A short story collection. The stories are all set on a moon, either our own or some other planet’s moon.

Publication year: 2014
Format: audiobook
Running time: 8 hours, 1 minute
Narrated by: Jerimy Colbert, Jane Kennedy
Publisher: WMG Publishing

I’ve been wanting to read this since I heard about it because of the setting but also because it has Rusch’s new novella set in the Retrieval Artist universe. But a bit to my surprise I ended up enjoying all of the stories in this collection. The stories:

“Hot Jupiters” by Steven Mohan, Jr.
Saxton and Monica are lovers and they traveled together to an alien planet’s moon. They’ve been in cryosleep for a long time and their journy is coming to an end. However, it turns out that Monica’s reasons to come along were different than Saxton thought. And in the middle of their confrontation, their ship is hit.

“The Old Guy” by Annie Reed
It’s harder and harder for older people to get jobs these days and this story’s main character feels like nobody on Earth wants to hire him. So, he applies elsewhere.

“The Toy That Ran Away” by Scott William Carter
Dexter Duff is a PI on the terraformed alien planet Venga 7. A powerful and wealthy senator asks Dexter to find his daughter’s favorite toy. It has an AI and it has ran away. At first Dexter’s only interest is in the money but after meeting the senator’s young daughter, his heart melts and he decides to find the toy.

“The Payment” by Maggie Jaimeson
This was a very interesting story about a convict who has a very unusual punishment for the crime. Carrie James is isolated into a small space pod which orbits Charon. She’s even confined to a small, coffin like sleeping couch and is essentially forced to do scientific work, exploring the moon and the space around it. However, she finds an usual way to cope with her situation.

“Caressing Charon” by Ryan M. Williams
A group of scientists is exploring Charon. One of the, Sharon, finds something quite unusual.

“Moon Shine” by Matthew Lieber Buchman
This was a fun short story! It’s written in first person. The main character is essentially a space trucker but a woman. Her space ship breaks down and she needs to get to Europa to get it fixed. But the Jupiter’s moon is gone…

“Dreams of a Moon” by Dean Wesley Smith
Narrated by the author. A Brian Saber story. I haven’t read any of the others but these sound like fun. Apparently, Brian is actually a retirement home resident and in a bad condition. However, when he goes on a mission for Earth Protection League, he’s beamed to an intergalactic ship and made young again. This time, he and his group have to save Earth… from the Moon.

“The Moon Was Bitter and Hungry” by JC Andrijeski
Another interesting and strange story, where the main character is… well, an alien who has made a huge mistake and is stranded on the Moon, watching Earth and salivating over prey which was so far away.

“The Verdant Gene” by Marcelle Dubé
Another great story. Verdant is an alien planet where human colony has landed. Unfortunately, the planet has quite a different cycle than Earth and the two moons, Castor and Pollux seemed to cause madness in humans.

“Moonfall” by Lisa Silverthorne
Humans have sent a new moon lander to Io. “Dove” is the first robotic lander with an AI and it’s soon going to make moonfall. Cassie is the engineer who designed Dove and her whole career depends on a successful mission.

And finally Rusch’s new novella, “A Murder of Clones”. It doesn’t have any familiar characters and I think it can be well read on it own. It introduces new characters and new situations and even a new alien race. I loved it! The novella even contains problem in translation! The humans haven’t had much contact with the Io-fuzz, so there aren’t many translators to go around and the mechanical translation doesn’t do well, either. Their culture is also not well known. Gomez is forced to deal with a translator who is a member of a different alien species who first has to translate its conversation with Gomez, in English, into its own language and then to the Io-fuzz language to speak with that alien. You can guess how well that goes in a potential criminal investigation.

Judith Gomez is part of Earth Alliance Fronter Squad and the leader of her group, which has two other officers. They are supposed to police and investigate the frontier planets. The Io-fuzz have sent for the EAFS and Gomez was the officer closest to their habited moon. So, she has the deal with the situation, which is that the Io-fuzz moon has a human enclosure. The humans have started to behave violently towards each other and the aliens want them gone. Their evidence are three dead human bodies, boys who are barely even 14. When the bodies are autopsied, it’s found that they are in fact clones and even worse, illegal clones. Gomez is not happy.

I think I’ll get more of Fiction River issues, when I get more credits. Timestreams looks very interesting and so do Fantastic Detectives, Unnatural Worlds, and How to save the world.