I am trying to find a short story I read that stuck with me. I probably read it in the late 60's or early 70's. It was written first person from the President to the crew of a spaceship that was stationed behind the moon as part of a Mutual Assured Destruction strategy. Spoiler alert - it was assumed to be president of USA until last line when you realize it was from the President of the USSR and he asked them not carry out their mission since MAD apparenetly hadn't worked.

Does anyone remember name and author of this story?

  • 4
    I remember the story.. At one point he says something like 'They have used all of their missiles, but we still have some remaining' although their homeland has been destroyed -- they can make a final, 'destroy everybody' attack. It ends with something like 'So, I tell you, the crew of the Lenin, to place yourself at the command of the president of the US; they will need the technology that now exists only on your ship' or something... I THINK it was Fredric Brown, but I'm not sure.
    – K-H-W
    Commented May 30, 2013 at 14:29

1 Answer 1


It's "The Last Command" by the late great Arthur C. Clarke. It was collected in 1972 in "The Wind from the Sun".

  • That's it. Thank you. Googling it I found a preview and it's definitely the story.
    – Duncan
    Commented May 31, 2013 at 2:58
  • No problem, glad to be able to help.
    – A.D
    Commented May 31, 2013 at 6:09

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