The stories in the first issue of James Gunn’s Ad Astra each address themes of communication and information. From alien languages to pervasive implanted network connectivity, the authors give us plenty to ponder. In all of them, the protagonists exemplify the role of the “other” in speculative fiction, allowing us to glimpse what it means to be human even in the face of inhumanity.
Sometimes the most human characters in these stories typify the worst of our failings, yet the most alien or their proxies strive for something greater or more noble. This is what it means to be creatures who are driven by the need to communicate and propagate information into the future. Whether by memory download or animal hums, what we leave to posterity are ideas.
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