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Eleven to fifteen years ago, I read a short essay on a sci-fi community site I used to visit occasionally. The site's name was not something generic, but had a proper name. It was mostly used as a way for amateur writers and enthusiasts to post their essays and discuss sci-fi concepts, develop ideas, etc.

I especially remember a particular essay about a group of interstellar slower-than-light AI ships that had been sent from earth to look for (iirc) habitable star systems. The author was not published. The story was told from the perspective of a single AI ship. She described her sister ships on their own paths, and wondered how they were faring. At the end she (again, iirc) found nothing in our galaxy and as she continued on into intergalactic space, was contemplating the millennia it would take to reach another galaxy. The story struck me as beautiful, sad and contemplative. The writing included a good deal of reference to the large times and distances traversed and did a good job of helping to visualize these larger-than-human scales of time and distance.

Anyone here have any clue what the community site might have been, or better the essay I'm remembering? My web searches have been fruitless.

  • Welcome to the site! Great start. Take a look at this guide to help jog your memory and see if you can edit in any more details. – amflare Aug 2 '17 at 21:49
  • @amflare Thanks for the link. I'll add what little additional detail my grey matter can muster. :) – David Twist Aug 2 '17 at 21:56
  • @user14111 Thank you for the reply and suggestion. The story I recall was definitely written circa 2002-2006, and in the end it was just the one AI ship continuing on by its lonesome. I'm more wracking my brain for the name of the community site; if I could remember that (and it is still around!) I'd be able to find the story. :) – David Twist Aug 2 '17 at 22:53
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    Can you describe what the site looked like? – Dreamwalker Aug 7 '17 at 14:41
  • @Dreamwalker Phew, not reliably. :) I think it was a pretty typical forum with circa late nineties aesthetic. It was the content that set it apart. It was definitely a popular, but niche, site. – David Twist Aug 11 '17 at 19:06
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I finally found what I was after. Thanks again to the folks who replied with helpful questions. :)

The story is called "Passages in the Void" and is now self-hosted by its author here. I badly mis-remembered the ending to the story, but am glad to have found it again. :)

And the site it was originally published on was http://www.kuro5hin.org, which is no longer online. Site history here. I was thinking specifically of their fiction channel, an archive of which can be found here.

Cheers, David

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