We’re envisioning a Universe that’s expansive and dynamic, inclusive and lush, a perpetual explosion that defies temporal systems of organization or measurement. Instead of publishing sequential issues or a stream of work that relegates what came before to the background, we’re interested in connecting and recombining the work we publish and the artists who make it on an ongoing basis. Letting the shape of their creations, however seeming-distant in genre or style or intent, tell larger stories together.

We welcome you to stumble your way through the Universe in search of unexpected connection. And we hope that when you find something you love, you feel drawn to explore the asterism it belongs to, the other stars in its vicinity, the potential meanings of colors and shapes. We hope you’ll look into the voids in this ever-changing Universe and dream up what might, someday, call that place a home.

“Change / is the one unavoidable, / irresistible, / ongoing reality of the universe.” — Octavia E. Butler

Be forewarned: things will keep changing. The Universe isn’t a fixed entity.

We hope that’s exactly what will keep you coming back.


Joel Hans (he/him) was once called a saguaro in disguise. His fiction is published or forthcoming in Story, West Branch, No Tokens, Puerto del Sol, Booth: A Journal, and more. He has an MFA from the University of Arizona, where he also served as the managing editor of Fairy Tale Review. He still lives in Tucson, Arizona with his family. Find him at joelhans.com.

Jae Towle Vieira (she/they) always returns to the river. Their short fiction has been published in Carve, Passages North, Mississippi Review, The Normal School, New England Review, and elsewhere. They have an MFA from the University of Arizona. They are the founding editor of Manzanita Papers. Find them @jaetowlevieira.

The Universe is open source

All the code behind Astrolabe, including the Universe visualization, is open source, meaning that you can view the code, download it, edit it, or launch a competitor (or companion?) using it. It’s a small gesture toward our vision of connectedness.

Check out Astrolabe on GitHub.

Certain aspects of Astrolabe’s ongoing development, like bugfixes and features we hope to add in the near future, are handled in the issues. If you see a bug or would like to make a suggestion, and you happen to have a GitHub account, please feel free to add to the issues! If you're not on GitHub, you can always email us with bugs or ideas.

If you’d like to contribute to the code, you can run Astrolabe on a local development server, make changes, and then create a pull request. We’d love to see some active development at this our strange little intersection of arts, code, myth, and connection!

The only part of Astrolabe that can’t exist in an open source setting is the work from our contributors—as far as we know, there is no way to reconcile the author’s copyright and the rights we do ask for (FNASR) with any open source license, including the current license, which allows for copying, modification, and redistribution.