Escape Pod 100: Nightfall
Rated G. Contains some violence and apocalyptic themes.
By Isaac Asimov
“Of the six suns, only Beta is left in the sky. Do you see it?”
The question was rather unnecessary. Beta was almost at zenith, its ruddy light flooding the landscape to an unusual orange as the brilliant rays of setting Gamma died. Beta was at aphelion. It was small; smaller than Theremon had ever seen it before, and for the moment it was undisputed ruler of Lagash’s sky.
Lagash’s own sun, Alpha, the one about which it revolved, was at the antipodes, as were the two distant companion pairs. The red dwarf Beta — Alpha’s immediate companion — was alone, grimly alone.
Aton’s upturned face flushed redly in the sunlight. “In just under four hours,” he said, “civilization, as we know it, comes to an end. It will do so because, as you see, Beta is the only sun in the sky.” He smiled grimly. “Print that! There’ll be no one to read it.”
About the Author
Isaac Asimov (January 2, 1920 – April 6, 1992) was an American writer and professor of biochemistry at Boston University. He was known for his works of science fiction and popular science. Asimov was a prolific writer who wrote or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards.
About the Narrator
Serah Eley is the original producer, editor and host of Escape Pod. She mispronounced her name as Steve Eley at the time, but has since realized that life is much more fun as a woman, and came out as transgender in 2015. Serah lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her two spouses (she prefers “spice”), Sadi and Cat.
So if there were ever any betting pools on what happened to Steve: the dark-horse winner is “changed sex and joined a committed lesbian love triangle.” She is, obviously, still Having Fun.