Examining Space: a Terrifying Beauty by Alisha Costanzo

I have always been fascinated with outer space. The moon.

When it’s full and big, I feel like I can just jump up and grab it, like it was meant to be explored for the mere beauty of its existence.

The more I learned about space and what we knew, what we didn’t, what might be out there, the more enthralled I became.

During the summer of 2008, I took a Astronomy class where we learned some of the math and the process of theorizing about space and its possibilities, like the earth getting hit by an asteroid large enough to cause regional or global catastrophe is roughly 1 in 300,000 every given year, which isn’t something to lose sleep over, even though I have lost a LOT of sleep over this dilemma. It’s a character flaw.

Besides the fact that the teacher was awesome at his job, he highlighted a lot of what I love about the universe. We got to watch documentaries that put visuals to the theories many scientists had at the time about what it might be like to visit the planets in our solar system, how our moon was formed, how they’ve been able to discover if a star has planets in its orbit, or the means in which we are searching for another blue planet in another solar system that’s likely in the habitable zone. About our plans to leave this one.

Pair that with a slew of books and short stories and tv shows and movies about space and blackholes, long-term space travel, time differences due to gravitational pull, the necessary transformation needed to evolve on a new planet. Oh, could I go on.

It’s usually the soft science fiction that draws me in. The possibilities rather than the hard truths. Probably because I was never really good at the science.

I struggle to reconcile the deeply magnificent unknown of space—all that stuff between the stars and the planets and civilizations is so utterly terrifying.

Here’s a video that explores what I’m talking about:

That’s the feeling that seeped into “Yellow Skies,” my nihilistic take on a dying planet and how until our end, until every last of inch is discovered, we will look to space to find more than what we have here.




Wife of a disabled veteran, Alisha Costanzo writes about PTSD, gender norms, environmentalism, violence, and conformity. With a mutually-fueled passion to change the world one person at a time, she often writes about her husband’s rants, conspiracy theories, and trains of logic that seem absurd until the connections line up, and mixes them into her obsession with cooking, coffee, and pop-culture monsters.

Most of all, Alisha is passionate about satire and how it can be used as a tool for learning and criticism. Her stories are aware of themselves and determined not to give readers what they think they want.

A New York transplant, she lives in Oklahoma, teaches English and rhetoric at a local university, runs and edits at Transmundane Press, LLC, and navigates the crazy that comes with her husband, fourteen-year-old step son, eight cats, six lizards, six mice, three toads, two snakes, and a water turtle in the master bath, all confined under one roof.


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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Alisha! That’s quite a rocket science revelation and you’ve unpeeled to make it simple. Quite a huge thing to crack!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Vishal!


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