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This Long Vigil

(Children of Titan)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  266 ratings  ·  84 reviews
From the author of "The Circuit Series" and "Titanborn" comes a science fiction short story taking place in the "Titanborn" universe.

Synopsis: After twenty five years serving as the lone human Monitor of the Interstellar Ark, Hermes, Orion is scheduled to be placed back in his hibernation chamber with the other members of the crew. Knowing that he will die there and be re
Kindle Edition, 20 pages
Published December 20th 2015
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4.21  · 
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 ·  266 ratings  ·  84 reviews

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Good fair reading.

The author contacted me and I received a copy of this book in exchange of a honest review.


This is a short story, part of the literary universe created for the novel Titanborn by Rhett Bruno.

In the middle of the narrative developed in the mentioned novel, you get to know about a big project of sending generational space arks into potential planet with chances of life, economically funded by Pervenio Corporation.

The short tale here is about one of those
Reading Corner
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaway
This is a brilliant short story with a fascinating plot which follows Orion, the human monitor of the Hermes who helps Dan maintain the ship and its inhabitants.

Despite being so short, the story grips you from the start with a compelling protagonist who is quickly approaching his due date for being replaced. He takes matters into his own hands and suddenly questions authority.

This is a beautifully crafted short story with a fantastic concept, a great sci-fi story. I'd 100% recommend reading this
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
This Long Vigil is a 2015 science fiction short story by author Rhett Bruno that blends elements of Bradbury and Arthur C. Clarke into a very good shorter work.

The Interstellar Ark Hermes is a generational ship travelling at less than light speed to a colonial destination of Tau Ceti. There are exactly 1,000 passengers on board, all but one kept in fluid hibernation chambers. In anticipation of one dying, the onboard computer and captain has a female impregnated. When the anticipated death (recy
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"In twenty-three hours you will be fifty years old. As you know, I was programmed by my maker to ensure that there is always an able-bodied human on watch - "

Dan runs the ship Hermes, though he needs human help for some tasks. Orion's time as Dan's helper is ending. He needs to choose his successor before he returns to sleep - a sleep that will only end when he reaches age seventy and his body is recycled by the ship.

This is a well-imagined concept turned into a well-written story. We meet a ma
Paul E. Morph
Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
At nineteen pages, this is a cracking little science fiction short story. Very moving; I only wish it had been longer!

If you've not read the author's work before, this would be a good way of dipping your toes in before taking the plunge.
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a short story set in the Titanborn universe. It is completely separate from the story unfolding in the novels but mentions a generation Ark by Pervenio corporation.

The thought experiment of humans boarding a ship and travelling through space to a possibly unhabitable planet isn't new. But as usual, the author makes this his own. 18 pages aren't much to give the reader a sense of where they are and to bond with characters, but I find myself having had no troubles at all with either of tha
BOOK REVIEW: This Long Vigil by Rhett C. Bruno Aboard the Interstellar Arc, Hermes, Orion has spent the last twenty-five years being entertained and educated by Dan, the artificial intelligence that runs the ship and ensures the continued viability of its cargo, only needing human hands occasionally.

As I reached the top of the ladder, zero-g gently lifted my body. I drifted into the space – a tremendous, hollow sphere around which the Living Ring rotated. Rows of plantings and heat lamps wrapped
Pippa DaCosta
Dec 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Holy shit, this was astonishing. This little book (20 pages) swept me up and then punched me in the gut.

Our main character, Orion, was born on Hermes, an Interstellar Ark (human-farm sent to colonise another planet). He's the one human Monitor who's spent his entire life tending to the lifepods of human cargo. He's watched births and deaths. He lives simply to monitor life, but he's never truly experienced it. He doesn't know what it's like to walk through wet grass, or speak with another human
Suad Shamma
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, 2016
I received a copy of this short story from the author in exchange for an honest review, and boy am I glad I did

Life. The answer is life.

Wow, what a fantastic Science Fiction story. Only 18 pages long, it sweeps you off your feet and right into space! I loved it, I really truly loved this story. I read it very quickly, but then I read it again a little slower this time. It has this eerie 2001: A Space Odyssey feeling to it, what with Orion's conversations with Dan, which I found fascinating and
Fungi From Yuggoth
Review: HIS LONG VIGIL by Rhett C. Bruno

A delightful science fiction vivifying the stultifying sameness of a lengthy interstellar voyage, HIS LONG VIGIL is endearing, saddening, but in my viewpoint has a happy ending. This is the space version of "ashes to ashes, dust to dust." The Hermes is an ark ship, ferrying exactly 999 slumbering passengers throughout space, on a colonizing mission from Earth to Tau Ceti. 998 remain in stasis, while one is awakened by the AI every three decades to act as h
Michael Gardner
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's life, Jim.

Intriguing short story with strong influences of Philip K. Dick and Arthur C. Clarke. As the story sets out to do, I got a good impression of the future as imagined by Mr Bruno. For my taste, I like a bit more description when reading science fiction and fantasy. Not too much, but just enough to fill in those uninhabited corners of the ship. I expect that level of detail comes out in the novels. The brevity of the story should appeal to readers who like a plot with a steady tempo.
James Chatham
I received a copy of this short story from the author in exchange for an honest review

This Long Vigil is an interesting story about Orion, a man who has been on a spaceship, the Hermes, his whole life. He's never talked to anyone else, except for Dan, his ship's AI. The story hints to events much bigger than what we see through Orion's eyes. It's quite a melancholic story, but I didn't really connect with it, likely due to the short format and sub-par character development. Despite its flaws, Th
Rosemary Standeven
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This short story reminded me a bit of the film “Moon” – a lone human being (Orion) and an AI robot/computer (Dan) in space, this time travelling through space rather than stuck on the moon. Orion is not actually the only human on board the ship, but he is the only human conscious, as all others are in suspended animation, awaiting wakening for duty as a monitor (to succeed Orion) or at the arrival of the ship at its ultimate destination.
Orion’s stretch of duty is nearing its end, and he starts
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I like to read a variety of books, looking for a gem. I found one. Orion is a man aboard the spaceship Hermes. His sole purpose is to assist the Artificial Intelligence, named Dan, that actually runs the ship. Orion is fast approaching the end of his usefulness, age 50, and will be replaced by a new assistant. 20 pages, beautiful story.
Steve Beaulieu
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great short read. Started and finished it on a lunch break.

The story expresses the base human need to explore and break free of the chains that hold us down.

Bruno delivers.
Stephanie (Bookfever)
This is why I love science fiction!

This Long Vigil follows Orion's last hours as Monitor on the Interstellar Ark "Hermes", who, like the summary says, is scheduled to be placed back in his hibernation chamber, knowing he will die there. He knows he wants more than to die without seeing space again but to do that he'll have to go against his only friend, whihc is the artificial intelligence of the ship, Dan.

I honestly think that this story is one of the best short stories I've ever read. It's on
Richard Buro
Dec 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in the genre
Recommended to Richard by: Author

The short version first . . .

An introductory short story should be a vignette that suggests some element(s) of the longer work from which the vignette was derived. The shorter work should suggest some common element about all the characters or, perhaps. just a principal one. In this case, a principal character, Orion, appears to be the focus, and a single important characteristic jumped out at me as I read this vignette.

This Long Vigil by Rhett C. Bruno focuses on the interstellar ark, Hermes .
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"This Long Vigil" is the perfect short story. While the voyage of the ark ship Hermes does raise questions I’d love to see answered in a longer tale, the glimpse we have is succinct.

Orion is nearing the end of his twenty-five year vigil as the only human attendant aboard the ark ship Hermes. With only hours of remaining before he returns to his hibernation chamber, Orion begins to identify the restlessness that has plagued his last days. He knows his duty as it is all he’s known. He was born to
G.S. Jennsen
Jan 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A heart wrenching tale of the very real sacrifices humans will have to make to reach other stars and other worlds.*

This Long Vigil is heart wrenching in part because there’s no one to blame for denying Orion the myriad of human experiences that signify a life well-lived. There are no evil AIs, aliens or corporate overlords here. Dan, the Hermes’ artificial intelligence, is simply doing its job as it was programmed, with enough personality to serve as an almost fulfilling companion for Orion. Of
Brian's Book Blog
Dec 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A masterfully written science fiction short story that will leave you begging for more

This Long Vigil is a story about Orion. Orion's job is to help the AI captain of the space ship Hermes to tend to the every day menial tasks. He can help it with reaching things and just checking in on the other inhabitants of this ship of 1000 people. Granted Orion is the only one who is awake, while the others are in some for of cryogenic sleep.

Wow, just wow. This short story was brilliant. Now I am not speak
E.J. Fisch
Jan 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, short-stories
I received a free copy of this story from the author in exchange for my honest review.

As a writer, I've always struggled with writing short stories because I try to pack too much into them and then they're not "short" anymore. So it's always fascinating to me when an author can establish the character(s) and the backstory and still have plenty of time left for the plot. I loved the setup of this story. There's something both intriguing and depressing about a lone character living aboard some sor
Feb 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There’s plenty of feels packed into this all too short story. Orion’s short life is sadly bereft of experiences and relationships, alone on a ship with only a computer for company and little to do. My thought was that the only reason he wasn’t insane was because he knew nothing of what he had missed. He didn’t know he was lonely, surrounded by sleeping humans that he would never know, though they did seem to spook him a bit. The ship, the AI, and the humans that will never wake are both fascinat ...more
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An excellent companion short story in the Titanborn Universe that will put you in mind of both Heinlein and Godwin! The Interstellar Ark "Hermes" launches in a key part of the exciting novel Titanborn and The Long Vigil takes place just over mid point on it's voyage to Tau Ceti. The plot blew me away in the ARC I was given to review. It was gripping, fast paced, and poignant at the same time. Highly recommend this short story as a must read, even in you haven't experienced the Titanborn universe ...more
Michael Mardel
Dec 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
This long vigil by Bruno is a short novella about stasis on a spaceship, 999 of them. It's main protagonist is Orion who is nearly 50 years old and due to return to stasis. Orion has a father-son relationship with Dan, the ships computer. Shades of '2001, a space odyssey'. As the hours and minutes count down, he wants to go outside the Hermes. How he circumvents Dan and his response is graphically displayed. Will Orion get his wish?
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This audiobook totally amazed me.
So short and says everything!

Great narration.

No other author could have written this with such perfection.

Best one hour audiobook ever, and only Bruno the perfectionist could have written a beautiful story so short that every word counts.
Dan Martin
Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
For Sci-Fi fans, this is a really great short story about the difference between existing and living, and about what it means to take a risk to find out. Without giving away the story, all I'll say is that the language was descriptive and taught and was so, so good as a short story.
Dec 25, 2015 rated it liked it
A tight little story. Birds: "They can fly even where there is gravity."
Heather Blair
Dec 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
One of those stories you won't forget anytime soon.
Anthony Giordano
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Last June, I concluded my review for Rhett C. Bruno's ambitious bounty hunter novel Titanborn with the observation that he has introduced a universe that is fertile ground for additional stories. This Long Vigil, actually published back in 2015, While this emotional short does take place in the same universe, it is not connected to the story of Titanborn protagonist Malcolm Graves. Let's take a look at the blurb before we get to the review.

After twenty five years serving as the lone human Monit
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a rather intriguing short story of a colony ship with a 1000 people on it and an AI that is in charge of looking after it. All of the colonists are put into a type of suspended animation, in which they are placed into a liquid nutrient and then fed and supported by different tubes.
One of the Colonists is removed from this hibernation to assist the AI for a period of 50yrs during their very long journey from Earth to their destination Tau Ceti.
For this particular 50yrs, that colonist is
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Rhett is happy to hear from his fans and can be reached at Please subscribe to his newsletter for exclusive access to updates about his work and the opportunity to receive limited content and ARCs. Or join his facebook reader group:

Rhett Bruno grew up in Hauppauge, New York, and studied at the Syracus

Other books in the series

Children of Titan (5 books)
  • Titanborn (Children of Titan, #1)
  • Titan's Son (Children of Titan, #2)
  • Titan's Wrath (Children of Titan, #3)
  • Interview for the End of the World: A Children of Titan Universe Short Story
“There was less than one day until my eyes would never open again.” 0 likes
“I couldn’t end my life sealed in a chamber. My long sleep was approaching. The one I had chosen.” 0 likes
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