Space Horrors – Anna Paradox

This is the first in a series of guest blog posts about the anthology Full-Throttle Space Tales #4: Space Horrors coming on October 1 from Flying Pen Press. In these posts, the authors will introduce their stories and tell a little bit about how they come up with the idea.  You can pre-order the book now at:

This first post is by Anna Paradox.  I first met Anna at Coppercon in Phoenix about three years ago and discovered that we actually live in the same town.  She’s a talented writer and editor, and a good friend.  Her story in Space Horrors is called “Listening.”  Without further ado, I’ll turn it over to Anna.

How Far Can Rationality Take Us?

Space travel is the ultimate triumph of rationality. It’s the product of many minds, thinking carefully and clearly to build the most technologically advanced machines our civilization has ever produced.

Or is the highest achievement of the human mind the atom bomb?

The products of our intellect and the products of our fear sit uneasily together. I hope for a world where we work to make life better for one another – I fear a world where we use our greatest abilities to do one another harm. When I heard the theme of Space Horrors, I was intrigued by how our fragile minds would adapt to being so far from the world that cradled us. I imagined a competent woman, taking care of the spaceship she served and the people on it. I imagined her adversary, cracked by jealousy and hatred and wanting to do harm. My story, called “Listening” describes their conflict. The title names one of my heroine’s greatest skills. Whether it will be enough to prevail – is for the story to tell.

I had been thinking about listening in other contexts when I wrote this story. It’s one of my professional skills. Both as a life coach and an editor, I seek first to understand before I make recommendations. In the coaching tradition of Martha Beck, my teacher, the clues to the life that will most satisfy us lie within each person. To discover those clues, I listen intensely. In editing, my purpose is to bring out the author’s intent – only by listening first can I best serve the writer.

So when my heroine hears a little more than many others would in her place, I like to think I am a little like her. I, too, listen and serve.

She’s better in a fight than I am, though.

– Anna Paradox


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