The Long Cosmos
by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
(London, Corgi Books, 2016)
He was a man who had always sought to be alone, for big chunks of his life at least.
Time just pours away, doesn't it?
What use were nuns and counsellors and teachers if they couldn't show patience at least?
A kid was a kid, after all, not a bundle of conditions.
Most long-lived space stations got shabby; they' weren't places where you could ever open the windows for a good spring-clean.
The overwhelmingly most likely location of high intelligence is towards the centre of the Galaxy. The spiral arms, where we live, are waves of star birth washing around the galactic disc. But at the core, where the stars are crowded close, where the energy fluxes are enormous - a dangerous place, but where the first worlds rich in rock and metal formed billions of years before Earth - that is where the peak of galactic civilization must reside.
No technology is dangerous if handled correctly.
A landscape without its big predators is unbalanced - a pathology.