Kevin Grazier & Ges Segar's "Planet Killer" (novelette, space opera, free): Life needs a lot of luck
Later parts of it made me remember Arthur Clarke's "The Star".
Very interesting cosmic annihilation mystery, though extremely high jargon content is a drawback. Story deals with a cosmic phenomenon called 'polar “beams”' of something called a 'gamma ray burster'.
Story summary.A human exploration ship is several hundred light years away from Sol - headed towards something called Coalsack. The FTL ship needs frequent stops, & has been seeing extremely worrying phenomena in star systems close to which it stops. Looks like multiple star systems have been consciously sterilized by high energy sources that don't quite look natural.
Until they end up close to a source, & things get explained! Ship ending up close to source is a BIG coincidence, though.
Fact sheet.First published: Mike Brotherton (Ed)'s "Dimonds in the Sky" (anthology) (2008?)
Download full text. [via Marooned]