A Godawful Small Affair

by Wil Wheaton
originally published at 01:55PM on Wednesday, January 30, 2008

“I want to move to Mars, and open up a bar,” Gregor said.

Matti inhaled deeply, and let a cloud of pale blue smoke surround his head.

“What would you call it?” Matti said.

“Moonage Daydream.” Gregor said.

They sat together on a crumbling balcony, exposed rebar and radioactive dust, and waited for the rocket, three miles distant, to launch.

“What’s it mean?” Matti said. He flicked the butt of his cigarette over the edge, and watched it fall out of sight.

“It’s the title of an old song,” Gregor looked past the rocket, to a horizon he knew he’d never cross, “from about a hundred years ago.”

“Nobody’s going to get it. Why would you pick something that old?”

“Because back then,” Gregor said, “people had hope.”

The ground shook, and they watched the rocket climb into the sky.




  • from Melia:

    Damnit now I’m going to have that song in my head all day. Great story. Wistful. Makes me curious to find out when and how they lost hope.

  • from Kermitgorf:

    Great sci-fi ficlet, ‘Hope’.. good ending. Enjoyable characters, cool conversation, nostalgic of the past.

  • from Wil Wheaton:

    Thanks! I’ve been listening to Ziggy Stardust like crazy, and also reading some post-apocalypse SF, so I put the two together.

  • from Hobo Beard Bob:

    I guess Major Tom was in the ship :p

  • from J. Dack:

    Most excellent. I give it 4 & 1/2 out of 5 blasted womp rats.

  • from Eckhouse:

    And visions of David Bowie, John Simm, and Philip Glenister began to dance in my head… awesome.

  • from Will Hindmarch:

    Great atmosphere. Couldn’t help myself.

  • from Nouvelle Bardot:

    damnit, david bowie is going to be singing in my head all day now. not to mention a few naughty moonage fantasies. interesting play on the ziggy stardust thing.

  • from Nouvelle Bardot:

    damnit, david bowie is going to be singing in my head all day now. not to mention a few naughty moonage fantasies. interesting play on the ziggy stardust thing.

  • from stylorouge:

    Keep your mouth shut,
    you’re squawking like a pink monkey bird
    And I’m busting up my brains for the words

  • from Sary Nore:

    kickass and deliciously weird, to say the least.

  • from White Hat:

    I like that Matti’s first question was as to the name of the bar, rather than, say “why?”
    Well deserving of fiveosity.

  • from M. Fotinakis~Η Φοτιςμένη~:

    Very moody Wil, I like it! Kind of made me think of those space-drama animes like Cowboy Bebop (and I mean this in the best way possible).

  • from User 7624:

    It’s a god awful small affair to the girl with the mousey hair…

    Great story, Wil!

  • from Sturek:

    Great story ! I am really looking forward to more Fiction from you.
    Oh and thanks for introducing me to Ficlet.

  • from .:band baby:.:

    Hmm.. intersesting. I liked this and how it’s a conversation! Nice job.

  • from Justin Lymner:

    Nicely done. Thanks for posting a link on your blog for it.


    very good

  • from Blood Red Sky:

    what does LoA mean

  • from kjaneway:

    This wormed its way into my brain, and wouldn’t let go.

    There’s something very awesome about that.

  • from Jeanne Shade:

    Love this. You should definitely write published fiction in the future. And as previous commenters have noted, David Bowie is now stuck in my head.

  • from One Time, One Chance:

    i don’t know that song, suprise suprise. let alone who this David Bowie is that everybody has mentioned in their comment.
    oh well.
    but i liked this nonetheless=]

  • from invisibility_disability:

    nice. :)

  • from flute faerie:

    I really liked the last line. Cool story!


    Blood Red sky,I always wondered that too.

  • from Garreth :

    Luckily I am a country music fan so David Bowie is not stuck in my head lol Thats a pretty deep piece Wil. Makes me also think of what is going on with the melting of the ice caps up north, and reminds me of a book I read in school yrs ago, 1984. Excellent work my friend =)

  • from Capital "W" Writer (LoA's Geekus Awesomeus):

    I am embarrassed and ashamed to say that I am a Bowie fan (heck, a music fan in general), and I am not familiar with that song.
    accepts appropriate beating humbly
    I enjoyed the story, and I love the last line. Wonderful job!

  • from thebetweenspace:

    A ridiculously good story. I love the bit about hope.