Thoughts on the universe of 'What the stars mean'
I got thinking today about the universe of my short story "What the stars mean", looking for ways to raise the stakes and complicate things dreadfully for the characters.
Travelling back towards Earth, back into earlier waves of settlement, would mean going back in time in technological and cultural terms.
Whereas going away from Earth implies greater retention of innovations.
This assumes that the pioneers are more inventive than the stay-at-homes. Or it simply assumes that they are forced by circumstance to innovate. But does this imply that stable, settled societies wouldn't innovate as much as disrupted societies? No: it is on the edge of chaos that life flourishes. The closer to chaos, the better; but if it slips into chaos itself, it dissolves.
Then I got thinking of my character's quandary: If you could freeze yourself and hurl your body downtime into an earlier technology, would you? Likewise, if you could freeze yourself and travel uptime into a latter tech, would you? His choice is whether to travel towards or away from Earth. Which way would you go?
I think this story implies a universe which could easily evolve into a novel-length treatment.