David Whitaker’s story “Strangers in the Night” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 15 June 2018. Metaphorosis

I love the idea that mankind is not alone in the universe, however it always struck me that our greatest challenge is one of practicality. Relative to the age of the universe we’re practically a blink of an eye, and we’d need someone else to be blinking at the same time, and exceedingly close, if we were ever to have a chance. Probes, able to outlive their progenitors, are a long established answer, and would others out in the universe not come to the same conclusion? And once you’ve created a probe intelligent and sturdy enough to pursue its goal for millennia, and gifted it with a civilisation’s worth of knowledge, could that not then be considered a form of life itself? Would it also not be entirely possible for probes to fail to find ‘life’ as they hope, but instead to meet one another? The story followed quickly after.


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