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Sunday

Listen Up: The Moon is a lonely place

I wonder if there is a sub-genre of lonely-on-the-moon stories. Recently I came across two such stories in Clarkesworld Magazine, one called, "All The Things The Moon Is Not", by Alexander Lumans, and the other "Draftyhouse", by Eric Amundsen. Naturally the 2009 movie, Moon, springs to mind when considering the general outline of these stories. They each involve someone who is lonely on the moon, each wondering, increasingly, about the nature of their existence.

Each of these stories is beautifully told in their different ways, and so they each deserve to be read or watched independently of the others, enjoyed for their own sake.

"Draftyhouse" is one of those stories that leaves me a bit uncertain about what's happened. It sounds wonderful when read by Kate Baker, a tale of lonliness in which the question, "What is the purpose of Draftyhouse" seems integral to the drunken man on the moon's indentity. Seems. It might also just be a plot point. Someone with more scientific knowledge than I have might understand what the telluric bridge is all about. Besides, if the air for the house comes across the bridge from Earth and then leaks out to space, wouldn't this be a problem for Earth? Someone cleverer than me would have to explain such things. As it is, I mark this a story that is emotionally intriguing but not quite intellectually satisfying.

"All The Things The Moon Is Not" is a sad story with lines a famous childrens book, Goodnight Moon, woven through it. The lonely man in this story, has left a family behind. He is not actually alone on the moon. There are other members of his crew, and a rival miner with whom he plays chess. The chess is also beautifully woven into the story so that we see the narrators central character flaw and, finally, come to understand the title of the story. This story was much more satisfying to me. I didn't have to be clever to get it.

As for the movie, Moon, I remember enjoying it on the small screen as one of those science fiction stories that are not epic and spectacular but more gripping in the way a tight thriller or whodunnit is. Since I saw it without knowing anything about it, having no expectations about anything, the whole plot unwound with me guessing all the way about where it might be going. This is sometimes a fun way to watch a movie, as this was apart from some, "Hey, I don't know who to cheer for," moments.

Moon, a 2009 British film produced by Duncan Jones, who was born famous and immediately had a song called "Kooks" written for him.  When he got old enough he changed his name from Zowie to Duncan and, with Moon, proved to be pretty talented himself. His other main claim to fame is, according to wikipedia, an add campaign for the fashion label FCUK. FCUK apparently stands for French Connection UK style. Gosh. Who'd have thunk it.

Ok, here are the links. Go enjoy yourself :)

Draftyhouse
All The Things The Moon Is Not
The Wikipedia entry on Moon, although you might prefer to skip it and go find the actual movie instead.