My fellow author Rhett C. Bruno (author of The Circuit: Executor Rising, a book I read and quite enjoyed last August) pointed me toward a new story he had published by Perihelion Science Fiction in June.
This Long Vigil is perhaps a story we know, or perhaps one that, as lovers of sci-fi, we may have considered in our own minds. A generation ship hurtles through the blackness of space, its inhabitants dwelling in a deep cryogenic sleep, tended by just one of their number–Orion–who must ensure that everything stays running. Orion’s only companion is the ship’s AI, known as Dan, a disembodied voice of reason and riddles.
This is a story of loneliness and longing, of human nature and the choice between duty and freedom. Its themes strike close to home, and the prose carries the reader effortlessly through sentence and paragraph, until its final, bittersweet conclusion which is, if not totally unexpected, the natural conclusion to the feelings and themes which well up and overflow in celebration of its greatest theme: the human desire for self-determination and freedom.
A quiet, soft-spoken yet thoughtful story, This Long Vigil is available free at Perihelion Science Fiction, and is highly recommended.