The Man in the Moon by Homer Eon Flint

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The Man in the Moon by Homer Eon Flint
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Historical
Length: Short Story (38 pages)
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Look out! Here comes the moon!

When it comes to space andinvention, Philip Foster is a man in his element. There’s no challenge he won’taccept, no scientific problem he can’t solve. It’s entirely another matter whenit comes to understanding the opposite sex, particularly calculating women likethe lovely and wealthy Catherine Brett. Ah yes, money! The root of all evil—exceptwhen its used to save the human race. Maybe.

It’s fairly easy to determine if a scientific theory is true, but expecting human beings to behave as predictably as the stars and planets is a losing battle.

Human beings have always been fascinated by the moon. We’ve worshipped it, used its phases as a rudimentary calendar, and blamed it for causing things we can’t explain. The best passages in this story explore the nuances of this relationship with such precision that the author could have been describing any time and place in our history. Had certain events taken place in 2013 we would have acted almost exactly the way people behave in a story set a century ago. It is in the similarities all humans share that this book proves itself to be a timeless one.

Philip’s social awkwardness manifests most strongly when he attempts to spend time with Catherine. He has such a poor understanding of women that some of the theories he develops about them become rather sexist and it is here that the plot temporarily falters. At times it was difficult to differentiate between Phillip’s opinion of women and what the author thought of them. If I was not so well acquainted with Mr. Flint’s work I probably would have assumed that he shared his protagonist’s point of view because it was so thoroughly weaved into an otherwise thought-provoking tale.

The humorous twist and unforgettable imagery of the final scene reminded me of why I enjoy Mr. Flint’s work so much. He is as talented at injecting humour into unexpected places as he is at subtly including social and political commentary about early 20th century life through the experiences of his characters.

Readers who love classic science fiction should look no further than The Man in the Moon. It is one of the author’s strongest short stories and an excellent introduction to a man whose career ended far too soon.

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