I am looking for a short story published in an anthology in either 2014 or 2015 (more likely 2015).

In the story, the universe is undergoing a Big Crunch and SETI suddenly begins to get thousands of extra-terrestrial signals. Upon deciphering the signals, the female scientist realizes that all of the signals are saying goodbye.

  • The big question is how ETs could code a signal for "goodbye"?
    – RobertF
    Nov 18, 2015 at 17:35
  • She never actually decoded the signal, she simply intuited that's what they were saying. (Made me cry so much) Nov 18, 2015 at 19:20

1 Answer 1


Stephen Baxter's "Last Contact"
It appeared in Alien Contact – November 1, 2011 by Marty Halpern among others

The story follows a mother and daughter, Maureen and Caitlin, as they live through the last few months of Earth's existence. Caitlin, an astrophysicist, has been involved with the recent discovery of the "Big Rip", a field of dark energy that is devouring the universe. The story chronicles the lives of Maureen and Caitlin, as well as the general public, as the event gets closer to Earth. Maureen is intent on fixing up her yard while Caitlin tries to help the public understand and cope with what is about to happen.

  • @SeanDuggan Thx for the editing help Sean! I'm new to this awesome forum! Nov 18, 2015 at 19:25
  • 1
    Not a problem. The general policy (not official, just what people tend to do) is to provide the title, preferably with a link for somewhere for more information, a quoted summary (generally from where the link was) that shows how it matches, if there's no other explanation, and a link to ISFDB.org to provide locations where the work can be found. I often try to add a cover image because I've found that it can be very helpful for story-identification matches.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Nov 18, 2015 at 19:27
  • 1
    Incidentally, the Wikipedia article has a link to an online publication of the story if you want to reread it.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Nov 18, 2015 at 19:28

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