The Moon Is Not For Sale, Wallace Provost, 2012, ISBN 9781479147359
Here is a novel of intrigue set mostly on the Moon.
The operation of a processing plant to mine Helium-3 from the Moon was supposed to be totally automated. That didn’t work, so it was not long before a casino was built for the Lunar residents and tourists. It is run by the Cherokee Nation of North Carolina. Annie Taylor is there to investigate the disappearance of a large amount of money.
A solar storm forces her to take shelter with Clint Baker and his family. They found a large cavern, sealed it up. pumped in air and brought seeds and animal embryos from Earth. They now have their own Texas cattle ranch (groups from other countries take over other caverns). Annie finds herself falling in love with Clint and the ranch. She heads back to Earth upon learning that Maddie, her sister, has been murdered.
Annie knows of a few people in the Cherokee community who are high on the list of suspects, the sort for whom the term “human scum” is too generous. They have fled to the Moon, where Earth law cannot touch them. Before her return to the Moon, Annie is contacted by a Bahraini prince, whom the UN has appointed as Governor of the Moon. He offers Annie the position of Lieutenant Governor. The UN decided a long time ago, that there was to be no land ownership on the Moon. If a person or corporation wants to sign a lease, go right ahead, but there will be no landlords charging exorbitant amounts of money for industrial or living space. It also means that Annie will spend the rest of her life on the Moon.After several continuous months on the Moon, the human body can no longer tolerate Earth’s gravity. Does Annie bring her sister’s murderer to justice? Does she re-kindle her romance with Clint?
On the positive side, this book has some interesting ideas about Man’s expansion into the Solar System (money will be a major factor). On the negative side, this book really needs a trip, or another trip, to a proofreader or copyeditor. Despite that, it’s a good story of science fiction that emphasizes the science, and, yes, it’s worth reading.
Paul Lappen is a freelance book reviewer whose blog, Dead Trees Review, emphasizes small press and self-published books.