I am trying to find a novella (and its follow up short story) that were published in "Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine" on the order of 20 years ago (+/- 5 years).

Premise: for reasons unknown, in contemporary times all the stars in the universe have gone out. The novella covers the whole thing, from the discovery past the end of the universe (it's complicated). The short story was more focused, was set before Earth's atmosphere had condensed to liquid. It made fun of CNN journalist Wolf Blitzer's name. Also, the Russians bombed their own rioting people in Moscow, and back in the US, there were neighbors mobbing the protagonists towards the end.

  • 4
    Were they going out without any fuss?
    – Mr Lister
    Mar 20, 2020 at 15:30
  • @MrLister the novella wouldn't have "covered the whole thing".
    – LSerni
    Mar 20, 2020 at 15:44
  • longshot, maybe wrong period, doesn't look like it was in IASFM, but: Last Contact by Stephen Baxter? Mar 20, 2020 at 16:44
  • @MrLister the rest of it doesn't sound anything like that story
    – moopet
    Mar 20, 2020 at 18:11
  • 3
    There is an Arthur C. Clarke short story "The Nine Billion Names of God" (1953) which is quite famous, but was first published decades before the indicated period. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Nine_Billion_Names_of_God Mar 21, 2020 at 15:45

1 Answer 1


I have found them! The stories are William Barton's "Moments of Inertia" (Asimov's April/May 2004) and the sequel "Dark of the Sun" (Asimov's April/May 2005)

What will you do when the Sun goes out? That’s the question two fifty somethings, living out the bitter endgame of their wasted lives, must answer. It’s the end of the world, not just as they know it, but for real. Paul and Scott have been the best of friends since childhood, ever since they checked the same book out of their elementary school library, but they’ve come to loath one another, as life’s catastrophes slowly beat them down. Now, a real catastrophe will kill them, and everyone else in the world, unless they find a way to survive. The answer they come up with is utterly heroic. And it will make or break them as men.


"Dark of the Sun" by William Barton is a follow-up to his previous story, "Moments of Inertia" in April/May 2004 issue. Again, four people are coping with the extinction of the Sun.

  • Congrats! Can you provide some summary for the stories to increase the chance of other people finding them?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Apr 14, 2020 at 12:22

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