Men on the Moon (Ace, 1958, cover by Emsh), The Moon Era (Curtis Books, 1969), Blue Moon (Mayflower, 1970, Josh Kirby)
This past July was the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing — a pretty major milestone in human civilization. A major milestone for science fiction fans as well, and we celebrated it in our own way. Most notably, Neil Clarke published The Eagle Has Landed: 50 Years of Lunar Science Fiction, a fat 570-page reprint anthology that I finally bought last week.
Neil’s book is the best moon-centered anthology I’ve ever seen, but it builds on a long history of classic SF volumes dating back at least six decades. While I was preparing a New Treasures article about it I kept going back to look at favorite moon books in my collection, and eventually I got the idea to craft a longer piece on half a dozen Lunar anthologies that all deserved a look.
I don’t mean to slight Neil’s excellent book, which we’ll dig into in detail. But if you’re like me and you can’t pick up a modern book about the moon without thinking of Donald A. Wollheim’s Ace Double Men on the Moon (from 1958), or Mike Ashley’s terrific Moonrise: The Golden Era of Lunar Adventures, then this article is for you.
[Click the images for moon-sized versions.]
Cover by Mack Sztaba
Let’s start with the star title on the list — The Eagle Has Landed, published by Night Shade Books on July 16, 2019 (572 pages, $34.99 in hardcover/$19.99 paperback/$17.99 digital) and edited by Neil Clarke.
Neil has become one of the most important anthologies working in the genre today. An impressive accomplishment, considering his first non-self-published book, The Best Science Fiction of the Year, Volume One, appeared a scant three years ago. Since then he’s produced nearly a dozen acclaimed anthologies, including annual Clarkesworld collections, three more volumes of Best Science Fiction of the Year, and fine volumes such as The Final Frontier: Stories of Exploring Space, Colonizing the Universe, and First Contact and Galactic Empires.
I’m an old hand at Lunar anthologies, and when I flipped open The Eagle Has Landed: 50 Years of Lunar Science Fiction, I was fairly confident I’d knew what I’d find. For sure Arthur C. Clarke’s classic “The Sentinel,” inspiration for 2001: A Space Odyssey, plus Fredric Brown’s “Honeymoon in Hell,” and maybe H. B. Fyfe’s “Moonwalk.” But no. Neil surprised me again, as he often does. The earliest story here is from 1976, and there’s only two from before 1988. Like virtually all of Neil’s anthologies, the focus is on fiction from the last two decades.
Still, that’s not a critique, especially in the face of a contributor list like this. Neil has packed a lot into this book, including four long novellas: Michael Swanwick’s modern classic “Griffin’s Egg,” a Hugo, Nebula, Locus nominee; Adam-Troy Castro’s Nebula nominee “Sunday Night Yams at Minnie and Earl’s;” John Kessel’s Tiptree Award winner and Nebula nominee “Stories for Men;” and “The Moon Belongs to Everyone” by Michael Alexander and K. C. Ball. There’s also Geoffrey A. Landis’ Hugo Award-winner “A Walk in the Sun,” and Ian McDonald’s “The Fifth Dragon,” part of his famed Luna cycle.
Ian McDonald’s Luna novels. Covers by Victor Mosquera
Here’s the complete Table of Contents for The Eagle Has Landed: 50 Years of Lunar Science Fiction.
Introduction by Neil Clarke
“Bagatelle” by John Varley (Galaxy, October 1976)
“The Eve of the Last Apollo” by Carter Scholz (Orbit 18, 1976)
“The Lunatics” by Kim Stanley Robinson (Terry’s Universe, 1988)
“Griffin’s Egg” by Michael Swanwick (Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, May 1992)
“A Walk in the Sun” by Geoffrey A. Landis (Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, October 1991)
“Waging Good” by Robert Reed (Asimov’s Science Fiction, January 1995)
“How We Lost the Moon” by Paul McAuley (Moon Shots, 1999)
“People Came From Earth” by Stephen Baxter (Moon Shots, 1999)
“Ashes and Tombstones” by Brian Stableford (Moon Shots, 1999)
“Sunday Night Yams at Minnie and Earl’s” by Adam Troy Castro (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, June 2001)
“Stories for Men” by John Kessel (Asimov’s Science Fiction, October-November 2002)
“The Clear Blue Seas of Luna” by Gregory Benford (Asimov’s Science Fiction, October-November 2002)
“You Will Go to the Moon” by William Preston (Asimov’s Science Fiction, July 2006)
“SeniorSource” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (Fast Forward 2, 2008)
“The Economy of Vacuum” by Sarah Thomas (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, December 2009)
“The Cassandra Project” by Jack McDevitt (Lightspeed, June 2010)
“Fly Me to the Moon” by Marianne J. Dyson (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, July-August 2010)
“Tyche and the Ants” by Hannu Rajaniemi (Edge of Infinity, 2012)
“The Moon Belongs to Everyone” by Michael Alexander and K.C. Ball (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, December 2012)
“The Fifth Dragon” by Ian McDonald (Reach for Infinity, 2014)
“Let Baser Things Devise” by Berrien C. Henderson (Clarkesworld Magazine #103, April 2015)
“The Moon is Not a Battlefield” by Indrapramit Das (Infinity Wars, 2017)
“Every Hour of Light and Dark” by Nancy Kress (Omni, Winter 2017)
“In Event of Moon Disaster” by Rich Larson (Asimov’s Science Fiction, March-April 2018)
About the Editor
Publisher’s Weekly gave the book a warm review when it first appeared, saying:
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, Clarke has compiled an eclectic selection of the past 50 years in lunar science fiction, written by a who’s who of speculative fiction writers. Entries include standard adventure fare (“The Lunatics” by Kim Stanley Robinson), the ordinary and extraordinary earthly exploits of retired moon-landing astronauts (“The Eve of the Last Apollo” by Carter Scholz and “Fly Me to the Moon” by Marianne J. Dyson), and philosophical examinations of a future that may yet come to pass (“The Fifth Dragon” by Ian McDonald). Standouts are a cautionary tale of intergalactic imperialism in “The Moon Is Not a Battlefield” by Indrapramit Das and a darkly humorous take on accidental cloning in Rich Larson’s “In Event of Moon Disaster.” There are also widely varied takes on the future that was promised by the space age, but failed to arrive…
Neil Clarke’s previous anthologies include:
Not One of Us: Stories of Aliens on Earth (2018)
The Final Frontier (2018)
Galactic Empires (2017)
More Human Than Human (2017)
The Best Science Fiction of the Year, Volume One (2016)
The Best Science Fiction of the Year, Volume Two (2017)
The Best Science Fiction of the Year, Volume Three (2018)
The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume Four (2019)
Clarkesworld: Year Six edited by Neil Clarke and Sean Wallace (2014)
Clarkesworld: Year Seven, edited by Neil Clarke and Sean Wallace (2015)
Clarkesworld: Year Eight, edited by Neil Clarke and Sean Wallace (2016)
Clarkesworld Year Nine, Volumes One & Two, edited by Neil Clarke and Sean Wallace (2018)
Clarkesworld Year Ten, Volumes One & Two, edited by Neil Clarke and Sean Wallace (2019)
If you don’t already, you should make it a habit to regularly check out Neil’s excellent Clarkesworld, one of the finest SF magazines available.
Like all the anthologies we’ll look at in this article, The Eagle Has Landed draws from science fiction magazines, many of which showcased great Lunar-inspired artwork over the decades.
Here’s a few of the stories in that book that made the cover.
Galaxy, October 1976 (cover by Stephen Fabian), Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine,
May 1992 (Bob Eggleton), and Asimov’s Science Fiction, January 1995 (Peter Peebles)
Analog, June 2001 (cover by Frank Kelly Freas), Asimov’s SF, Oct/Nov 2002 (Dominic Harman), Asimov’s SF July 2006 (Alan Bean)
Once you’ve read The Eagle Has Landed, your interest may turn to other classic adventure tales on the moon. Don’t worry, there’s plenty to choose from. Here’s a half-dozen classic anthologies that should keep you busy — starting with the three at the top of this page.
Men on the Moon, edited by Donald A. Wollheim (Ace, 137 pages, 35 cents in paperback, March 1958) — cover by Ed Emshwiller
There are probably earlier lunar anthologies, but Don Wollheim’s 1958 classic Men on the Moon, an Ace Double paired with Murray Leinster’s City on the Moon, is the one I think of first. It contains five late pulp-era tales from Leinster, A. Bertram Chandler, Raymond Z. Gallun, and others. It was reprinted once, in 1969, the year of the Apollo 11 moon landing; Wollhiem added no additional fiction for the reprint, but did invite 29 science fiction writers to contribute essays on the landing, including Isaac Asimov, John Brunner, Ray Bradbury, Poul Anderson, Michael Moorcock, Frederik Pohl, Murray Leinster, Dean R. Koontz, Brian W. Aldiss, R. A. Lafferty, Philip K. Dick, and many others. All told it expanded the book by some 50 pages. There is no digital edition.
Introduction by Donald A. Wollheim
“Operation Pumice” by Raymond Z. Gallun (Thrilling Wonder Stories, April 1949)
“Jetsam ” by A. Bertram Chandler (New Worlds Science Fiction, #20 March 1953)
“The Reluctant Heroes” by Frank M. Robinson (Galaxy Science Fiction, January 1951)
“Moonwalk” by H. B. Fyfe (Space Science Fiction, November 1952)
“Keyhole” by Murray Leinster (Thrilling Wonder Stories, December 1951)
The Moon Era, edited by Sam Moskowitz (Curtis Books, 192 pages, 75 cents in paperback, 1969) — cover artist unknown
Sam Moskowitz’s The Moon Era was probably the first moon anthology I ever purchased — and likely one of the first science fiction anthologies of any kind that I owned. Like most of Moskowitz’s anthologies, it draws pretty heavily from pulp magazines. It contains only three stories, novellas by Murray Leinster and Jack Williamson and a novelette by John Wyndham, all originally published in early 30s pulps.
Introduction: The Sense of Wonder by Sam Moskowitz
“The Mole Pirate” by Murray Leinster (Astounding Stories, November 1934)
“The Moon Era” by Jack Williamson (Wonder Stories, February 1932)
“Exiles on Asperus” by John Wyndham (Wonder Stories Quarterly, Winter 1933)
The Moon Era was a paperback original, and has never been reprinted.
Blue Moon, edited by Douglas Lindsay (Mayflower, 176 pages, £0.25 in paperback, April 1970) — cover by Josh Kirby
I never knew this book existed until I came across it online while doing a search for The Moon Era. It’s a very odd duck — a British paperback original published in 1970 containing most of the contents of a single magazine –the August 1942 issue of Future magazine, including Norman L. Knight’s novella “Blue Moon” — plus one additional story by John B. Michel from the Winter 1941 Science Fiction Quarterly. Most of the contents appear under pseudonyms: Donald A. Wollheim writing as “Martin Barrow,” Walter Kubilius writing as “J. S. Klimaris,” and John B. Michel writing as “Hugh Raymond.”
I suspect there’s a story behind it all, but I’ll probably never learn what it is. Still, it’s got a lovely cover. Here’s the complete Table of Contents.
“Blue Moon” by Norman L. Knight (Future Combined with Science Fiction, August 1942)
“Twilight of Tomorrow” by Joseph Gilbert (Future Combined with Science Fiction, August 1942)
“Rain of Fire” by Ray Cummings (Future Combined with Science Fiction, August 1942)
“Time Exposure” by E. A. Grosser (Future Combined with Science Fiction, August 1942)
“The Case of the Vanishing Cellars” by Walter Kubilius (Future Combined with Science Fiction, August 1942)
“Ajax of Ajax” by Donald A. Wollheim (Future Combined with Science Fiction, August 1942)
“Washington Slept Here” by John B. Michel (Future Combined with Science Fiction, August 1942)
“The Year of Uniting” by John B. Michel (Science Fiction Quarterly, Winter 1941-1942)
If you can’t find a copy of this one, track down the August 1942 issue of Future and you’re pretty much there.
First Flights to the Moon (Doubleday, 1970), Moon Shots (DAW, 1999, cover by Chesley Bonestell),
and Moonrise: The Golden Age of Lunar Adventures (British Library Publishing, 2018, Chesley Bonestell)
First Flights to the Moon, edited by Hal Clement (Doubleday, 237 pages, $4.95 in hardcover, May 1970) — cover by Roger Zimmerman
Hal Clement published a single anthology in a long and distinguished career: First Flights to the Moon, released the year after the Apollo 11 landing. It’s a fine volume, containing a Nebula nominee from Larry Niven and stories by Isaac Asimov, Donald A. Wollheim. Edmund Cooper, Arthur C. Clarke, John Brunner, Thomas M. Disch, and others.
Foreword by Hal Clement
Introduction by Isaac Asimov
“Extending the Holdings” by Donald A. Wollheim (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, April 1951)
“Once Around the Moon” by Vic Phillips (Astounding Stories, June 1937)
“Trends” by Isaac Asimov (Astounding Science-Fiction, July 1939)
“The Missing Symbol” by Paul W. Fairman (Fantastic, November-December 1952)
“Ideas Die Hard” by Isaac Asimov (Galaxy Science Fiction, October 1957)
“Jetsam” by A. Bertram Chandler (New Worlds Science Fiction #20 March 1953)
“Wrong-Way Street” by Larry Niven (Galaxy Magazine, April 1965)
“Intruders” by Edmund Cooper (Fantastic Universe, April 1957)
“Report on the Nature of the Lunar Surface” by John Brunner (Astounding/Analog Science Fact & Fiction, August 1960)
“Critical Angle” by A. Bertram Chandler (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, November 1958)
“Venture to the Moon” by Arthur C. Clarke (Fiction #49, 1957)
“Moondust, the Smell of Hay, and Dialectical Materialism” by Thomas M. Disch (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, August 1967)
Part Two — History by Hal Clement
First Flights to the Moon has never been reprinted, never had a paperback release, and there is no digital edition. I’ve also never seen a copy. I assume from all that that it wasn’t a big seller, and it might be a tough find.
Moon Shots, edited by Peter Crowther (DAW, 312 pages, $6.99 in paperback, July 1999) — cover by Chesley Bonestell
Peter Crowther did a number of anthologies with White Wolf (including Dante’s Disciples and Tales in Space), and his own PS Publishing (including the wonderful Postscripts magazine). Moon Shots was his first book for DAW, an anthology of original fiction, and it was a substantial success. It led to four more (Constellations: The Best of New British SF, Forbidden Planets, Mars Probes, and We Think, Therefore We Are), all original anthologies, and all highly regarded.
Here’s the complete TOC.
Introduction by Ben Bova
“An Apollo Asteroid” by Brian W. Aldiss
“Has Anybody Seen Junie Moon?” by Gene Wolfe
“Ashes and Tombstones” by Brian Stableford
“The Way to Norwich” by Colin Greenland
“Steps Along the Way” by Eric Brown
“The Moon Tree” by Jerry Oltion
“The Last Man on the Moon” by Scott Edelman
“Carry the Moon in My Pocket” by James Lovegrove
“Moon Hunters” by Kathleen M. Massie-Ferch
“The Little Bits That Count” by Alan Dean Foster
“People Came from Earth” by Stephen Baxter
“Visions of the Green Moon” by Robert Sheckley
“How We Lost the Moon, a True Story by Frank W. Allen” by Paul J. McAuley
“The Man Who Stole the Moon” by Paul Di Filippo
“Elegy” by Michelle West
“Breakfast on the Moon, with Georges” by Ian McDonald
Three stories from Moon Shots were selected for Neil’s The Eagle Has Landed: the McAuley, Baxter, and Stableford.
Moonrise: The Golden Age of Lunar Adventures, edited by Mike Ashley (British Library Publishing, 348 pages, £8.99 in paperback 2018) — cover by Chesley Bonestell
Finally we come to Moonrise, an excellent volume from British anthologist Mike Ashley. It contains a great mix of older fiction (and I do mean old, going all the way back to 1894), plus and excerpt for H.G. Wells’ classic novel First Men in the Moon, and slightly more modern tales by Judith Merril, William F. Temple, Gordon R. Dickson, John Wyndham, Edmond Hamilton, and others.
Introduction by Mike Ashley
“Dead Centre” by Judith Merril (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, November 1954)
“A Visit to the Moon” by George Griffith (Pearson’s Magazine, January 1900)
“Sunrise on the Moon” by John Munro (Cassell’s Family Magazine, October 1894)
“First Men in the Moon” by H. G. Wells (excerpt)
“Sub-Satellite” by Charles Cloukey (Amazing Stories, March 1928)
“Lunar Lilliput” by William F. Temple (Tales of Wonder #2, 1938)
“Nothing Happens on the Moon” by Paul Ernst (Astounding Science-Fiction, February 1939)
“Whatever Gods There Be” by Gordon R. Dickson (Amazing Stories, July 1961)
“Idiot’s Delight” by John Wyndham (New Worlds Science Fiction #72, June 1958)
“After a Judgement Day” by Edmond Hamilton (Fantastic Stories of Imagination, December 1963)
“The Sentinel” by Arthur C. Clarke (10 Story Fantasy, Spring 1951)
Moonrise is the only collection on this list to include Arthur C. Clarke’s brilliant “The Sentinel,” perhaps the greatest example of Lunar SF ever written, and well worth the price of this book all on its own.
Moonrise has a very fine sister volume, Lost Mars: The Golden Age of the Red Planet, also edited by Mike Ashley, and the British Library has reprinted several novels in the same line. Check out the complete list here.
That’s it for our survey of Lunar anthologies. I’m sure I’ve missed a few. If you’ve got a favorite I missed, give it a shout out in the comments.
And if you enjoyed any of the older anthologies on this list, I encourage you to try Neil’s The Eagle Has Landed. Night Shade has published several top-notch anthologies recently; they deserve your support.
See all of our coverage of Vintage Treasures here.