Walking on the Sea of Clouds
by Gray Rinehart (Wordfire Press)
If you’ve ever wanted to be a colonist on the moon, this is as close as you will ever get without going there yourself.
Fans of THE MARTIAN will appreciate the technical struggles of Frank and Stormie, Van and Barbara, and the other couples sent up to a moon colony started as a private venture. What’s especially interesting is not just the bang-on accuracy of the engineering challenges involved, it’s the behind-the-scenes wrangling of the company sending them, the independent contractors, and the very human situations these forces create for the colonists.
It’s all filtered through two couples, mainly. Frank and Stormie are going to the moon as the culmination of a lifelong dream, and we follow the final selection process and its unexpected pitfalls and dangers and mockups through their eyes. Will one stupid mistake make one or both of them wash out? Van is already on the moon, and Barbara is slated to join him. Is it his dream she’s hitched her wagon to, or is it her own?
What’s telling is I’d actually love to read more about the colony and its struggles, to see if they make it. The end of the book has determination written in every line, but the moon settlement’s fate is far from clear, and much of the problem with that lies back on earth. I hope there are sequels in the offing!
– Wendy S. Delmater