Galactic Mysteries: Generation Ships Galactic Mysteries: Generation Ships
Post Views: 105 Erik Gunnarson and Francesca Wolfe investigate the abandoned relics of spacefaring communities from the early years of colonisation. Wolfe: “Generation ships... Galactic Mysteries: Generation Ships

Erik Gunnarson and Francesca Wolfe investigate the abandoned relics of spacefaring communities from the early years of colonisation.

Wolfe: “Generation ships are essentially mobile cities designed to carry expanding populations, and are always an impressive sight. But there’s one I keep returning to – the Thetis, orbiting Nefertem 6 a.”

“Listening to its logs always chills my blood. They describe how a whispered phrase from an uninhabited planet somehow caused over 17,000 people to slaughter each other. Nobody knows if it was mass hysteria, psychological stress from decades in space, or… something else.”

“So many visits to the Thetis, and I still can’t work up the nerve to play its final log entry. I’ve been warned that I won’t be the same afterwards.”

Gunnarson: “Before hyperdrives, generation ships were a viable way to colonise distant star systems. Millions of people lived out their whole lives within self-contained societies, so their descendants might walk upon new worlds.”

“The tragedy is that many of these pioneering megaships vanished entirely, never reaching their destinations. But some were rediscovered, usually because of listening posts intercepting their ancient broadcasts.”

“There are various reasons why these expeditions failed. The Lazarus, now orbiting Virudnir 6, suffered mechanical breakdowns whereas the Pleione, in the Hez Ur system, had a population that only produced male babies.”

“Most disturbing are those where the crew descended into barbarism, like the Artemis at Mu Cassiopeia C 1 and the Demeter in the Mizuchi system. Along with Wolfe’s favourite – if that’s the right word – these stand as horrific monuments to our darker natures.”

“Lost generation ships rarely carry survivors, but that was the case with the Golconda, whose people now occupy an outpost on Upaniklis B 3. So perhaps more living relics are still adrift in the void, waiting to complete centuries-long missions.”