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What lies beyond the sun? It’s a question that’s fascinated humankind for centuries.

I remember sitting on my Grandma’s lap, reading together the scrapbooks she kept of every NASA mission in her lifetime. What might it be like to go to the stars, we wondered? What strange worlds and alien life forms might exist out there? She gave me a phonograph recording of the first moon landing, which also included President John F. Kennedy’s famous “Land a man on the moon” speech. I listened to it over and over and dreamed.

And then they downsized NASA and, with it, possibilities but not my dreams. I still think going to the stars would be amazing. I still imagine all the discoveries awaiting us out there, so I thought it would be fun to take you with me. That’s where the idea for this anthology, Beyond The Sun, came from.

Within these pages, you’ll find stories of adventure, stories of action, stories of science, stories of exploration—some from the point of view of men, others the point of view of women, and a few from the point of view of aliens—which depending on who you are may seem synonymous with one of the genders I mentioned before. There’s humor here, too. From a lot of fun friends I invited to take this adventure with me—legends like Grand Master Robert Silverberg, award winners like Nancy Kress, Mike Resnick, and Kristine Kathryn Rusch, newcomers like Anthony Cardno, and established writers like Cat Rambo, Jason Sanford and Jamie Todd Rubin, these stories explore the question: what lies beyond the sun? And what would it be like if we could go there?

From the pilots who transport colonists to the stars to the families and coworkers who go with them, from missionaries to inmates, outpost crews to scientists and even a judge, the stories cover a broad spectrum, including action, emotion, tragedy, humor, and yes, some science. Mike Resnick and Erin Hoffman offer stories from alien points of view, while others stories follow the colonizers. Each story posits possibilities of what we might expect or experience out there. Some have settled on colonies for religious freedom or to escape persecution, others seek wealth, resources, or adventure. Our tales involve both those who live in colonies, those who run them and those who travel around assisting colonists with various needs. Each author puts a unique spin on the concept, which is what I think makes them a fun read.

Maybe someday we’ll go together to the stars. In a form beyond simply our imaginations, that is. For now, join me on an adventure of the imagination. You may be surprised where it takes you. I know I enjoyed finding out. And I hope you’ll enjoy the journey as much as I did.

Bryan Thomas Schmidt

Ottawa, KS

Spring 2013

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