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Author's Commentary: "The Prospectors"

One of the many things I admire about Isaac’s videos is the seemingly boundless sense of optimism. There’s a sense that all things are possible given time and the willingness to apply some imaginative thinking and enough brute force. And that’s great. But this week’s topic—Life as a Planetary Explorer—if history is any indication, will lead to some struggles, heartbreak, boredom, pitfalls—a lot of bad stuff. We’re not going to just hop on a spaceship and have a grand old time building new civilizations on new worlds. Even on this world civilization is a tough business, and we were meant for this place. This week, I thought I’d set a story on an outpost that some intrepid outsiders were trying to settle and build up independently. I wanted to catalogue some of the probable future struggles planetary explorers may have to deal with.

I tried to throw in some lighter moments, especially with Oscar still having a sense of humor despite being a deeply serious person committed to family and community. I am hoping this offsets the sadness of a failed outpost a little. I tried to make this place echo the prospecting towns of the past, as history tends to do. It was a tough life then, and I suspect it will be in the future when it comes around again. I am planning for one of the upcoming stories to be a comedy, but for now, the tragedy of a ghost town.

Hope it rings true.


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