“The convoy’s gonna go to this star, see. … But for me, it will always be unknowable. It’s real, but unreachable. That doesn’t make it a literal noumenon, but it … it feels fitting to me. There are things I can never know, things humanity can never know — or, hell, maybe I’m wrong and nothing is unknowable, nothing unmeasurable. But that just means the noumenal world is fleeting, a vast frontier.”
She nodded to herself. “Noumenon. Okay, I think I like it.”
Marina J. Lostetter’s Noumenon presents a classic hard scifi narrative. In it, generations of scientists dedicate their lives to a cross-universe journey of scientific discovery. On Earth, Reggie Straifer discovers an anomalous star and proposes a grand mission to uncover its mysteries. When his proposal is accepted, it becomes one of twelve Planet United Missions – globally-funded scientific missions to the stars. In preparation for the trip, scientists from all over the world are tested and (if they measure up) cloned to preserve the “genetic talent of the original crew”. It is these clones, along with a unique artificial intelligence, that will staff the ships of Reggie’s mission, Noumenon, on its eons-long journey there and back again.