I don't often read science fiction, I'm more into the fantasy genre, but I liked this book. It was a good read. The passengers and crew of the tourist cruise ship, 'Selene,' are buried underneath moondust on the moon with limited resources. The story was supposed to be 'futuristic,' set in the 21st century, which is now, so it seemed a bit out-dated. That aside, the story was interesting, suspenseful, and short enough for me to be able to stick with it so I would recommend it to others. My only complaint: I would like to have known more about why people were living on the moon. Why did the earth stopped spinning?
First written 1961, this edition 1974. From the back cover:
SELENE - Queen of the underworld --or tourist bus, imprisoned in the Sea of Thirst by a fall of moondust. 22 people on a tour of death. And Chief Engineer Lawrence, the man with the impossible job. For how do you find a small ship in the depths of a sea of dust? And if you find it, ho do you rescue the 22 people buried alive by a treacherous and greedy moon? However impossible it seemed, Lawrence knew he must save the passengers of the Selene. For upon his success depended man's future upon the moon..."
I read this book years ago and enjoyed it. Upon discovering it at our FOL sale, I realized that I did not have it in my collection and decided to read it again.
A Fall of Moondust is a perfect example of why some of the older sci-fi authors are still the best. You don't need massive space fleets blasting each other apart to enjoy sci-fi.
This book is also a testament to the ingenuity of the human spirit and explains why we are the dominant species of our planet and why we have triumphed over Nature, with all its good and bad effects.
People are living on the moon and a tourism industry has been established. One of the things the visitors to the moon like to do is take a sightseeing cruise on the Sea of Thirst in a boat specially designed to travel across the surface of this sea of dust. Captain Pat Harris has made this trip many times before without incident. But this time something entirely unexpected occurs: a sinkhole opens in the dust beneath the boat and it is pulled down some fifty feet into the dusty depths.
The boat is a bubble air trapped beneath the cold, airless moon dust and the 22 people on board can do nothing to save themselves. They just have to sit and wait and pray that help arrives before they run out of air.
Written about 1960 and somewhat dated, this was still an OK story. I found myself skipping parts of it, mainly the technical descriptions of the rescue effort which provided a lot more detail than I was interested in reading. Other than the sometimes boring tech stuff, it was pretty interesting, despite the fact that the moon does not have seas of dust deep enough to sink a boat.
"How do you rescue twenty-two people buried alive by a treacherous and greedy moon?
"A fascinating and stirring tale." New York Times