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Jun 28, 2010

The Moon in Science Fiction

In 2009, the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission took place as part of on-going efforts to search the Moon for water. In what some have called the first work of science fiction (Somnium by Johannes Kepler) it was imagined that creatures living on the Moon made use of large bodies of liquid water.

These days, it is hard to imagine natural reservoirs of liquid water near the surface of the Moon, but if there were large deposits of water ice then it would become easier for human colonists to survive on the Moon.

Like many science fiction writers (see this list) I often find it convenient to make use of the Moon as a location for a human outpost. In The Search for Kalid, one of the main characters visits the Moon and explores an outpost where a small group of humans hide their little colony behind tunnels that are flooded with water. The residents of the colony are hiding because they have unusual brains that give them a kind of telepathic ability.

In Foundation and Earth, Isaac Asimov described a secret base, hidden under the lunar surface, where the positronic robot Daneel had worked for 20,000 years to guide humanity towards a safe future. Of course, Daneel is not your typical robot since he has telepathic abilities. Still, Daneel does not want to attract attention, so he works hard to make sure that the location of his lunar base is secret. In The Start of Eternity, Asimov appears as a character who goes to the Moon and learns that alien beings from a distant Galaxy long ago established a hidden base of operations on the Moon.

Predestination Moon
In 2009 I wrote Moon Hammer, a science fiction ghost story. In Moon Hammer, I imagine that Heinrich Kramer, a famous witch hunter, was taken to the Moon and his mind transferred into a robotic body. Kramer lives on and is present on the Moon when the LCROSS rocket booster strikes the surface of the Moon. It is rather chilling to note that Kepler's fanciful story about a trip to the Moon apparently resulted in accusations of witchcraft against Kepler's own mother. That's a rather appalling welcome from our Demon-Haunted World to the newly emerging science fiction genre.

In 2008 I started a novel, Cellular Civilization. Cellular Civilization is a story set in what I call the Exodemic Fictional Universe. There is a secret base on the Moon where hidden Observers collect data about the development of Earth's human civilization. Earthlings go about their affairs, unaware of the fact that some people (the Observers) are living on the Moon. Observer Base is also home for the Overseers, descendants of Neanderthals. The Overseers are a kind of police force who keep the Observers in line and cover up any evidence that might suggest to Earthlings that they are being observed.

X-Phile Moon
Having made a good start on Cellular Civilization back in 2008 and getting some collaborative help, particularly with the 'Thomas' character, I recently returned to the story. The first part of the story (written in 2008) mostly takes place on Earth. Two of the characters (Charlie and Lanora) depart from Earth and begin a new adventure in the outer Solar System. Not only are there humans living on the Moon, there are also other human colonies scattered around the rest of the Solar System. My plan is to show some of those other colonies and then Charlie (an Earthling) and Lanora (by the way, 'Lanora' is not her real name) will get to travel out of the Solar System.

Nicotiana Intervention
In Cellular Civilization there is no space travel at faster-than-light speeds. I'm still thinking about the issue of how to depict the years-long journey of Charlie and Lanora to another star. Maybe they will just treat the cruise as their honeymoon. If you have ideas, feel free to join the fun.

Related Reading: science fiction stories set on the Moon

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