“LIFE BEYOND US”
Editors: Julie Nováková, Susan Forest, Lucas K. Law
An original anthology from 44 leading science fiction authors and scientists into alien life here and beyond
Julie Nováková, Susan Forest, Lucas K. Law are editing an upcoming anthology of original SF stories and essays connected by the theme of astrobiology, Life Beyond Us, and it features several European authors (two Czechs: Tomáš Petrásek and Lucie Lukačovičová, Simone Heller from Germany and Valentin Ivanov from Bulgaria).
There’s a Kickstarter for the book, launched this week, and if the goals will be stretched, there would also be stories in translation and open submissions: https://bit.ly/LifeBeyondUs
“Have you ever imagined what life would be like if it evolved in a cold ocean beneath an impenetrable shell of ice, or on a world whose haze obscured any view of the universe beyond? Is there a common template for life, or can we expect to find preciously fragile silicon creatures drifting in seas of liquid nitrogen? What would be the moment we first discover life outside of the Earth – and would we ever be sure we’ve really found it? How would finding alien life change our society?
“Life Beyond Us” will introduce you to the strange new worlds beyond ours in 22 stories by award-winning authors of speculative fiction and 22 accompanying essays by scientists working on the origins of life, habitability and life detection. It’s going to be a fun ride!
Twenty-two brilliant SF authors of various backgrounds and perspectives will transport you to the strangest places on our own planet as well as far beyond it in the galaxy. All authors have optional access to a “science guide” to help them create worlds that can be filled with fantastic stories and also reflect our understanding and speculation of such places. Each story is followed by a short popular science essay exploring the fantastic and yet really imaginable topic introduced in the story, be it life in Titan’s hydrocarbon seas, strange carbon planets, conundrums presented by the Fermi Paradox and so much more.
We’re delighted that so many wonderful authors of science fiction, both long-famous and just coming into the spotlight, have agreed to contribute a story to Life Beyond Us. We’re proud to include works by Mary Robinette Kowal, Peter Watts, Premee Mohamed, Gregory Benford, Tobias S. Buckell, Julie E. Czerneda, Malka Older, Deji Bryce Olukotun, Rich Larson, DA Xiaolin Spires, Stephen Baxter, Geoffrey A. Landis, Eric Choi, Bogi Takács, Eugen Bacon, Tessa Fisher, Arula Ratnakar, Lucie Lukačovičová, G. David Nordley, Tomáš Petrásek, Valentin Ivanov and Simone Heller.
While publishing excellent SF and essays, our aims are to support understanding of science, interest in the workings of nature and technology, and critical thinking.
These are key for battling the effects of climate change, future pandemics and other challenges that reflect in our whole society. We believe that science fiction is well-suited to help us (and we don’t just believe that – there is reliable data to support that conclusion, although it definitely needs to be corroborated by more studies in various conditions… you know how it is!).
Many a scientist were inspired to follow STEM careers by stories that got them thinking “what if…”. We aim to inspire new generations to pursue STEM and STEAM (art included) careers, science communication or ‘merely’ an interest in them, and will use the anthology in outreach activities at EAI summer schools and workshops.
Like all readers, we’re tired of SF that just endlessly lectures, and rest assured that Life Beyond Us will contain stories that are first of all brilliant stories full of lifelike characters, able to make you hold your breath until you reach the last sentence. A special limited Kickstarter edition of the book will also be adorned by interior artwork consisting of 19th century naturalist Ernst Haeckel’s beautiful and mesmerizing illustrations of life on Earth, often stranger than most aliens we can imagine.
Kindly spread the word!