To Heinlein and Hickam, who showed me how it’s done.
Just in time for full moon on August 29 is Grands, a story of two gentlemen whose friendship has lasted a lifetime. They’ve always enjoyed (and sometimes endured) their status as minor celebrities because they were both born on the day the lunar colonies became an independent, united entity.
I had so much fun writing this story. At that time, Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellan were widely sharing a series of wonderfully spontaneous pictures of their loving and enduring friendship. I took inspiration from them for my two main characters.
As this was to be the first story to be released, I wanted to pay homage to the lunar writers who have gone before and blazed the trail. There are so many greats, but I chose two of my favorites. The story is dedicated to Robert Heinlein, author of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and Homer Hickam, who is the author of the Helium-3 books, AKA the Crater Trueblood stories. Heinlein has always been one of my major influences as a writer. Sadly, we lost him in 1988, a year before I graduated high school. Hickam is still bringing us stories, including his latest Carrying Albert Home which comes out in October. I had the pleasure of interviewing him back in 2012.
The story takes place in the Museum of Lunar History. Moriel, Kellan, and their wives are wandering the wing that celebrates lunar fiction, including the displays honoring Heinlein and Hickam. And if you’re wondering about that funky-looking spear on the cover, that came from the 1902 film A Trip to the Moon (Le Voyage dans la Lune) my Georges Melies.
You can watch the entire 12 minute movie on Youtube.
Sharing a birthday not only with each other but the founding of the lunar colonies themselves, Moriel and Kellan are resigned to being minor celebrities for the centennial celebrations. But the friendship that has lasted a century is sorely tested when old jealousies arise.
“You think I didn’t see you slipping your hand down, sneaking it lower and lower until you… urugh!” Kellan lunged with the spear and Moriel parried with his cane.
“I’ve never been anything but a perfect gentleman to Hazel!” Moriel said, taking a swing back.
“There’s nothing gentlemanly about where your hands were!” Kellan shouted, knocking Moriel’s cane out of the way. He tried to feint to the side, but ran into the rocket ship instead.
“AHEM,” came a cough from the room’s entrance.
They both knew that cough well. They froze, then turned in unison to see their wives, arms crossed, Betty leaning slightly into the taller Hazel.
They were most certainly not happy.
You can find the story wherever e-books are sold: