Friday, 19 December 2014

The Lunar Surface In Science Fiction

We are used to reading descriptions of the lunar surface in science fiction:

Verne's characters look down on it;
Wells' land on it;
Heinlein's live there.

However, from his suite in the Hotel Universe, Poul Anderson's Nicholas van Rijn sees an altered landscape. Forcefields hold air, an ozone layer, soaring trees and fountains, great blossoms and lamps on vine-like posts although beyond them are a crater floor, a ringwall, jewel-like stars, the silver Milky Way and the blue and white Earth, all making van Rijn's opulent suite look tawdry.

David Falkayn visits Elfland in Lunograd, a park with grass, arbors, flowers, tall trees and fountains, towers, colonnades, birds, elevated streets, small suns on bronze vines and an Avenue of the Sphinxes although again beyond them are a crater floor, a ringwall, stars in a black sky and Earth with the lights of megalopolises visible on its night side. Although technology makes the Moon inhabitable and even comfortable, the stellar universe remains beyond the works of men.

Going one stage further, Poul Anderson also wrote a short story about a project to terraform the Moon.

No comments: