We all look up at the moon and wonder. And maybe dream. For centuries, the moon filled our imaginations. Eleven professional writers took those dreams and set original stories on moons scattered all over the galaxy. Yet, as the dreams of centuries, every story holds a human touch. From a mythical man fulfilling a childhood wish to a fantastic addition to Kristine Kathryn Rusch's bestselling Retrieval Artist series, this volume of Fiction River allows you to travel to eleven different moons without leaving the comfort of home.
Table of Contents
"Hot Jupiters" by Steven Mohan, Jr.
"The Old Guy" by Annie Reed
"The Toy That Ran Away" by Scott William Carter
"The Payment" by Maggie Jaimeson
"Caressing Charon" by Ryan M. Williams
"Moon Shine" by Matthew Lieber Buchman
"Dreams of a Moon" by Dean Wesley Smith
"The Moon Was Bitter and Hungry" by JC Andrijeski
"The Verdant Gene" by Marcelle Dubé
"Moonfall" by Lisa Silverthorne
"A Murder of Clones" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
WMG Publishing does this wonderful anthology every two months called Fiction River. With Kristine Kathryn Rusch, I am a series editor and about once a year I also edit a volume. Fiction River: Moonscapes was in the very first year. I loved being able to edit a far-reaching volume of science fiction. And I bought stories I remembered now, three years later. There are eleven high-quality science fiction stories in this volume. It will be a great introduction into the Fiction River series, if you haven't sampled a volume yet. And six stories in the volume are from writers who have novels in this bundle. – Dean Wesley Smith
"[Fiction River] is one of the best and most exciting publications in the field today. Check out an issue and see why I say that."– Keith West, Adventures Fantastic
"The Fiction River series is a wonderful mind-expanding read, and the Volume 8 Universe Between collection is a great place to start!"– Astro Guyz
"Editor Dean Wesley Smith has compiled an outstanding volume of time travel stories, no two alike. I highly recommend it."– Adventures Fantastic on Fiction River: Time Streams
A Moon: That's It
Dean Wesley Smith
Back in the planning stages of Fiction River, I really hoped that one of the first volumes would be about moons. One of my all-time favorite books (that I read back when I was growing up in the late 1950s and early 1960s) was Rogue Moon by Algis Budrys. I loved that book and I always wished AJ would have managed to write a sequel to it before he left us. But no luck I'm afraid.
That book is now considered a classic, as it should be. I can still remember the tag line on the front of that old first edition paperback. "He died, and ascended to the moon and sat on the right hand of death." Wonderful.
Since that early reading, the moon (and all moons, actually) have had a special place in my reading heart.
And it might be no surprise to anyone reading this that my wife and executive editing partner on Fiction River, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, has a series of books and short novels and short stories set mostly on the moon in the universe of The Retrieval Artist.
And to be clear, I am a major fan of those books and stories. Major. And I'm not alone, since the fans of Analog SF Magazine seem to love them as well, as do all the thousands and thousands who have purchased the first nine novels in the series.
Since Miles Flint, the Retrieval Artist himself, lives on the moon in the future, it was a logical conclusion that for Fiction River: Moonscapes, Kris would do a Retrieval Artist story. (With some arm twisting, I might add, but that's the job of the editor.)
Then, after I got Fiction River: Moonscapes on the schedule, Kris decided she would do more than just a short story. She would do a special Retrieval Artist short novel (novella) for a bonus Kickstarter award. And a number of people signed up for that special Kickstarter edition of the short novel and have already gotten them by the time you read this.
Kris upheld her end of the bargain and wrote this fantastic Retrieval Artist short novel, "A Murder of Clones," that you find complete in this volume. It's not really set on the Moon, but it is set on a moon in the Retrieval Artist universe and that's enough for this editor.
So with that wonderful short novel for me to build around, I went after some of the best writers working in short fiction to fill out the volume. And I got them.
By the very nature of the title Fiction River: Moonscapes, science fiction will dominate this volume. But not all stories are completely science fiction by any definition. In fact, this volume brushes past a number of genres as is the nature of any Fiction River volume.
A couple of the stories are bleak, a couple funny, and a number are just plain heartwarming. All are great reads and great stories in my opinion. And they all take a look at a moonscape in one way or another.
I hope you enjoy the read. It was a pleasure to bring this volume to life over the last year or so. And with it just a touch of my childhood as well.
—Dean Wesley Smith
Lincoln City, Oregon
September 6, 2013