Thursday, September 12, 2013

Henry Kuttner's "Hollywood on the Moon" (novelette, free): Adventure on an asteroid

Much of it is old fashioned adventure on an alien world with many local dangers - a man & a girl traveling through its many perils. The alien world in question is Ganymede, not the moon of Jupiter but an asteroid.

Other parts are mostly set on moon. Far side of moon is smaller than near side, has a huge crater where a city has been built - "Hollywood on the Moon". And yes, it's a tinsel town. A film director will go for shooting to asteroid & have adventures there.


There are two curious things here that were popularized by other works later. But this is probably the earliest mention I've seen of these technologies.
  1. James Blish's "Cities in Flight" has New York city uprooted from ground along with its atmosphere & turned into a spaceship & has galactic adventures. In this Kuttner story, the city on moon has a local atmosphere held there by magical hand-wave while rest of the moon has no atmosphere; this is not really a domed city but one like in "Cities in Flight", only grounded.
  2. Inhabitants of lunar city prefer artificial radio-controlled animals for pets to the real thing. Sounds a bit like PKD's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep"?

Fact sheet.

First published: Thrilling Wonder Stories, April 1938.
Read online at UNZ: part 1, part 2, part 3.
Note: These parts links are not natural divisions of the story, but posting mistake. Last page of each part is the same as first page of next part; so begin it at second page for part 2 & 3.
Rating: B.
Related: Stories of Henry Kuttner.