Moonbeams A13


November 10, 2008 – Premier Issue
January 25, 2009 – 2nd issue
May 11, 2009 – 3rd issue
September 13, 2009 – 4th issue
April 17, 2010 – special Apollo 13 issue
February 28, 2011 – 7th issue

The Role of Space-Future Fiction in Advancing The Moon Society Goals

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 Winnipeg, 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 New stands 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!

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. Hard copy publication could come later.

In the past, as MMM has been a hard copy 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.

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!
Publication Frequency

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 [] 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

Initial 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.

Advertising in Moonbeams?

  • The idea of advertising has come up. The debut issue has none.  But as circulation grows, we will revisit this question. 
  • "Exchange Links?" - If your link is clearly space topic related, and would be seen by persons likely to be interested, we may consider that. But even with space related links, we reserve the right to say no! For example, if you are selling land on the Moon, Mars, or Vesta, land to which you do not have title, "No!"
  • These guidelines are subject to review and will be adjusted as we go along.

Additional Sci-Fi efforts by Moon Society Members

  • Chip Proser, Moon Society Advisor and Producer of the Moon Colony Video series, has produced a pilot: Tranquility Dome. It is a bit on the dark side (as the story opens there has just been a nuclear strike exchange on Earth). We'll have to wait and see how the completed production turns out. We don't much like the repeated use of domed cities, a sci-fi artist cliché, as domes pressurized inside against vacuum outside are an intrinsically unstable structures.

New - O1.16.2010
- For our Apollo 13 Essay Contest (Theme: "Space Exploration is worth the Risk," Chuck Lesher, editior of  Moonbeams, will produce a special edition to highlight the top ten finalists. It would be a spectacular edition filled with Apollo 13 pictures and author bios/photos, plus photos form Apollo 13.

Apollo 13 -  40th Anniversary Essay Contest

"Manned Space Exploration is Worth the Risk"

Updated January 16, 2010 - additional exposure for winning entries
Updated February 25, 2010 - change in submission address
Updated February 28, 2010 = announcing our panel of judges

Apollo 13 was the one Moon Landing Mission that, on the surface, failed.

The crew launched April 11, 1970. Two days later, en route to the Moon, there was an explosion in the unmanned Service Module. "Houston, we have a problem." The Moon Landing was now out of the question.

, at first it looked as if there was no way to get the crew back home safely, and that this was a tragedy in the making, something that they could only watch happen, helpless to do anything about it.

But through determination, resourcefulness, ingenuity, and a stubborn refusal of NASA personnel to accept this fate, in a 5 day drama played on television screens world wide, we found a way to give the crew "a slim chance." They splashed down safely on April 17, 1970.

Around the world, there was not a dry eye! If ever there was a defining tribute to the human "never say die" spirit, this was it.

Apollo 13's 40th Anniversary is April 11-17th, 2010.

But while this mission did not involve a successful landing, it was
an iconic example of courage and ingenuity in the face of almost certain disaster and tragedy.

We cannot speak for nationals of other countries, but it is a sad truth that many Americans have lost the frontier spirit and have become risk-averse. This was evident in public reaction to the Challenger and Columbia mishaps. The only disaster in either event was this minority segment of public opinion. None of us would be here if our ancestors had not willingly taken risks.

Our message is: "Manned Space Exploration is Worth the Risk" and the Moon Society is running an Essay Contest on this theme.

The contest is open to members, former members, visitors, and in short to anyone who hears about it.

Of course, this contest is open to anyone, anywhere in the world.

Our panel of three judges:

Marianne Dyson - well-known author of science books, children's books on space and more
Ian Randal Strock - former editor of Artemis Magazine
Charles Lesher - editor of the Moon Society's new Moonbeams science-fiction quarterly

Prizes are modest:  Renewals or new Moon Society memberships.

1st Prize: 3 year renewal, or 3 year new Moon Society membership - a $105 value
2nd Prize: 1 year renewal or 1 year new Moon Society  membership - a $35 value

A 3rd Prize is being offered by the Lunar Reclamation Society, publishers of Moon Miners'  Manifesto:

A hardcopy subscription to Moon Miners' Manifesto* - a $12 value

*Conditions. This 3rd prize is available to only to those who are  not members of the Moon Society. If the 3rd contest winner, as picked by our panel of judges is a member, he or she must assign this subscription as a gift  to a non-member or to a Library of his/her choosing.

All three prize winning entries will be published in Moon Miners' Manifesto
and also on the Moon Society website.

New - O1.16.2010 - Chuck Lesher, editior of our Science-Fiction (pdf file) magazine, Moonbeams, will produce a special edition of Moonbeams to highlight the top ten finalists or something like that. It would be a spectacular edition filled with Apollo 13 pictures and author bios/photos, plus photos form Apollo 13.

Contest requirements and conditions:

  • Word limit: 1,000 words
  • Submission form: electronic only ( .doc word document, .rtf plain text document, .html web page document, .pdf file -- note: if your mail program allows, you may also copy the unformatted text of your entry into the body of the email message. ) Double-spacing is not necessary.
  • Submission address:
    If you have already sent a submission to, please resend it to the email address above.
    Our secretary has lost Internet access.
  • Submission deadline: April 1, 2010
  • Include a "code name": please pick a code name and put that name with no other contact information in your entry. Put your name and full contact information in the accompanying email. The Secretary will compile a list matching code names to real names, which will not be distributed to anyone. This ensures judge neutrality in the event that a judge might recognize the name of an entrant and be influenced favorably or unfavorably by that. Given the code names on entries picked by the judges, the Secretary will notify the winners, the Moon Society webmanster and MMM editor by email.

Awards would be announced on April 17, 2010, the 40th anniversary of the safe touchdown of the A13 crew. Notice will be on our website, as well as emailed to the individual entrants.

Please spread the word to anyone whom you think might be interested.

Address any questions about the Contest or its details to