likely microbial, but a sci fi writer can dream! // Alex Massey

//Matt Reardon @SpaceLawyerSF writes science fiction, often with political themes and a humorous tone, both largely based on his experience as a lawyer and as Secretary General of a parliamentary group at the French National Assembly. //