Above: Cover of Introductory Issue
The Historic Role of Science Fiction
Science-Fiction has played a strong role in fostering an interest in Space Exploration, Settlement, and Travel. As far back as the earliest days of NASA and the Apollo program, many NASA personnel and future astronauts have admitted that their individual early interest in space was awakened, and/or nourished by exciting and positive visions of what could be the greater world of our future. Arthur C. Clarke and Robert A. Heinlein are just two of the many classic authors frequently cited.
Of course, not all science-fiction tales paint positive pictures. There has always been some who painted dark, forbidding scenarios. There have always been those with a "say it ain't so" attitude towards the restrictions of Physics. There have always been those more engrossed in fantasy and magic rather than reality. It is only natural that the story reflects the personality of the writer.
When the Artemis Society and the Artemis Project™ were launched at the World Science Fiction Convention in Winnepeg, Manitoba, Canada in 1994, part of the game plan was to launch a new science-fact science-fiction magazine, Artemis, that would contain positive and realistic stories about our future in space, as a way of attracting new members to the Artemis Society. Eight quarterly issues were published before the plug was pulled. Successful entries to the crowded world of new stand paper publications are difficult. If you don't quickly attract enough sales, the Newstands don't keep putting you on their racks.
Warned of such obstacles, a plan by the future President of the Moon Society, Peter Kokh, to introduce a rag to be named "PSSST!" for "Plausible Solar System Settlement Tales" at a new science-fiction convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, "First Contact" that same fall, September 1994, were shelved.
Through the years, a number of short science-fiction pieces have been submitted to Moon Miners' Manifesto, and MMM has published a few. Every year in the April issue, MMM has published a page (sometimes less) of World Space News stories. And ever year, we've hooked some readers who failed to notice the tag line at the end of the page, printed upside down, "Happy April Fools' Day!," i.e. "You've been had." Every year we catch somebody!
Our secret? Simple, "tell them what they want to hear!"
Now it is time to revisit the idea. This time we are looking at electronic publication, in pdf file version only. Hardcopy publication could come later.
In the past, as MMM has been a hardcopy publication, any fiction pieces have been published by the MMM publisher, The Lunar Reclamation Society, the Milwaukee/SE Wisconsin chapter of the National Space Society.
The Moon Society has now begun publishing fiction!
The Editor of the premier edition mockup was Peter Kokh, but a new editor, Charles (Chuck) Lesher, a Moon Society Phoenix member from Chandler, Arizona, and author of the feature piece in the first issue of Moonbeams, has volunteered to take it over. The premier edition released above bears his look. It is only appropriate that Chuck put his own stamp on it, redoing the cover, changing the fonts, etc.
Producing the mockup has proved an effective way to get this effort started and adopted.
Charles has been writing science fiction for several years. The editor's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Moonbeams issues are freely accessible, without the need to use a Moon Society username and password. The function of Moonbeams is both to expand the vision of our own members, and to draw interested visitors into the Society. Anyone downloading an issue of Moonbeams, may freely circulate it to others. Indeed, we encourage you to do so!
As we kick off this publication, we make no promise of how often it will be published. We would like to put it out on a quarterly schedule. A more conservative answer is whenever we have enough good material to make a good publication, and have the time to edit it. We'll see what happens!
Chuck has included a call for submissions, society members encouraged to try their hand in short pieces (250 words) in the form of a "letter home" from a future settler/pioneer.
Readers are welcome to submit short stories, limit 5,000 words.
As Moonbeams produces no revenue stream, authors will not be compensated, and retain full rights for republication elsewhere. In the future, as readership increases, we may revisit this policy.
Email Submissions [email@example.com] should be in electronic form: MS Word, Text files, or pdf format. Handwritten, typed, and printed submissions that need to be keyed in will not be considered.
Writers may submit via CD or DVD to the following address:
Writers Cramp Publishing
1982 N. Iowa Street
Chandler, Arizona 85225
Innitial Guidelines as to what is acceptable:
* We do want submissions to stick to accepted physics: no faster than light warp drives, no worm holes, no time travel, no transporters a la Star Trek, no phase change walking through walls - you get the idea.
* No magic, no fantasy - we want science future fiction!
* No social or political or religious diatribes - if you have axes to grind, do it somewhere else!
* Just give us a good story that illustrates the positive possibilities of the near future.
* Of course, stories that alert us to possible dangers and pitfalls will be considered. There will be catastrophes and setbacks in the future, after all!
* The suggested subtitle "Plausible Solar System Settlement Tales" which has been dropped, indicated that stories anywhere in the Solar System (new boundaries well beyond Neptune!) are in our range. Thus the near future on the Moon is not the only setting to be considered
* Short fact pieces on science and technology issues will be considered
* You do not have to be a Moon Society member to submit.
* Fiction Writers, of course!
* Artists and Illustrators
* Assistant Editors, for example of the Science & Technology Department
* If you have something other than fiction writing talent that you think we might be interested in, do let us know.