Let a fringe group explore the stars, and the result will be a patchwork of marvels, and often a shockingly weird culture for Our Heroes to encounter.
Where are the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, intersexed, polyamorous, or kinky people [in these futures]? Have they all gone into hiding, or maybe gone off to colonize planets of their own?
A chill river flows from the glacier's toe, / bringing with it all the glacier carries, / and depositing its load where no sun shines.
The most common reaction I get when I mention SF Music to people is, "Oh, yeah. Uh huh. That weird stuff." Instinctively, I know they are thinking of something synthesized, and, you should pardon the pun, alien sounding. And my most common reaction is, "No, that's not it."
Early in the Occupation when the Conqueros came, my mother painted her birds in secret. Materials were scarce so she resorted to the old technique of distilling color from the night air.