Author's Commentary: "The Next Layer"
"Grabby aliens" was another new concept for me, but in fairness, unless I’m mistaken, this one’s a relatively new concept anyway, so it’s not that shocking that I would be unfamiliar. I can’t profess to understand it well enough to explain it, but my basic understanding is that we must be early, because otherwise, our solar system would be occupied by something before us. Either that or proto-human club-wielding maniacs drove them off!
This is a very interesting concept that more or less posits that one way or another, the galaxy is going to fill up with aliens, even if the fastest civilizations can expand are at modest fractions of light speed. If that’s the case, I suspect something like the fragmenting that happens in this story will occur.
For the record, this story, and its pair “Failsafe” take place a long time in the future from most of these other stories, though it isn’t necessarily in a different storyworld (they may very well all be the same 😊). I’m not even sure whether I know how they all fit together, if they do at all. I just knew that “Failsafe” had more to be said about that different and interesting storyworld. So I said it!
Hope you like what I had to say!