Humanity's first great attempt to push forward to become an interplanetary and interstallar civilization came after a great disaster that forced a new kind of society, and a new way of life. Having the means, the oppotunity, and the foresight, new technologies came to be employed in the colonization of Mars, the exploitation of the asteroid belt, and the exploration of the solar system from Jupiter's moons to the Kuiper Ice.
These advances would allow humanity to expand beyond its terrestrial limitations, to achieve new heights of prosperity and surpass all horizons of discovery. Some, though, saw the limitations of being a one-star civilization, and looked even further forward, to establish footholds within the local neighborhood of stars.
Unable to find planets suitable for immediate colonization, a monumental project is conceived to pave the way, and build worlds custom-made for mankind, A long term project, and one meant to secure the future of the children of Earth even beyond the life of their native star.
This is not the tale of the first man to fly to a distant star, ot to set up camp on alien worlds. Framed as letters written to report condition and status, this is the story of the first man sent to tame an alien star system and prepare it for mankind's inevitable expansion, and of his struggle just to keep in touch.
" A curiously advanced HardScienceFiction tale hidden within a simple narrative, the mathematics of flying from star to star distilled to a slightly postmodern vernacular. The guy telling you what's wrong with your car, in space: those who get calculus and quantum and astrophysics will see that Basham gets it too; those who don't will encounter less technical jargon overall than heard in Star Wars."