So, I sent my short story "Contrails in Silicon" to a potential alien civilization. As far as I know, I am the first writer to do this. I was inspired to send it for a number of reasons. It wasn't just to stroke my ego or have that sense of immortality many artists seek through their art. Part of it was the hope that maybe my ideas could help. Maybe, some being would read this and think "Hey, I have options besides war." Perhaps this is giving myself too much credit. Perhaps nobody out there will ever read it. But It was worth a try.
I sent the message out via laser to Kepler 42. Kepler 42 is one of the first stars cataloged with planets that could potentially host life. On 1/10/2012 the Kepler telescope discovered the planets using the transit method. The star is a red dwarf, and there are three planets that are in the "Goldilocks zone". The orbit of the planets lay approximately in the position equivalent to between Mars and Venus. It is one of the first candidates that is near Earth size, and liquid water is thought to exist. It is only 20 light years away. The reason we can't confirm it for certain is due to limitations in our present technology. However, since I had it sent via laser, the signal will not degrade and it is not only possible that a civilization at Kepler 42 may read it, but others on the messages path may also see it.
I had to encapsulate the story as an image due to size restrictions, and I sent it with a brief message explaining what it was. I attached the certificate confirming the transmission and my brief message. The story itself is published through Double Dragon Ebooks in the anthology Twisted Tails VI by J. Richard Jacobs (http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/single.php?ISBN=1-55404-830-3