Speculative poetry lives in the same places all great poems do: the heart, the mind and the soul. The poems featured in the first issue of James Gunn’s Ad Astra are deeply concerned with communication and information in its myriad forms, from robotic exploration to genetics to prayer. In them you will meet characters who are desperate for something more from life, or technology that tries to bridge the gap between the Earthly and alien. The common thread is the need to communicate, whether it’s programmed or inherited, benevolent or malicious. In the final analysis, these poems speak to us because they celebrate the sense of wonder we all feel deep within our very cores.

We invite you to read and enjoy, and then comment and share the post/story on your favorite social media venue.


  • Silent Spirit - by Kenny A. Chaffin — An ode to the rover, no longer sending messages from Mars.
  • String Theory - by John Philip Johnson — A meditation on possible worlds that are the dreams of other worlds.
  • The Great Silence (Sonnet for SETI) - by Geoffrey A. Landis — We strain to listen to the stars but hear only silence.
  • Etilatep - by Katharyn Howd Machan — Alone on a strange world, she laments the loss of all she knew, to a goddess who may not hear her plea.
  • We Found a Kind of Vine - by Kevin Rabas — The last testament of a race lives on, within a plant's genetic code.
  • Knowledge Stream - by WC Roberts — Information floats on a current of knowledge that extends to the stars.
  • Genome - by Jacqueline Seewald — An expert in the language of DNA strives for perfection.


Each author’s work represents a part of themselves and Ad Astra will err on the side of a positive, supportive editorial stance regarding comments. While constructive criticism is always welcome, aimless negativity, personal attacks, and inflammatory statements will not be approved. Please see our commenting guidelines for a detailed policy. We apologize in advance for any comments that are rejected based on our admittedly subjective definition of “negativity”.