Big Dog

A5, digital, 2011

A man and a woman float into a viewing dome on a huge spaceship in orbit around the Earth.  They are stunned by what they see.  Sunlight glistens on the planet’s surface against the blackness of space, and humanity’s home appears warm and welcoming to those who have not known it before.

But what is the background of these travellers in space?  In a scene from Brian Aldiss’ Non-Stop, they may now, for the first time, have a true understanding of the state of the universe.  Their previous world view is overturned when they realise that they are on board a multi-generation starship – Big Dog – and it has now expanded beyond anything in their earlier experience.  Do they fear the future in their new and massively enhanced comprehension of reality, or do they instead look forward with excitement to a world of endless opportunities?  None of us should doubt the importance of our own mind journeys in expanding our view of the amazing cosmos in which we live.

Text: Richard Hayes