HOT MOON IS ONE OF BEST-REVIEWED
SF NOVELS OF THE YEAR
Hot Moon presents an alternate 1979 where the US and the Soviets have permanent Moon bases, orbiting space stations, and crewed spy satellites supported by frequent rocket launches.
Apollo 32, commanded by career astronaut Vivian Carter, docks at NASA's Columbia space station en route to its main mission: exploring the volcanic Marius Hills region of the Moon. Vivian is caught in the crossfire as four Soviet Soyuz craft appear without warning to assault the orbiting station. In an unplanned and desperate move, Vivian spacewalks through hard vacuum back to her Lunar Module and crew and escapes right before the station falls into Soviet hands.
Their original mission scrubbed, Vivian and her crew are redirected to land at Hadley Base, a NASA scientific outpost with a crew of eighteen. But soon Hadley, too, will come under Soviet attack, forcing its unarmed astronauts to daring acts of ingenuity and improvisation.
Hot Moon tells the gripping story of a war in space that very nearly might have been.
Alan Smale talks about the science in
“In Hot Moon my descriptions of Vivian’s Apollo spacecraft, the lunar rovers, spacesuits, and other technologies of the time are as accurate as I can make them, based on publicly available NASA documents and manuals. Same for the Soviet Soyuz craft and lunar landers – they’re all based on reality, or on plans, blueprints, and engineering test models. I kept all the details true to what was really possible in the 1970s, or might have been technically feasible by the decade’s end.”
– Author Alan Smale
MEET THE SCIENTIST
BEHIND THE STORIES
Alan Smale is a professional astronomer, but his writing tastes have always veered more towards alternate and twisted history, fantasy, and horror. Alan has sold 40 short stories to magazines including Asimov's, Realms of Fantasy, Abyss & Apex, Paradox, and Scape.
Alan grew up in England, and has degrees in Physics and Astrophysics from Oxford University. He serves as director of an astrophysical archive, and performs research on black hole binaries at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.
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The True History in Hot Moon
Race to the Moon
In the Hot Moon timeline the Soviet Union beat the US to the Moon in 1969, landing a single cosmonaut on the lunar surface two months ahead of Apollo 11. This is actually quite plausible: we now know that the Soviet Union was developing its own lunar program for a while, hoping to beat the Americans to the surface. Had their Great Designer, rocket engineer Sergei Korolev, survived his 1966 health issues, the Soviets might have given NASA a run for their money…
sep. 30-oct.2, 2022
sep./oct. 2022 issue
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