The Elysian Mythos
The idea for my story seemed original to me, but as I developed it, I began to realize that the story is the same as most science fiction adventures, humans heading into new territories to escape trouble created by their own reckless industry. My focus is on the burden of the survivors to follow the destination that they did not choose, a destination that was imposed upon them by their ancestors who have died and left them in the predicament they are in.
Until the moment someone actually gets to the New Earth, nobody really knows what is going to be found there. It is sort of like death, nobody has come back to say definitively, but one day our grandchildren, or their descendents, are going to find out for sure. It is nothing like death, as natural as finding air to breathe. The problem is that the distance is greater than any human lifespan, those who set off on this journey will not reach the destination, those who do arrive will have never walked on the surface of a planet, having lived on a spaceship their entire lives. Grandfather said "We seek a new World." This is a great time to be a science librarian.
The first space ships were fantastic one of a kind constructions. This is the era of inventors, creating that one part that is needed to solve the problem. Unfortunately, this early period in the migration program had a backlash, there were reactionary forces that attempted to push back against this destiny because of a perception that once this idea of Planetary Exodus became widespread, civilization would shift from a comfortable status quo into a new and uncharted territory. This was a dark period in which the fledgling amateurs were attacked and many were imprisoned, time was lost as was blood and treasure. Ultimately the forces of democracy and the imperatives of planetary doom prevailed, and the amateur space force was sanctified at last.
The amateurs were followed by the large corporations, like GM for cars, common interests blended to make the whole thing work. Mavericks and drones, competing and working towards the same promised life. Eventually mass production of the best designs made it possible for every high school graduate to find their way into exciting new careers.
Military supply conglomerates began supporting new businesses and the study of science became a very lucrative specialization, a new social trend and way of life.
The first prison ship was launched. The program expands slowly as the public enjoys the benefits of a new "crime -free society." Soon the old prisons were cleared and a the forces of darkness made another stand. Now the loyal opposition to the current government became involved in a ritual deportation. Political rivals were loaded up on the rockets, called heroic pioneers, and were never seen again.
Nobody seems to ask about the expected situation when they arrive, are we walking into a new America, with a few troublesome indigenous inhabitants to consider. Or will there be resistance? Or can we find a way to live amongst the ones who already live in Elysia? Must they go or will we be welcomed there?
Here are four stories, which begin the Elysian Mythos (of Robin James).
Reasons To Stay At Home: the original sketches
Gather: the development of a religion based on Nature
E13: what actually happened on one ship as the original Earth dwellers passed on and the new generations became aware of their predicament
Our Cenotaph: what it was like for the original inhabitants of the New Earth