The Fire of Night by Brad Lenaway is an excellent short story and, if the author reads this, please consider making this a novel or even a series. The setting is in the future, after a war between the U.S. and North Korea. Although briefly mentioned, the political backstory is fascinating. I'm not sure I've ever read something so devastating and believable. This is a story I recommend to all readers, regardless of your genre preference.
I really don't want to get into politics, especially on my blog, but considering the current political climate, this story is frightening in ways I don't want to dwell on. I'm old enough to remember the Cold War, so the threat of a nuclear attack has always been in the background of my life.
I am so used to picturing myself in the middle of an apocalyptic event, I'm not sure I've ever considered what it would be like to hear and see events unfold from a safe distance. I do remember how surreal it felt to watch the 9/11 attacks unfold on live TV, but the attacks were limited in targets and affected area.
If you were in space, would you even bother to complete the mission, knowing NASA probably didn't exist anymore?