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Should we declare the Moon the celestial equivalent of a national park, or strip mine it to the core for everything it’s worth?

One small step ...

Start: Recently, an article from Digital Journal, “China could own the Moon by 2026, U.S. space entrepreneur warns,” caught the attention of a Facebook friend, Sue Spencer Mitchell, and prompted a lengthy discussion: should we preserve the wilderness — on the Moon?

In the article, aerospace entrepreneur Robert Bigelow makes the case that China, with their eyes on becoming a world power in the heavens, may soon take the lead in exploiting space, and specifically the resources of the Moon.

Susan’s argument is, basically, that she would hate to look up in the sky at night and think of our celestial sister, a source of wonder since before the human race was even capable of it, degraded into a a colossal strip mine or nuclear waste dump in the sky.

Even though I’m a hardened space program buff, Susan’s sentiment is not lost on me. The Moon has been a presence in our collective consciousness for the entire existence of our species, a companion to which we have deified as a goddess in numerous cultures through the ages. We have attributed its influence over the menstrual cycle (Menses, from the Latin mensis [month], which in turn comes to us from the Old English mona and the Gothic mena: moon). Less seriously, we honor it as an object of romance for swooning couples.

And ask any police officer — they’ll tell you the time of the full Moon, for whatever reason, is consistently a time of greater lunacy.

So, here we are in the 21st Century, being given this dire warning that the Evil Empire of China will take the Moon away from us and rape it/her for whatever it/she has to offer.

(That is … before the rest of the world has the chance to do likewise?)

Should the lunar wilderness be protected?

Protecting the Moon

Oddly, or maybe not so oddly, NASA is in the process of declaring the landing sites of Apollos 11 and 17 off limits so that “we can inspect them historically and scientifically.”

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Red Moon's New Cover

The new cover for
Red Moon

    Start: Over the last few months, Variance Publishing has hosted on their blog a number of posts featuring their offerings and commentary by their authors, and they graciously invited me to contribute. Stanley Tremblay of Variance gave me permission to repost these here, and today’s post is the last of the three I contributed.

    This is my response to the question posed to all the Variance authors about their novels: what’s your favorite line?



What’s My Favorite Line? RED MOON

Welcome back, fans, to another Thursday edition of ‘Favorite Line’. This week’s guest is Daniel Brenton, co-author of RED MOON. Let’s let Dan do the talking…

When Stanley presented his latest idea for the Variance authors to give a little inside look at their work by asking “what is the favorite line in your novel?” … I knew I was in trouble.


I, as Desi would tell Lucy, “got some ‘splainin’ to do.”

Red Moon, the novel I wrote with David S. Michaels (or, more correctly, where I played co-pilot while he did a marathon multi-month session putting the manuscript together, skillfully weaving in a number of chapters toward the end from yours truly) has a lot of lines I consider really good ones. Being human and having an ego, I confess I gravitate toward the ones I wrote.

I can’t tell you the first line I picked because that would ruin the ending of the book.

And I can’t tell you the second, because I’d have to explain it, and the simple act of explaining that one would be a pretty big spoiler.

So here’s my third favorite line, the first sentence of Chapter 52:

You are leaving the Earth.

Innocuous words in and of themselves, but in context, they bring this sequence of the narrative into sharp focus.

The story at this point has brought cosmonaut Grigor Belinsky, the only Soviet cosmonaut to attempt to reach the Moon, to the morning before his lift-off in an untried, hybrid Moon lander.

Belinsky, blackmailed into this enormously risky mission, wrestles with himself during these last few hours before the launch to do … what he knows he has no choice but to do.

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