Have you ever thought about how small the Earth is? Not just in the universe, but even in our own backyard.
If you took the space around Earth all the way out to our nearest star — Proxima Centauri (the closest place where another intelligent life form could possibly exist) — and compressed it to lay on the land mass of Earth, the entire Earth and every human on it would fit within the width of a hydrogen atom. The amount of space we’ve explored using humans (just past the moon due to orbiting it) would still fit in that hydrogen atom with room to spare. We’re small, and we’ve only been to a tiny piece of our local space.
But that’s why science fiction set in space truly excites me.
While much of my writing has been local (within the light year lifespan of a human), I’ve begun to think about something with a little more distance in the equation — offset of course by some fantastical technology that subverts the light speed barrier. Many of my favourite books have been set outside local space, and though I don’t look to copy them in any way I’d certainly like to join them. Writing fiction within the realm of possibility is great and all, but sometimes it’s fun to play outside the rules.
After all, I doubt we’ll ever go between A and B faster than 299,792,458m/s, but it’s fun sometimes to think that we could; that we might reach beyond our backyard and sample some of what the universe has to behold.
I bet a lot of it is beautiful.