I’m trying a bit of an experiment. My short story, The Schwartzentoten-Moonbeam Device is available at DriveThruFiction for half a buck.
After seventy-six percent of the world’s population was destroyed, the two remaining nation states of Europe and Japan had joined together as one unified government and set to the task of repopulating the Earth.
Birth control was outlawed along with many major taboos and the survivors set to their task with reckless abandon.
When the Earth’s population was growing at a comfortable rate the government set their eyes on the stars. Thus the government of Euro-Japan, with the help of the First Governmental Scientists Union, made humanities dream of space conquest a reality.
Within decades, a manned flight was made to Alpha-Centauri. A new renaissance was dawning on mankind, aided by those few pioneers who were not caught up in the admirable but often time consuming repopulation of the Earth.
The mission to Alpha-Centauri was destroyed utterly by an unknown, presumably hostile force.