The Art of Being Alone- a novella (5th installment)

SelenitesInspired by the writing of Richard Brautigan and Kurt Vonnegut, The Art of Being Alone is a novella about a lost soul living on the Moon and what he found there. You can read the earlier installments here. Our narrator is a member of the 5%s, wealthy individuals that own a majority of all of the resources and economy on the Earth. The rest of the planet is in turmoil, with the environment and the poor (everyone else) struggling to live or fight back. It is under these conditions that our broken narrator moves as far away as a human possibly can…

18- I Am THE Selenite

Jules Verne and his two books about traveling to the Moon (From the Earth to the Moon and Around the Moon) always seem to get misremembered. This is mainly because people confuse it with the black-and-white silent film that was loosely based on the series, Le Voyage dans la Lune by Georges Melies.

In the film, our heroes land on the Moon and meet some Selenites, which is the name for moon dwellers in most scifi (the name comes from the Goddess Selene). They have an escape and bring one of the poor creatures back to Earth to show to all of us humans, traumatizing that poor creature forever for science. Hurrah!

In the actual book, this is not really how it works out. Our heroes never even land on the Moon!

In typical American fashion, they decide to solve the trip to the Moon problem with a giant gun. For what in an American’s mind is better for solving a problem than a gun? It’s certainly solved the problem of my grandmother. (More on that country and guns later.)

So the heroes of the story, who by the way are obsessed with the military because of the Civil War, shoot themselves out of this giant gun at the moon. Bang! And in the sequel of the book, it is described how they make their way back, I believe it is by using the gravitational pull of the Moon to pretty much fling themselves to the Earth. So at no point does a Selenite make an appearance.

There is a dog in it though. It, of course, dies, starting our grand tradition of killing cute animals for the sake of space travel. Continue reading