Grace’s Family

The mission: to survey the galaxy and beyond. An endless stream of probes and starships heading out into the universe, surveying, cataloguing, assaying. Forever. And on board those ships, the intrepid explorers who give it all meaning.



We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.

—Carl Sagan

I set my coffee cup on the watch officer’s console, careful not to spill. “Not even the next episode of the Fleeners?” I said, already knowing how Grace would reply. We’d had this argument about stories before. Not always about the Fleeners, but still. “Come on, it’s even kind of educational.”

Grace was her usual adamant self. “Jojin, you’re standing watch. That means you need to pay attention. Stories in their proper time.”

“But you can keep watch on yourself. You do all the time.” No matter how many times I’d asked, Grace never got ...