Originally, this story was published in 1969 in Ubris magazine and was later on collected in King’s first short story collection, Night Shift. What is Night Surf? It’s the short story that served as the jumping off point for The Stand. Not a whole lot of people know this. And I suspect when people read this month’s ‘You Oughta Know’, they’re going to find this story and read it and really like it.
As a standalone story it’s very good. Looking at it now as a sibling to The Stand, it’s even better. There’s more meat on it, more of a point to it; not to say there wasn’t before The Stand. The latter just enhanced Night Surf.
Basically Night Surf is about a group of teens that think they have survived a virus (A2 and then later a more lethal virus, A6 aka Captain Trips) that has wiped out nearly the entire world’s population. As they spend the night at a beach, one of the teens that had joined their group begins to show signs of Captain Trips and the narrator of the story, named Bernie, begins to think about the bleak future of humanity and his eventual demise.
Night Surf comes in at- 3/5 (Very Good)