Moon is Hell, The by Campbell, John W., Jr., 1939

Moon is Hell, The by Campbell, John W., Jr.

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The Moon is Hell (1939): A colony of scientists has been built on the dark side of the moon. The ship that the scientists used to travel to the moon was converted into the base camp. They lived there for two years when a rocket was sent to restock them, but the rocket crashed as it came over the moon. It will take Earth eight months to get a replacement rocket to them, but they only have two months worth of supplies, including oxygen. Campbell's problem solving and scientific brilliance really show through in this story, as he has his characters come up with a whole host of solutions to things like oxygen depletion, food production, power generation, water mining, and many, many other problems. The scientists even figure out how to mine protein from the very rocks around them:

The very last scrap of natural food, save spices, and a can of tomato catsup, has been used now. They have been put in with the artificial foods occasionally, and now the last is gone. But barren, alternately baked and frozen Luna is supplying us bountifully from her rocks themselves.

The tale is told largely documentary style, with generous use of diary entries. It is one of Campbell's better stories, though I do not think that it was originally published under his nom de plume, Don A. Stuart.

The Elder Gods (1939): A sword and sandals fantasy about a group of living Gods who employ a barbarian to bring down an empire. Co-written with Arthur J. Burks, this one was not my favorite, and was horribly out of place with the rest of the book.

Copyright 2008, Gregory Tidwell

Reviewed by GTT · Rating Rating of 3 star(s)


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