This has been an idea floating around in my head for a while and I thought I’d post it, even if just to say “I thought of it first.”
One of the biggest challenges facing interstellar travel, and by extension science fiction stories in space, is communication. Current forms of communication all rely on light in some form, this is fine for anything on or near Earth, but a real hassle for anything on beyond our moon. See, light only travels so fast and the distance between planets is so big that any light-based communication can be seriously delayed. Even communication with anything on Mars is delayed within a range of 4 to 24 minutes depending on how close our planets are. Distances between stars are even more daunting. The closest star system to ours, Alpha Centauri, is 4.3 light-years away. That means any signal sent from Earth would take over 4 years to reach anyone or anything at Alpha Centauri.