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Scott Harral’s sci-fi and mystery book, Moon Luck, is a wonderful example of writing mystery into a hard science fiction setting; it sounds difficult to do, but it is possible.

Scott Harral’s sci-fi and mystery book, Moon Luck, is a masterclass in how mystery can be integrated into hard science fiction. The book is set in a lunar colony in the near future, where there are secrets afoot, and questions must be answered before everything ends.

While the two genres may seem, at first glance, difficult to actually mix together, there are simple ways to go about it.

But first—

What is Hard Science Fiction?

Hard science fiction is a subgenre of science fiction that is very concerned with scientific accuracy and logic. What this means is that while Star Wars and The Martian might be under the umbrella of science fiction, they are on very opposite ends of the spectrum.

Where in most science fiction, technologies, and scientific themes are tropes and tools used by the author, hard science fiction integrates scientific discoveries and realistic possibilities into its narrative. What this means, in essence, is that authors of hard science fiction are very diligent and exhaustive with their use of science. What they write about is something that is theoretically possible and not just used because the concept sounds cool and awesome (although it can be).

Impossible Puzzles

One reason why it is very difficult to integrate mystery into hard science fiction is that the genre does not lend itself well to the illogical or the fantastically creative, even though some aspects of the two seem to mesh very well together. On the one hand, hard science fiction relies heavily on actual scientific and technical principles, and on the other, mystery fiction is all about solving puzzles and uncovering secrets.

Yet, isn’t science all about uncovering the mysteries of the world?

Adding Mystery in Hard Science Fiction

Regardless, if you want to write something like Moon Luck by Scott Harral and integrate mystery into a hard science fiction setting, here are some steps you might consider taking:

  • Establish the rules of the universe and stick to them.

Because hard science fiction is very strict when it comes to the workings of its setting, you have to be very mindful about what can and what cannot happen—and NEVER violate any of them without reason.

How you define the laws of physics, the limitations of technology, and the important scientific principles you are focusing on can make or break your story. Having a handy set of rules allows you to develop a world that is equally believable as it is functional.

When incorporating mystery into your hard science fiction setting, ensuring your story follows these rules is vital. The secrets that inform the story should be based on science and technology, not magic or supernatural elements. Breaking the laws you set out means breaking your readers’ trust, and that is not a thing you want happening if you want to write a good mystery.

  • Base your mysteries and secrets in science.

If you want to properly incorporate mystery into your hard science fiction setting, you have to use science to create it. Be creative with your use of technology in a way that is plausible and, at the same time, critical to understanding the puzzles you have laid out for both your characters and your readers.

Using science in this way creates a more believable story and allows you to incorporate fundamental scientific principles and theories into your plot. This also has the added benefit of making your narrative more educational and engaging for readers who are interested in science.

  • Create Complex Characters

A good mystery novel is one populated with complex characters, each with hidden motives and secrets. Incorporating characters with depth into your hard science fiction slash mystery novel can add depth and intrigue to the narrative.

  • Keep the Reader Guessing

If you want to create a successful mystery, it is essential to keep the reader guessing. This means introducing multiple suspects and red herrings throughout the story. As the story progresses, readers should constantly re-evaluate their theories and suspicions.

And with a hard science fiction setting, these re-evaluations should be spurred and hastened by a deep understanding of the scientific principles involved.

 

Incorporating mystery into a hard science fiction setting can be challenging, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. By using science to create clues and suspects, creating complex characters, and keeping the reader guessing, you can make a story that is both educational and entertaining.



The science fiction thriller genre usually involves a thrilling and mysterious journey, with unexpected twists and dangers that keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Person’s hand reaching out to a light
Person’s hand reaching out to a light

A science fiction thriller is a genre that combines science fiction and suspense. It occurs in the future or on distant planets, featuring advanced technology, aliens, or dystopian societies. The characters may face life-threatening challenges, like battling evil forces or uncovering dark secrets. It’s a genre that appeals to those who love science fiction and suspenseful storytelling.

Science Fiction 

Science fiction is a genre that imagines events and technologies in the future or beyond our world. It explores scientific concepts like space travel, time travel, robots, or alternate realities. Often set in space or advanced societies, science fiction features imaginative elements and possibilities that aren’t yet real but could be one day. The genre is famous for its ability to inspire wonder and curiosity while addressing important themes like ethics, human nature, and the impact of technology on society.

Thriller

The thriller genre keeps readers or viewers on the edge of their seats with intense excitement and suspense. It centers around high-stakes situations, danger, and unexpected twists. The genre can cover various settings and themes, such as crime, espionage, or psychological tension. It aims to evoke strong emotions like fear, anticipation, and excitement while captivating audiences with gripping narratives and characters facing dangerous circumstances.

Five Science Fiction Thriller Novels

“The Paradox Hotel” by Rob Hart

In the thrilling science-fiction novel “The Paradox Hotel,” January Cole faces an impossible crime while working security at the mysterious hotel. The place is no ordinary spot, as it hosts time-traveling tourists and is rumored to be haunted. When a perplexing corpse appears, only January can see it, setting her on a dangerous path. Simultaneously, influential figures gather to claim privatized time-travel technology, and “accidents” target them. January’s unique ability is to see what others can’t become a double-edged sword, blurring her sense of reality. In this gripping murder mystery infused with humor, grief, and ghostly encounters, author Rob Hart takes readers on an unforgettable ride through time.

“Moon Luck” by Scott Harral 

Shortly, with moon colonies becoming a reality, “Moon Luck” by Wayne Scott Harral delves into the lives of 30 astronauts on the lunar surface. This science-fiction tale showcases their experiences as astronaut scientists and explorers, conducting experiments, mining minerals, and forming bonds and conflicts. However, when a senior member dies under suspicious circumstances, the story takes a thrilling turn as they seek to uncover the truth behind the apparent accident. As the moon becomes humanity’s new frontier, the book raises a compelling question: can a death on the lunar surface be considered murder? Be prepared for an enthralling journey of intrigue and exploration.

“The Caves of Steel (The Robot Series Book 1)” by Isaac Asimov

In a distant future, humanity has colonized the galaxy and created positronic brains. Enter Isaac Asimov’s Robot novels, where a New York City detective, Elijah Baley, forms an unexpected alliance with a humanoid robot. Earth’s overpopulation has left Baley disliking the Spacers and their robots. However, when a prominent Spacer is killed, he’s sent to the Outer Worlds to solve the case. The situation is complicated by his distrustful Spacer superiors and the fact that his partner, R. Daneel Olivaw, is a robot designed to resemble the victim. Can they overcome their differences and catch the killer? A gripping sci-fi tale of detective work and human-robot relationships awaits.

“Shovel Ready (Spademan)” by Adam Sternbergh 

Meet Spademan, once a sanitation worker, now a hitman in a near-future, post-apocalyptic New York City. After a dirty bomb tragedy and the loss of his wife, the city has crumbled into a stark divide: the privileged who live in virtual reality and the struggling survivors on the streets. Spademan chooses the gritty reality, but his latest assignment complicates things. Hired to kill an influential evangelist’s daughter, he must navigate the stark contrast between the two worlds, fulfill the job, and confront his conscience. Will he survive the deadly game and ensure justice prevails, or will he become another victim buried in the ground?

“The Last Policeman” by Ben H. Winters

Amidst impending doom from an approaching asteroid, Detective Hank Palace grapples with the futility of solving murders when humanity’s end is near. With only six months left until impact, the economy crumbles, crops wither, and people abandon their jobs. In this pre-apocalyptic setting, death by hanging catches Palace’s attention in a city plagued by suicides. As everyone else loses hope, he can’t shake the feeling that something is amiss. In a world on the brink, Palace doggedly pursues the truth. This rare blend of apocalyptic and detective fiction weaves a suspenseful tale transcending the ordinary procedural, offering a gripping and unique reading experience.


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Photo by murat esibatir

While living in a moon colony sounds plausible, as is described in Moon Luck by Scott Harral, there are issues people will have to face because of physiology.

Humanity can trace their origins back to many spots in the continent of Africa before they spread across the face of the Earth, becoming the apex species and essentially dominating the food chain. This is not an exaggeration; some of the most inhospitable places on Earth, like the Sahara Desert, the heights of Everest, and many others, have been inhabited by humans—there’s even a permanent settlement in Antarctica, which is considered to be one of the coldest areas on Earth. Such is the spirit of exploration that exists in the collective consciousness of humanity.

The Next Frontier: Space

With this in mind, there is now a question of where the next frontier is—and all answers seem to lead to outer space, which is the principal setting of most science fiction stories. This is not without standing. Humans have already developed the tech necessary to transport other humans off of Earth, and there have already been unmanned missions to other planets within and without the solar system. Yet, while a lot has been happening, there are only a few dozen active astronauts, and actually establishing proper human settlements is only still a theoretical dream.

The Possibility of a Moon Colony

While manned operations to space are seen as wonderful voyages akin to sailing on a ship, the reality is far more dangerous. Extended stays outside of Earth, the place where humans evolved to accommodate themselves, can bring many challenges; a lot is already known, and a far larger number are unknown. Therefore, learning how to live in the conditions of space is important to know before humanity can ever launch a plausible colonization program on other planets.

The only place that humanity currently has the greatest chance of colonizing is its closest celestial neighbor, the moon.

Human Physiology and the Lunar Environment

Living on the moon sounds like a dream come true for a lot of people, but that is because they have not considered what problems may arise when human beings are taken out of their natural habitats and pushed to alien environments. Living in a moon colony sounds plausible, as is described in Moon Luck by Scott Harral, but there are issues people will have to face because of their natural physiology. That is because the atmosphere and the geology of the moon are quite harsh and entirely different than what is present on Earth. For starters, there is no water on the moon, and there is no working atmosphere.

Here are the most pressing issues people will face when living on the moon:

The Strength of Gravity. On Earth, if you fall down, you are pulled down by the gravitation pull of the Earth. But on the surface of the moon, gravitational forces are only a sixth compared to that of Earth. This means that if there is to be a working moon colony, people have to forcefully adapt themselves to living with a significant reduction of muscle and bone mass.

For the body to properly acclimate to strong gravitational forces, the bones, and muscles have to strengthen themselves simply to keep humans standing upright—without this natural pressure, the bones and the muscle quickly weaken and, as a result, humans living in a moon colony might begin to shrink, which leads to the prevalence of osteoporosis, a disease that makes bones fragile and vulnerable to breakage.

Radiation Exposure. Although the atmosphere of the Earth has seen better days compared to the moon’s, it is simply a highly advanced filtration system that sifts the more harmful effects of the sun’s radiation, allowing the planet to safely take in the sun’s rays. The moon, on the other hand, has little to no atmosphere. This means that its ability to protect people from the sun is non-existent, which will lead to higher rates of skin cancer and other diseases for people living in a moon colony.

Circadian Rhythm. Because humans evolved on Earth, they are more attuned to the day and night cycles there. But for people living on the moon, their circadian rhythms are greatly disrupted. This is because a day on Earth lasts 24 hours while a day on the moon lasts for almost 720 hours.


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Photo by SevenStorm JUHASZIMRUS

What’s next for humans after their noteworthy accomplishment on the Moon? Is it possible for us to not only land on our feet on its surface but to build a civilization there?

A sustainable lunar future is far from reality, as it has always been a dream. Even so, it didn’t stop scientists worldwide from learning more about the Moon with utter fascination. We may have explored Mars numerous times in an attempt to find any evidence of life that grows on that red planet. Despite the slim chances, there are no long-term solutions, and the endeavor still needs to be improved.

On another note, that’s where author Scott Harral embarks on a literary journey that explores the possibility of humans occupying the Moon. Harral’s glimpse into the near future as we inhabit the Moon is evident in the book, as it makes us feel hopeful that there might still be another place for us somewhere.

A sustainable lunar future beyond this world

Even with the abundant knowledge of the Moon so far, countless things are yet to be seen—for example, the dark side of it. The Moon may have been responsible for illuminating our planet at night, but has anyone ever seen its version of nighttime? The side that is not facing the Earth?

If we were to desire a sustainable lunar future for the sake of prolonging humanity, there needs to be additional information gathered. It helps to assure us that we can live on the Moon if the Earth reaches past its prime.

Nowadays, lighter and cheaper models have been manufactured and launched to the Moon, emphasizing the need to prioritize lunar missions over the past decade. While there may not be enough space crafts that can carry all of us to the Moon in one go, the efforts towards a sustainable lunar future beyond this world are taking baby steps.

Setting sights on a return to the Moon and the drawbacks to it

The United States is one of the countries that made a tremendous win by setting foot on the Moon. However, with other pressing matters in society, the government is still determining whether to prioritize another lunar expedition again.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) focuses on returning to the Moon in 2024. The Artemis Project has been in the works for a long time, although it is still being determined whether NASA can realistically meet its goals or remain a lofty dream.

What may be the hindrances that pulled a stop to this?

After the government lobbied for the project, Congress outright rejected it, exceptionally requesting an additional budget for construction and expedition plans. NASA wanted to make more rocket boosters and a space capsule that could easily take astronauts to the Moon. Eas is also in a race with time, as they are worried that the Artemis Project will be left in the dust if the government won’t bat an eye on it. They are concerned that a sustainable lunar future will never see the light of day.

Experts are also in a race with time, worried that the Artemis Project will be left in the dust if the government won’t bat an eye on it. They are concerned that a sustainable lunar future will never see the light of day.

What does a sustainable lunar future offer us?

Other than quenching an insatiable scientific curiosity, space exploration, in general, isn’t just a show of force or economic power to those who can afford to do it. This is a noble endeavor that benefits humanity in the long run.

With each mission, even little bits of information unearth more knowledge we need regarding space. After all, the concept of even a sustainable lunar future came through the history of Apollo missions in technology. Satellites were born, enabling us to experience peak technological advancements from the palm of our hands.

Robotic missions overshadowing human efforts?

Lunar missions rely on a human to be on board. The eagerness to explore enabled us to create robots to head onto the Moon in our stead. There were also speculations concerning the capability of robots to collect minerals that will be sent for further geological studies.

Japan proved them wrong by sending Hayabusa2. It landed successfully on an asteroid with a mission to gather minerals and bring them back to Earth. However, in defense of human capability, some experts argue that it needs direct human intervention to understand geology to discover possible life forms. It would take so much effort to encode robots into their tasks compared to a human with knowledge and expertise to uncover what lies beyond.

Final thoughts

Regardless of the valid points, we all have a unified goal: to create a sustainable lunar future for everyone. Our planet is deteriorating, and we can save it if a collective effort exists. However, it helps to have a plan B in case we have nowhere else to go.

If we want to use the Moon as a Launchpad for future scientific innovations and the betterment of humanity, we have to drive ourselves to make it happen. Otherwise, we will continuously fight a losing battle and forever wish for what could have been had we tried to realize a sustainable lunar future.


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History’s abundant with the greatest heroes and figures that have set examples of greatness. But these leadership lessons may come from someone you might not expect – a villain.

Yes, you read it right. We will share valuable leadership lessons from a fictional villain from one of the biggest science fiction franchises in the world. He is a faceless overlord clad in a black cape and hiding behind a mechanical helmet. He is known for his eerie breathing and hissing quite a few times.

A vast Empire army leader, Darth Vader, has superior power, influence, and intellect to obliterate the Rebel Alliance. Saving the most iconic reveal in history (we all know it), Darth Vader was a multifaceted fictional character who is universally loved despite being evil personified in the Star Wars franchise.

This might also sound like an exaggeration, but Darth Vader might have pioneered character development, as he eventually turned against the Empire and saved his son. His legacy of being a well-rounded character earned him a lasting legacy that will be remembered for all generations.

Leadership takeaways from the most “evil” villain

Darth Vader’s influence didn’t grow out of nowhere. While he may not be an ideal example because of his strongman leadership style, it doesn’t mean we have nothing to learn from. Disregarding all his atrocities, here are some of the crucial leadership lessons from Darth Vader.

Be assertive.

No one is born a leader. They are made and molded into someone with the right amount of ambition and compassion. By moderately demanding the best from your team, excellent results are possible. The thing about Darth Vader is that he makes things clear to everyone. He doesn’t want to make changes when unnecessary to prevent the swaying of others’ minds around him.

Darth Vader has also mastered the art of negotiation. He craftily increases the rewards he wants as a show of dominance. He is an example of a leader who should send a clear message without mixed signals. By being clear about what you want, you can avoid further complications in reaching your target.

Pick a side that will benefit everyone.

Choosing your most trusted allies can be an impossible task. At the same time, it can be a recipe for complications. The book Moon Luck by Scott Harral is a story of astronauts living on the moon and doing their best to work as a team. However, they eventually developed animosity towards each other. After all, familiarity breeds contempt, and a rift can break apart even the closest of friends.

Keeping the right people that not only work well with you is crucial, but so is inspiring loyalty to them. It would be best to establish enough influence to make people stay by your side. In the case of Darth Vader, he helps maintain a solid rapport in the team so that they remain focused on the bigger things.

Authenticity is attractive.

The biggest cinematic reveal in history was in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. When Darth Vader admitted to being Luke’s father, it solidified the concept of truth eventually unfolding no matter the circumstances.

In the same way, a leader must always be truthful to their team and practice what they preach. There must be a good balance of authenticity and authority when leading people to where you want them to be. Be wise like a serpent yet innocent as a dove.

This also rings true with keeping promises.

Despite being the evilest person on the planet, his authentic attitude towards keeping his promises is well-known. He acknowledges that there’s something greater than himself while still upholding his militaristic beliefs. Darth Vader helps manage expectations by not overpromising and still delivering.

Recuperate when you can.

Even a villain like Darth Vader needs rest on occasion. He goes to his meditation chamber to relax without his armor on. Leaders still need to recover their energy from carrying significant responsibility. Only then will they continue to lead efficiently and in their best condition.

Take advantage of necessary resources.

Leaders can’t do everything alone. They might still move forward by doing so, but having another set of people to do the legwork will take you miles. It won’t hurt your pride to ask for help beyond your circle and use the proper leverage to get things done.

For example, when Darth Vader needed someone to find the Millennium Falcon, he could’ve searched himself or left it to a few Stormtroopers. Instead, he outsourced someone else and ultimately accomplished the task given. True leaders know they’re not always good at everything and will need someone to do things sometimes.


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April 6, 2023 Guest ArticleTips0
Photo by Nicolette Attree

Authors craft characters that readers either hate or love. However, with the constant need to create engaging and exciting plots, authors have created a new set of characters that are neither truly good nor evil, those morally grey ones.

When it comes to novels, the primary characters are sectioned into protagonists or antagonists. Authors typically craft their characters as either good or bad, adding depth and background to each so they move or influence the course of the story. However, readers won’t have to debate who they want to win or lose. Between these characters, it’s natural and typical for readers to root for the protagonist, someone characterized as an all-good and just figure fighting for a cause they believe is right.

 

Protagonists and antagonists are often clearly distinct in how they’re presented and, often, how they look. Some authors may want to confuse their readers and not put their true protagonists at the forefront of the story, telling the whole thing from their antagonist’s perspective. But overall, these characters can be determined based on their beliefs and choices.

 

But What Happens When the White Mixes With Black?

 

It’s the quintessential and expected dynamic, the protagonist will always stick to what’s right and best for the situation, and the antagonist will always oppose. There may be instances where the bad guys disguise themselves and have morally sound choices. But their real motives will be uncovered sooner or later, revealing the selfish reasons behind their actions.

 

It’s good vs. evil. Light vs. dark.

 

And these white or black personas are the fundamental characters in every story. However, authors aren’t sticking to monochromatic traits these days. Gone are the days when heroes and villains stick to stereotypes. Instead, the authors have mixed whites and blacks, creating interesting characters. These figures challenge morality and make readers question their beliefs, keeping them on their toes in amusement and alarm.

 

Today, people aren’t all that crazed about helpless and innocent princesses locked in towers. Instead, they might root for princesses who aren’t afraid of manipulating their captors or even shedding some self-defense blood for freedom.

 

The Shades of Morally Grey Characters

 

Readers are introduced to troubled characters in Scott Harral’s sci-fi and mystery book, who are too ambitious for their good and their teammates’ benefits. They’re more than willing and adamant about achieving their goals, so they aren’t afraid to put others in uncomfortable situations. However, they aren’t hurting others. Instead, they’re only too fixated on their goals and unapologetically aspiring, and they may fail to notice others’ feelings.

 

Does this make them the bad guy? When they aren’t hurting others, not necessarily. But their behavior doesn’t also make them a generally good person.

 

A morally grey character lives by their moral code, often deviating from social standards. While they may sometimes do questionable things, these characters are the most human. After all, people are rarely ever all good or all evil. They’re flawed. Instead, they will aim to do good deeds, which may or may not end positively. They may also fall into bad habits and be blinded by their goals and ambitions, leading to questionable and often harmful choices.

 

Writing These Characters

 

These figures, while morally ambiguous, still have purpose and reason behind their existence. They may tip the moral scale either way between good and evil. But they will still have goals they want to achieve. When crafting these morally grey characters, authors don’t write them carelessly. They will also need a well-written profile with a realistic portrayal of people’s needs and goals.

 

Here’s a guide when writing these characters:

 

Must Have a Reason

 

Like any character, morally grey characters must have a motive. They need a reason for their actions. While they may practice questionable beliefs, morally grey characters must still have their “why?” Readers don’t have to agree or side with these characters. But they must, at least, understand why they’ve chosen that path.

 

This is what makes readers question their morals, as well. By making them empathize with these characters, they will wonder if they agree with these questionable beliefs.

 

Must Have a Weakness

 

Another way to make readers empathize with morally grey characters is by giving them a weakness. A perfect character won’t resonate with the readers. Instead, authors need to deepen and explore these characters’ development by giving them a weakness that either drives or hinders them toward their goal. Weaknesses will make these characters more realistic and humane for readers to understand and connect.

 

Must Make Difficult Decisions

 

While they aren’t inherently good or bad, this doesn’t mean they can’t make decisions that may be for selfish reasons or set for the betterment of others. How morally grey characters make their choices will reveal much about their beliefs, presenting their ambiguity.

 

Additionally, characters achieve character development and reinforce the idea and existence of their goals through these difficult decisions. Hence, authors must incorporate these events into the story, allowing their characters to choose between what they believe is right or wrong.


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March 3, 2023 Guest Article0

Photo by SevenStorm JUHASZIMRUS

The Moon is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful celestial bodies. Its silver sheen reflecting the sun’s light is a welcome sight every night. And while the Moon’s beauty is appealing, many more things are fascinating about the Moon.

So, would you like to know more about and discover some interesting facts about the Moon? This blog offers some truly amusing facts for you to enjoy. And if you want to read a great sci-fi book set on the Moon, check out Moon Luck by Wayne Scott Harral (that’s me).

Now, let’s go ahead and take a look at the list we prepared below.

1. The Moon Used to Look Way Bigger

The Moon used to look larger because it was at least ten times closer to planet earth, with computer simulations estimating that the Moon could’ve been 12 – 19 times nearer. Nowadays, the Moon is 384,400 kilometers, and it’s still moving farther away.

2. There is Water on the Moon

Believe it or not, scientists have uncovered the presence of water on the Moon. It was India’s Chandrayaan-1 mission that found the water situated close to the poles. Although the water’s volume wasn’t much — there’s only a liter of water for one cubic meter of soil — it does increase the chances of establishing bases on the Moon’s surface.

3. Lunar Bases Could Become a Reality Soon

While it is true that our current technology still can’t let people inhabit the Moon, it is likely to establish a scientific basest there soon. Planetary scientists and astronomers believe that a base could offer many uses. Lunar bases are also tackled in my book, Moon Luck, and I take the time to explain what considerations need to be made.

4. The Moon was Made After a Big Explosive Collision

The Moon was made after an extensive and violent collision that brought with it a massive explosion. It’s said that all of this happened between the proto-Earth (an early-stage version of the Earth) and a celestial body called “Theia,” about the same size as Mars. This origin theory is named the “Giant Impact Hypothesis,” believed to have occurred 4.5 billion years ago. Wayne Scott Harral knows a lot about the Moon, enabling him to write a fantastic book set on the Moon itself.

5. A Lunar Eclipse was Able to Save Christopher Columbus

We’re incredibly fascinated by the Moon because even Christopher Columbus’s life was saved by it. Christopher Columbus was in a tough spot, but he was able to use the natural process of lunar eclipses to his advantage. On February 29, 1504, he successfully frightened native Arawak Indians by taking advantage of a lunar eclipse and the superstitious beliefs the natives held. He was able to threaten the natives and get food from them.

6. Moon Dust has a Similar Odor to Gunpowder

Dust floods every part of the Moon and even coated the Apollo astronaut’s suits. Harrison “Jack” Schmitt, one of the astronauts on the Apollo 17 mission, compared it to the smell of gunpowder. It also caused some form of “lunar hay fever,” with astronauts sneezing and congestion issues that last for days.

7. Tidal Bulges: How the Moon Causes Them

Among the most interesting facts about the Moon is that it causes tidal bulges here on Earth. The Moon’s gravitational strength isn’t strong enough to pull up water on a single side of our planet. On the other side, an area where its gravity’s almighty pull is weakened, the water bulges in the inverse direction. These water bulges are why high and low tides occur around the world.

8. Surface Temperatures Are On Both Extremes

Since the Moon has no protective atmosphere, the surface can reach excessively high or low temperatures. With tidally locked, the Moon doesn’t spin on its axis like Earth’s. Instead, one side is always covered in darkness while the other is constantly sunbathing. Temperatures can range from 123 ºC to -233 ºC.

Well, there you have it, everyone. Those were a couple of interesting facts about the Moon. I hope you enjoyed this read and that it intrigued you more about Moon Luck’s story, written by Wayne Scott Harral (that’s me, everybody). Visit my website to learn more about my book or read other blogs relating to the Moon and my book that you can find in there.


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In Moon Luck by Scott Harral, he explores the initial stages of what lunar habitation might look like while still presenting a compelling sci-fi thriller.

Living on the moon has always been a cultural aspiration for the whole of humanity, with mentions of men on the moon and lunar rabbits dating back at least a thousand years. There have been plenty of modern stories about moon habitation, like Moon Luck by Harral and Artemis by Weir. 

Who doesn’t want to live on the moon? Out there in space, looking at the great blackness of the universe around the planet Earth. And jumping really, really, really high because the gravity’s so much lower there as compared to here.

Doesn’t that just sound like a wonderful future?

Almost everyone from every corner of the world has thought of the idea–of what it would be like living on the surface of the moon. And the hold of the idea on humanity’s collective unconscious hasn’t waned, especially since the moon landings and especially now that NASA has announced its intentions to create a permanent moon base by 2030. Perhaps living on the moon won’t be so far-fetched soon.

What Needs to Be Answered for Successful Lunar Habitation?

But before you get to packing and googling for tickets, what are the issues with building a base on the moon?

Remember, the conditions on the moon are entirely different from living on Earth. There’s no arable land, no obvious source of water, no animals, no atmosphere, etc., just to name a few.

Here are the main issues with living on the moon:

What Powers Everything?

For any society to function, there needs to be power. When humans first established the earliest civilizations, power was limited only to pure labor, the energy of hard work, and domesticated animals. When civilization progressed, and technology grew more sophisticated, the rushing waters of rivers were used to power mills; then, it was steam to power the earliest engines. When oil and natural gas were discovered, they powered better engines and generated electricity. Now, there are machines that can harvest the power of the sun, the wind, the waves, and more. Without power, a civilization stagnates.

On the moon, there are few sources of power that do not include what the settlers already brought with them. The only consistent source of energy would be that which comes from the sun: solar power.

Perhaps the lack of an atmosphere will make it easier for settlers to capture solar energy, but there are still issues with storage and other minutiae. Although nothing concrete has been determined, just the discovery of a solution is highly beneficial for any future planned settlement on the moon.

Where is the Living Space?

Another important requirement for a successful civilization is the territory, the space where the people will live, work, etc. Although the moon has large tracts of unclaimed land, it is not the best, to say the least. Because of an absence of water and vegetation, most of the moon’s surface is covered in rock and dust, which made the Apollo 17 astronauts’ eyes water and throats sore after contact. The absence of an atmosphere also makes the moon quite vulnerable to meteorites and radiation.

If there is to be habitable space on the moon, it would mean relying on sealed housing that allows for protection against radiation and the recycling of breathable air.

The establishment of a moon base would require taking advantage of prefabricated structures and modular systems for quick and easy installation. This is without considering the difficulty in laying out plumbing and water systems (although there might be further achievements waiting in the future).

How to Grow Food?

The most important aspect of maintaining civilization is food. You might have power, and you might have land, but without food, all of that crumbles into nothing the minute everyone starves. From a specific reductionist point of view, the progress of civilization can be seen as a journey toward increased food productivity. Nations can only prosper with a growing population of workers, you see, and the only way to facilitate that growth is through adequate food production and distribution.

Remember the earlier point about the power needed for civilizations to function? Human beings need the power to function, too, and, as far as anyone can see, that power comes from eating food. 

Luckily for any potential lunar base, there have been strides to establish methods of growing food in space and conditions similar to the surface of the moon.

 

Every year, there are discoveries and efforts in science and technology that make habitation on the surface of the moon ever closer to reality.


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January 9, 2023 sci-fi0
Photo by Min An

Science fiction as a genre challenges reality and experiments with possibilities. For instance, Scott Harral’s glimpse into the near future as we inhabit the moon highlights a currently-impossible occurrence of people living on the moon.

Science fiction is a well-loved genre because it gives its audience a reason to anticipate a future, especially when living in the present is deemed unbearable. It ignites their imagination to soar and perceive beyond the limitations of their physical world and consciousness, giving them a magnificent experience beyond their reality. Science fiction draws its concepts around the world’s what-ifs, exploring them and allowing people to experience these possibilities.

Science, technology, and people may all have unlimited potential if duly explored, and science fiction takes on the responsibility of doing so. With themes and concepts beyond reality and practicability, science fiction dwells on potential more than the actual.

However, to be great, science fiction must still have some sense of reality. While it tackles lines that are difficult to believe, it must still have something that helps readers ground themselves to believe in its existence or occurrence. In between unfeasible ideas like flying cars, space exploration, and time travel, people would be more interested if the story allowed them to consider reality with these existing. From these what-ifs, people should be moved to question what if the world is this way?

Whether it be an in-depth explanation of how these came about or a thorough equation that might explain why they happen, science fiction concepts should still have a touch of science for them to be effective in catching the audience’s interest.

 

The Science in Science Fiction

As a basic science fiction rule, the scientific component should play a significant role, if not the story’s focal point. After all, what separates science fiction from fantasy or general fiction, all dealing with the unthinkable, is the former’s science element. While it’s still fictional, “science” still precedes its name, making it a fictional genre sprinkled with or based on scientific concepts.

However, does this immediately merit that one must be competent or, in any way, have the scientific expertise to write a believable and gripping science fiction? Or can they do with a made-up science element to their story?

When asked what science fiction means, the literary field naturally divides the science component into two different perspectives. It’s typically defined as fiction dealing with the influence of actual or imagined science on humans and society, emphasizing the existence and non-limitations of what science is for this genre. As long as there is an exploration of any scientific element, either hypothetical or factual, in the story, it can be considered science fiction.

However, it must be stated that for one to even make-up science, one must still have an inkling of what it is, especially regarding the concept they’re writing about.

 

How Much Science Does One Need?

Writers don’t need to be knowledgeable about every aspect of science to write science fiction. They’re writing a story, not a textbook. Instead of studying science, in general, they must only be familiar with the field they’re writing about.

For instance, looking at Scott Harral’s Moon Luck as an example, it’s evident that the story’s main point isn’t plausible. People can’t live on the moon. They have tried and failed a couple of times. However, Harral’s glimpse into the near future as we inhabit the moon provides enough explanation, especially on technological matters, making the whole point of the book believable and realistic.

Scott Harral isn’t a scientist nor someone who’s traveled on the moon before. This makes him not a science expert but simply someone enthusiastic about the concept. He only wrote a compelling story on the moon and space exploration because of research rather than on years of scientific background. Before going deep into the lore he built for his book, Harral presumably studied the moon and all the related concepts to write about concretely.

When writing about time travel, one must learn about the basic concepts of time and its theories. They must know about this to make their story, in some way, plausible and authentic. While science fiction is still fiction, it must still be research-focused to avoid having readers raise their eyebrows and scratch their heads when reading the story. This makes science fiction believable: ample research on the concepts tackled, not educational or scientific expertise and experience.


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December 8, 2022 sci-fispace exploration0

Photo by Pixabay

Building a lunar outpost has long detained humanity’s imagination. What would be the benefits to society that moon exploration could bring?

Are Earth’s endless biodiversity, fresh air, and the stable average temperature getting you down? Ever wanted to drop everything and set off to a place where life is nonexistent or more straightforward? Then take that 238,900-mile jaunt to the solar system’s launch deserted destination: The moon. 

Sounds heavenly? Unfortunately, it’ll take much more than a simple rocket trip to achieve lunar paradise. And the first people to set up shop on the moon probably won’t be building vacation homes and resorts —as of now, NASA wants to create what’s a gas station for future trips to Mars. 

According to astronauts, the moon’s lack of a genuine atmosphere does have somewhat of a “pseudo-atmosphere” called an exosphere. This is a magnetically suspended mix of particles and gasses stirred up from the lunar surface by the solar wind. But the elements that make up breathable air float around the moon at tiny concentrations compared to Earth. Taking a deep breath would be just as deadly on the moon as in the vacuum of space. 

There’s also the issue of gravity: the moon is only about 1/6th of Earth’s. Given what people know about the effects of long-term weightlessness on astronauts, lunar residents would have to take precautions to keep healthy. Exposure to microgravity on the International Space Station (ISS) has been shown to accelerate bone and muscle loss and create cardiovascular issues because working against gravity is part of what keeps our bodies fit. That’s why astronauts on the ISS spend hours a day exercising to compensate for their absence. While the moon’s lack of gravity isn’t quite as extreme, experts say living long-term in any environment with reduced gravity could be detrimental to human health.

Despite these problems identified during the moon explorations, people continue to look for ways to live on the moon. Here are the reasons why:

Enhance engineering and technological capabilities. The moon presents numerous exciting engineering challenges. It is an excellent place to test flight technologies and capabilities, life support systems, and exploration techniques to decrease the risks and increase the productivity of the future mission. Humankind’s journey will provide everyone with the first experience of living and working in another world, allowing people to test advanced materials and equipment in space’s temperature and radiation extremes. People will learn how to best employ robots to explore remote locations, support human tasks, and gather information in potentially unstable regions. 

Medical Researchers. Keeping astronauts healthy in a higher-radiation and lower-gravity environment than Earth is a vital challenge for medical researchers. The potential advantages to all humans are tremendous in terms of preventing and treating bone and muscle loss and some cancers. Other advances in medicine will follow!

Exploration of the moon’s resources also creates new business opportunities for technological innovations, applications, and utilization of new resources. There were minerals found on the moon that are called lunar minerals. Mineral resources are significant because these minerals exhibit a wide range of industrially important electrical, optical, magnetic, and catalytic properties. 

A base for further exploration. Finally, establishing moon outposts enables adventurers and explorers to extend settlement and investigation to moons and planets beyond Earth. There is a whole universe of unknowns waiting for humanity to investigate! 

Sci-fi novels such as “Moon Luck” by Scott Harral narrate the story of astronauts living on the moon for extended periods. It is also the story of the astronaut scientists and astronaut explorers as they grow plants on the moon, explore and find mineral ores, conduct experiments and research, and develop animosities and close relationships. When one of the base’s senior members dies in what seems to be an accident, the story follows the trail to discover the actual perpetrator, leaving us with the question: Is it murder if it happens on the moon?

Why do you think humanity should journey to the moon and ahead? 

Moon exploration is a global undertaking. It provides a shared challenge that requires investment by many nations. Success in one’s journey to the moon and beyond requires the involvement and preparation of every scientist in different fields of expertise, such as; planetary scientists, engineers, medical researchers, physicists, chemists, mathematicians, mechanics, materials scientists, architects, doctors, communications and safety specialists, computer programmers, and many others. So be part of the journey as this would benefit the future generations of humankind.

 


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