After twenty five years serving as the lone human Monitor of the Interstellar Ark, Hermes, Orion is scheduled to be placed back in his hibernation chamber with the other members of the crew. Knowing that he will die there and be replaced before the ship’s voyage is over, he decides that he won’t accept that fate. Whatever it takes he will escape Hermes and see space again, even if it means defying the regulations of his only friend -- the ship-wide artificial intelligence known as Dan.
Turning fifty is a mental milestone for most people. But it's a bit more than that for Bruno's main character, Dan. Fifty marks the end of his life.
This is a phenomenal short story. Bruno cleverly touches on a number of everyday life and aging issues in a very short space of time. The setting of the space ark traveling for 200 years to the next closest inhabited planet was brilliant. Dan literally has nowhere he can go but forward, a perfect metaphor for life itself.
"The Long Vigil" is provoking but doesn't weight you down with questions. It's sad but also hopeful. And the best part was that the story left me thinking about it for hours after I finished reading. Highly recommended.
Reviewed by Alain Gomez
Buy this short story on Amazon.