By the Light of the Moon
As you know, <<First Name>>, this coming weekend is the 50th anniversary of the first manned Moon landing, a historic event recently retold on the big screen in the fictionalized First Man and the straight-no-chaser documentary Apollo 11.
Many stories have been told about various milestones in the Space Age: Apollo 13, Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff, James Michener's Space. And though many of these retellings take liberties with various historical details--Michener goes so far as to make up an entirely fictitious "Apollo 18" mission just so he can stage a disaster on the Moon--all of them stick to actual science. Even Mary Robinette Kowal's epic alternate-history Lady Astronaut stories are based in fact.
Well, I'm nothing if not contrarian, which is why in 2005 I wrote a fantasy novel about Apollo 8, the first mission to orbit the Moon (during which the astronauts took the famous "Earthrise" photograph shown above). And I set it in an alternate world where 10% of the human population transforms into animals if they look directly at the full Moon.
By the Light of the Moon was the first project I completed during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), producing just over 52,000 words in 30 days. I've won NaNo many times since then--and gotten even faster at typing!--but since that was a historic occasion for me personally, I'm now sharing the story in a serialized format over on Curious Fictions:
Fair warning: it's very much a first draft, but the first three chapters are free to read, and if you like them, the whole thing's just $6. Or you can subscribe to my CF page and get more stories and posts from me every month!