The Flight of the Ulysses
Stephen B5 Jones
Copyright 2013, Stephen Jones
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The cover: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=28448&picture=color-drop-of-water George Hodan
Captain Sly--yes, that's his real name--did an interview, news media being one of the few old industries still functioning. He was always well dressed to the point of being ridiculous, doubly so for public appearances. The interview was going moderately well when they asked. “What do you think about those who believe we should finish exploring the rest of the solar system before we go to other star systems?”
It seemed to bother some people that we weren't following the old trope of future history in the proper order. No one had reported being to Neptune in person, much less Pluto-even if it wasn't really a planet. Some people thought we were doing the cosmic version of 'taking cuts'.
But now we had warm fusion reactors, cheap energy using common ice, found anywhere in the colder part of the solar system. We also had the Covdell Tracion engine; the faster than light drive which totally bent the universe into a tidy little bow. The stars were not only in reach, they were at our doorstep. One could possibly traverse the galaxy in a matter of days. A thousand ships were being built. If rumor were to be believed, many had already been built by people who could, and they were already visiting distant stars.