Books, Reviews

A Very Short-Short Story: Last Long Night

Week two of the Deal Me In Reading Challenge: I had initially marked this card – the 8 of Spades – to be a different story but I realized I did not feel like reading it after a couple of paragraphs, and I am almost at the end of week 3. So I picked a different story, thanks to the writing class I am taking right now, and it happens to be flash fiction, aka a very short-short story: Last Long Night by Lina Rather.

And if short stories are like those mini-desserts or mini-appetizers (like I mentioned last week), then these short-shorts are you taking just a bite of something wonderful!

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Deal Me In Reading Challenge

Last Long Night

Week Two – The 8 of Spades – Last Long Night by Lina Rather. You can read the story here.

Last Long Night

About the Story and Its Author

Lina Rather is a speculative fiction author from Michigan, now living in Washington, D.C. You can find her stories in various publications including Shimmer, Flash Fiction Online, and Lightspeed. Her first novel Sisters of the Vast Black was published in 2019.

Rather wrote this story after reading about Vladimir Komarov, a Russian cosmonaut. He was killed when his spacecraft crashed during its return to Earth on April 24, 1967. This was the first in-flight fatality in the history of human spaceflight. Rather notes that her thoughts keep returning to his voice echoing his last transmissions back to earth in his final moments.

My Thoughts

I am learning the art of fiction writing currently and this story is one of the reading assignments, so it was like ‘one stone, two birds’. (I do wish there is a less violent phrase to state this). But as I started trying to write this post, I realized that it is pretty difficult to review a short story of this size without spoiling it for others but I am attempting to ensure that here.

In Last Long Night, we meet the crew of a spaceship who are struggling to reach a planet they think they can survive in. They are from an earth that has died and are hanging to the last shreds of hope and of sanity, when they hear something they least expected to hear in the vast and dark unexplored space – another human voice.

This story is poignant and yet, full of hope, in the face of futility and reminds us that in the end humanity binds us all together. It builds a whole new world and tells a powerful story in under a 1000 words.

Conclusion

Read it now here. It will just take a few minutes of your time.

As for me, I picked this story thinking I will be done with it soon but the story behind it intrigued me so much that I spent lots more time in the end than I would have if I had stuck to my original story (mentioned earlier in the post). And as to Vladimir Komarov’s story that I ended up reading about, there are quite a few different and differing theories about what really happened.

And Now, the End of This Post

Here are my previous posts for the month:

12 thoughts on “A Very Short-Short Story: Last Long Night

  1. The story sounds intriguing. I’ll probably have to read it on my upcoming lunch hour. 🙂 I generally like stories that involve humanity’s migration into space (for whatever reason). It does seem like it’d be tough to write a story about that in <1000 words, though.

    I hadn't heard of Vladimir Komarov before either. Between my Deal Me In and yours, I've now learned about two previously unknown-to-me figures from Russian history. 🙂

  2. You will be proud of me! My school friend of over 60 years ago published a book about a horse she rescued and I purchased a copy! It’s not a long book but it’s a start!

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