Robert Heinlein’s Future History Series
Book Two: The Man Who Sold the Moon
(con’t from the last post)
Going back to the atomic energy plant that was deemed unsafe for humankind in one of the 3 stories that make up this book, there was one point where an expert explains his theory about the moon being previously inhabited. He points out that the craters on the moon could not have been created by volcanic means nor by bombardment. He explains:
“I want you to imagine the moon as she might have been sometime in the past. Dark areas we call the seas are actual oceans. It has an atmosphere, perhaps a heavier gas than oxygen and nitrogen. But an active gas, capable of supporting some conceivable form of life. For this is an inhabited planet, inhabited by intelligent beings, beings capable of discovering atomic power and exploiting it.”
“Here, here at Tycho was located their main atomic plant.”
And then he points to some other craters that have rays near the equator and names them and says:
“And here at Copernicus and at Kepler, on islands in the middle of a great ocean, were secondary power stations… perhaps they knew the danger they ran but wanted power so badly that they were willing to gamble the life of their race. Perhaps they were ignorant of the ruinous possibilities of their little machines. Or, perhaps their mathematicians assured them that it could not happen. But we will never know. No one can ever know, for it blew up and killed them. And it killed their planet. It whisked off the gassy envelope and blew it into outer space. It may even have set up a chain reaction in that atmosphere. It blasted great chunks of the planet’s crust and perhaps some of that escaped completely too. But all that did not reach the speed of escape fell back down in time and splashed great rim-shaped craters in the land….only the most massive fragments formed craters through the water.”
And he says that it resulted in a planet dead, dead by suicide.
Fantastical story, but a strong and relevant warning.
And turns out, scientists have recently made a discovery related to the moon’s “craters” and you can read about it here, on the Nature.com website.
One more post to come on this book.
(I am not sure where the mutant mice on the cover come from. Either I don’t remember them in the story, or they are imagined to be some kind of critter that could have lived on the moon, I’m not sure.)