The Moon Is Not For Sale by Wallace Provost

Hannibal had to be lured into posing for the camera.
Hannibal had to be lured into posing for the camera.

Why I Read It: I like the dream of colonizing the moon.

Where I Got It: A review copy from the author (thanks!)

Who I Recommend This To: As this was a rough, unfinished book, I am not sure I can recommend it.

Publisher: Createspace (2012)

Length: 308 pages

Annabelle Taylor is a law student taking an easy semester on the moon before returning to Earth to pass her bar exam. A meteorite shower sweeps over the face of the moon, disrupting people’s holidays, dinner, and for some, their lives. Annie is knocked unconscious and Clint Baker manages to get her into a survival suit and both of them into his vehicle. Unfortunately, Annie won’t be able to leave for Earth until the next monthly transport; until then Clint and her are stuck with each other, on Clint’s family farm. The Moondogy Ranch is located in a cavern that was sealed off a generation ago and has slowly been made self-sustaining. In fact, this ranch is pretty much a little slice of Texas on the moon, complete with crops, a small forest, a little lake, cattle, and a pony.

The story moves on with Annie returning to Earth to solve a murder of a family member. In order to do so, she passes the bar exam, does some detective work, and makes friends in high places. In fact, the murderer has fled Earth to live on the moon, where the US government has no jurisdiction. Through some legal loopholes and lots of determination, Annie takes the fight to the moon and searches out the killer. The story then moves into the second half set a few years later, where Annie is the acting governor of the moon and faces adversaries left and right throughout her career.

Image provided by Wallace Provost.
Image provided by Wallace Provost.

This story had a lot going for it – complex plot, interesting characters, colonized moon, people from many cultures – yet this wasn’t really a story, not yet. This book is in the state of really thorough outline or very rough draft. On many of the pages, there were several grammatical or spelling errors. Often, people’s names were spelled multiple ways on the same page. Twice, that I recall, there were 2 versions of a conversation, one right after the other on the same page. Sometimes there were loose ends; for example, these families were being saved from starvation and their children are mentioned briefly and then we never hear if they are found alive or dead. There were also some story inconsistencies: guns are 100% forbidden on the moon (no talk of how this is enforced) yet the moon can’t get it together enough to make laws prohibiting on-stage rape snuff shows. But mostly, there just wasn’t any cool science. Like I really wanted to know how the Bakers made Moondogy Ranch self-sustaining after only a few decades. Taken all together, I can’t really say that this was a completed work, but rather a very good and thorough idea for a book.

What I Liked: I love the challenges inherit in colonizing the moon; Wallace Provost provided these cool graphic art pieces to help visualize life in moon caverns; Annie Taylor is a strong, honorable protagonist.

What I Disliked: This simply wasn’t a finished work and I really wish the author had given himself and this book more time to complete.

January and February are The Science Fiction Experience host by Carl over at Stainless Steel Droppings. Make sure to check out all the cool SF stuff going on at his blog.

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7 thoughts on “The Moon Is Not For Sale by Wallace Provost”

  1. That’s too bad. I find too many authors rush to get their work out there and it’s a mistake. They should take their time and finish–and get an editor who will tell them, this isn’t done.

    1. There are 4 star ratings for this book on goodreads. Folks, if it’s not worthy, its not worthy and you only do a disservice to the author to over-rate it by leaps and bounds. sigh….

  2. Oh dear, such a shame. I mean a lot of work and thought goes into writing a book – surely it’s worth taking just that extra bit of effort to finesse it properly! Plus, you’re right, people should be more honest – even though it is difficult. Honesty does not = mean or vicious. Just respectfully truthful. Such as this review.
    Lynn 😀

    1. Thanks for the compliment. I read my review out loud to my man before publishing to make sure I kept it professional, but it does me good to hear the same from another book reviewer. I really hope this author finishes this book some day. It would be worthy.

  3. Too bad it had the issues it did. I too like stories that feature a colonized moon. One I highly recommend is a late read from last year, Apollo’s Outcasts. One of my favs of the year. I’m listening to the full cast audio version of Heinlein’s Have Space Suit Will Travel right now and it is such a great look back at a time when it was a foregone conclusion that we would be living on the moon by now. It makes me feel a bit melancholy that this isn’t a reality and yet I like stoking the fire of that dream with my fiction reading.

    1. I’ll have to look up Apollo’s Outcasts. I recently finished Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War which has us first using the moon as a space military training ground, and later fully colonized. Great book.

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