Monday, August 14, 2017

Moonlight One by Stephen Lawson

"Moonlight One" by Stephen Lawson 

This story comes from Writers of the Future: vol. 33.  The story was illustrated by Jason Park. 

This story was a fun space mystery.  In a not too distant future, we are putting people to live on the moon.  This is a story of the first couple we put on the moon as an experiment. 

Gwen Kennedy was the first woman to live on the moon.  She lived there with her husband Ehrly.  They were the first couple that NASA put on the moon to live and see if they could be sustainable.  They lived in a big bubble biome.  They had a little room off the main area and the main area was a mini rainforest. 

The biome contained everything they needed, but also had some other interesting additions.  The rainforest held galagos, which they also called bush babies.  Small animals that jumped around the top of the trees and kept Gwen and Ehrly company while they spent time in the rainforest.  Sometimes on a walk, or sometimes while they slept in a hammock.  Then there were the cameras.  NASA had cameras on every part of the biome, except for their bedroom. 

There was also a radio room that contained a HAM radio.  Ehrly loved to go in the radio room and patch in to the HAM radio and talk to people on earth.  He did this very often. 

Another character that came into play during the story was Jonas.  He was a writer and ex-detective.  He used to be the boyfriend of Gwen until she met his best friend Ehrly and they went and married.  He plays a major role in this story. 

One morning Gwen was having a dream and woke up only to find Ehrly was missing from bed.  She put on a robe and went out looking for him.  She didn't find him in the bathroom or anywhere in the living quarters.  So she went out into the rainforest to find him.  That's when things started to become chaotic.  She didn't know what to do so she called Jonas from the moon and asked for his help.  That's when the mystery began. 

This was a great space mystery.  It had all the right elements to keep the suspense going right from the get go and keep the momentum.  You never really felt that the suspense was slowing down or disappearing.   

It was also an interesting premise.  The thought of putting the first couple on the moon to live.  The story also goes into why they were chosen to be the couple that went to the moon over other couples.  That reason helped add suspense to the story as well because the reasoning started to unravel.   

Although not surprising in the least, I still found it interesting that they had internet and HAM radio.  The relay time for the information to get back and forth from earth was written into the story, so there was no super fast internet from the future being used.  They still used the internet the way we think of it today. 

Considering this was the opening story for the anthology I'd say job well done.  For a first-time writer this was excellent work.  As an opening story I can't wait to see what comes next.  This story would be hard to follow in the footsteps. 

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