The Drake Equation does not have a set answer—for many of the contributing variables we have at best wild guesses rooted in scientific assumptions and hypotheses—but the equation is haunted by the possibility that there are no other civilizations in the galaxy with which we can communicate. A zero.
Believe it or not, there are black holes in history.
No, I’m not talking about simple gaps in the record (though those exist, too); I’m talking about singular events so culturally massive that they bend historical space-time, sucking in every related event both before and after they came to pass.
One such historical black hole involves Hugo Gernsback, “The Father of Magazine Science Fiction.” Back in the 1920s, he shepherded magazines that allowed him to craft a specific vision of what commercial SF could be. Critically, too, he established a history of the genre prior to that date: a history centering Edgar Allan Poe, Jules Verne, and H.
Fates and Furies by Christine Lucas is a fascinating, novella-length collection of interwoven short stories set in the mythic landscape of Hellenic Greece. Dryads and centaurs dance to flute music in the groves of Dodona; Amazons and their descendants people the landscape; Charon the ferryman drifts ghostly on the shore.
But it is also science fiction. The flute player is an alien child from another dimension; the grove holds a portal to another planet; the Greek philosopher is a cyborg reborn on the distant plains of Mars. The collection is published by Candlemark & Gleam’s Reckless Imprint which, as the publisher’s page explains, began as a way to capture those works of science fiction that fall between short stories and novels, that tricky area between twelve and forty-plus thousand words.
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