First appearance: short story collection All the Myriad Ways. Stan, the narrator, notices that the Moon is glowing much brighter than ever before. However the narrator surmises that the Sun has gone nova , the day side of the Earth is already destroyed, and this is the last night of his life. He then calls and visits his girlfriend Leslie, presuming her ignorant of the situation, but she realizes it independently when Jupiter brightens with appropriate delay; they then enjoy their last night on the town, before rain and winds start. Later, he realizes one other possibility.
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It first appeared in a short-story collection, All the Myriad Ways. Inconstant Moon is also the title of a short story collection published in Synopsis One late night in California, Stan notices the moon shining unusually bright. It continues to grow brighter until it is bright enough to leave an afterimage in his eyes. He telephones Leslie, his girlfriend, and they admire its beauty. After they hang up, Stan, who writes pop-science articles for a living, decides to reason out what is causing the phenomenon.
As he realizes the implications, he becomes afraid. He calls Leslie back to invite her out to enjoy what may possibly be the last night of their lives. Review "Inconstant Moon" is the quintessential hard science fiction short story; no fantasy elements and taking place in our real world. It is an easy read if you are unfamiliar with Larry Niven, his writing style is very casual and short enough to be consumed in one sitting, and yet the story leaves a lasting impression.
What would you do if you found out the world would end in a few hours? What choices would you make? There are others out in town, some of whom are aware of the impending doom. Which character would you be? If not, you can just take his word for it and enjoy a good story. Great science fiction makes us think about the real world and look into ourselves, and this story definitely does. Gracie A.
Larry Niven bibliography