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A Fall of Moondust Unknown Binding – 1 Jan 2002

4.3 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Gollancz SF Masterworks; paperback / softback edition (1 Jan. 2002)
  • ASIN: B002JJ0W5S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I am particularly pleased to see this available, as I restored it to the BBC archives from a reel-to-reel tape I had recorded of 'Saturday Night Theatre' on BBC Radio 4 in October 1975. It had lain forgotten until the BBC 'Treasure Hunt' was advertised. I then checked all my BBC radio recordings, and this was the only one not in the BBC Sound Archives. I received two CDs of it & a thank-you letter from the Head of BBC Sound Archives, Simon Rook. Martyn Miles Winey Oxon .
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an amusing and diverting read, although I considered it OK as opposed to being a compelling page turner like others in the masterworks series which I've had the pleasure to read.

There is a foreword by the author commenting upon how the book had become dated, principally comment upon how moondust does not behave as he had as an author expected or predicted, what was interesting to me was just how many other predictions were mistaken or off the mark, not least of which communication technology predictions. Its not the only book I've read which forecast that humankind would conquer space travel and living on other planets, even peopling those planets with people who had been born and breed there, but still utilizing telex or telex style devices, no e-mail, no mobile phones, no digital communication or radio or video, let alone things such as facetime.

The story reads a little like the plot of a disaster/rescue movie, the genre of which was very popular at a time with every kind of transport or habitation featured one way or another and finally lampooned ably with movies such as National Lampoons Airplane series. In some respects the environmental threat of being buried on the moon could have been imagined on earth if there were some reason for a tourist carrying vessel to be buried in a marsh, swamp or quick sand. The characters are interesting and well developed by Clarke, though they do strike me as being a cast of persons from another age or epoch, a little more stoical, orderly and differing to authority perhaps.
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By Clare O'Beara TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback
A dust cruiser is submerged in a dust dune on the lunar surface, and as with a modern submarine the passengers must wait for outside help with dwindling resources and specific engineering and physics problems for their rescuers to face.
It's a simple enough idea but the novel setting and details are brilliant. Think of the consistency of the dust, the lower gravity meaning that it hangs in the 'space' above ground when disturbed, the vacuum and cold hampering rescue efforts. Every idea we can think of is shot down for some reason and the challenge inside is to stay calm. The passengers have two books, and elect to read aloud 'The Orange and the Apple', a saucy tale of a meeting between Isaac Newton and Nell Gwynn. That kind of little human detail is enough to bring them alive and make us care about the rescue.

Yes this is dated now, but it's great fun and not too long. It's a good read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was one of my favorite reads when i was a wee thing, i re-read the words right of the pages going over it time and again, and its been maybe 25 years since i even owned a copy. I saw the new edition here and thought i would risk a trip down memory land and i am so glad i did it was just a fine read.

Its utterly boggling to think this was written years before the actual moon landings. The imagination and the technical brilliance displayed here by the author makes this a stand out story from the Golden Age of Sci Fi. The depiction of life on the moon with all its attending features of low gravity dust, extremes of environment and distance from the earth is i think the best feature of this book, also the most startling because of the date of its creation. As always in a Clarke story the people are a little wooden, this author does tend to focus more on plot and environment, but its not a fatal flaw here.

I have one thought i want to share, and that is how life can copy fiction, this is a simple story of engineers and scientists working to overcome disaster, less than ten years later the Apollo 13 incident is so similar its eerie

i am so pleased to have enjoyed rereading this old favorite again, i recommend this as a fine book for the young adult audience, but also for those of us who still get chills and tear up when we hear the words "Huston, Tranquility Base Here. The Eagle has Landed."
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Format: Paperback
I see from the now barely decipherable scrawl on the flyleaf of my copy of this book that I bought it in November 1979, now thirty six years ago, and it was already nearly twenty years since the novel's first publication. By way of context, I was then sixteen and had just entered the lower Sixth Form at Loughborough Grammar School. Pink Floyd were on the verge of releasing 'The Wall', and we were six months into Margaret Thatcher's first term as British Prime Minister.

Is it fair to criticise a novel that is now more than fifty years old for seeming dated? Probably not, though the mere fact that I offer the thought is a testament to how well Arthur C Clarke's other novels have survived the passage of time. I do recall thinking this novel was marvellous when I first read it as a teenager, yet a little of that glow was absent now.

The basic story is, as so often with Clarke, beguilingly simple. At an unspecified date in the 21st century man has colonised the Moon, and some of the wealthiest citizens now spend their holidays there. Several of them have gone for an excursion in the Selene, a specially designed craft which skims across the dust filled 'seas' of the moon offering fantastic view of earth dominating the lunar skyscape. By great misfortune, Selene's passage over the dust bowl coincidence with a 'moonquake' which causes an underground cavern to collapse. The disturbance causes Selene to be pitched down into the chasm where it is immediately covered by tones of fine silicon dust which, as well as smothering the ship and hiding it from vie, also render radio contact impossible.

The rest of the story revolves around the attempts firstly to locate and then rescue the Selene.
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