Previous book Main Index Next book
Cover of 'Moon Base One'
Cover of 'Outpost on the Moon'

Moon Base One

(US - Outpost On The Moon)


Publishing details:

UK: Faber, 1960, in print until about 1975, h/b.
US: Criterion Books, 1962

Synopsis:

The legacy of the radiation from the alien domes on the moon is now become manifest. Thousands of young people are terminally ill with a rare form of leukemia, and it is decided to take one of these as a passenger on the next trip to the moon to see if exposure to the fall-out there may have a curative effect.

Rivalry between East and West having now been put aside, a combined space agency has been formed, the United Nations EXploration Agency, UNEXA for short. Naturally an Englishman is to be place in command of this vital mission - step forward Chris Godfrey. His old friends Morrey and Serge accompany him, whilst the 'patient' will be Tony Hale, a cheeky young schoolkid from Aston, near Birmingham (UK).

The trip to the moon and setting up of a temporary base goes well, although the effects of his illness combined with radiation make Tony dangerously rebellious. And when a supply rocket crashes, destroying some of the team's vital navigational equipment, and as the mysterious grey lunar mist reappears, it seems as though the quartet may never make it back to Earth!

Commentary:

By introducing Tony Hale, the fourth member of the team who would feature in all the subsequent novels, Walters was clearly looking for a character to appeal to his younger readers. While Chris could appear a little stuck-up and middle-class at times, cheeky Tony, with his incomprehensible Brummie accent and working-class attitudes made a welcome contrast.

Once again there are a few changes between US and UK editions. For example, in the UK edition Sir Leo Frayling suggests that Tony be clubbed unconscious should his illness make him dangerous during the mission - this line is omitted from the US version.

Reviews:

'Exciting science-fiction yarn . . . Good suspense . . . can't blame Walters for putting the spotlight most often on Chris . . .' - Philadelphia Sunday Bulletin

EXCITING BOOK
FOR BOYS
* "MOON BASE ONE," by Hugh Walters (Lon-
don: Faber and Faber)
REALLY there ought, on a
basis of probability estab
lished by children's fiction,
to be a 14-year-old at the
centre of every real-life
drama:
At the top of Everest
(" 'We'd never have made it
without you, Jimmy,' said
Edmund Hillary, smiling in
a way that made the young-
ster gulp"); under the table
at the Commonwealth Prime
Ministers' Conference
(" 'You've saved the day,
Terry,' said Mr Nehru, and
the boy turned red").
There's room for a thesis
on the devices by which
writers insinuate their
young heroes into situations
normally hogged by grown-
ups.
This is the latest book in
a series in which the orig-
inal device was a simple
one: Chris Godfrey was
shot into space for the ade-
quate reason that he was
small enough to go into a
rocket.
*
Now, a grown-up himself,
he has again to make that
chancy ascent - this time
to prepare the way for a
permanent base on the moon.
There is still, however, a
14-year-old in the crew of
the Pegasus: Terry, who gets
in because he's suffering
from a radiation sickness
that might be cured by a
trip to the moon.
Mr. Walters' books are
quite inimitable; solemn,
wooden in style, with char-
acters who are hardly more
than names - and yet really
exciting, because they com-
bine an artful mounting ten-
sion with a mass of fascin-
ating technical detail.
It's pleasant, into the bar-
gain, to have a book of this
sort, in which East and
West are seen working to-
gether, instead of having to
be foiled when they nastily
interfere with one another's
fuel tanks. - E.B.

The Auckland Star, 8th April, 1961
Wolverhampton Chronicle
Wolverhampton Chronicle
10th March 1961
Glasgow Herald
Glasgow Herald
23rd March 1961
Oxford Mail
Oxford Mail
23rd March 1961
Oxford Mail
Oxford Mail
30th March 1961
The Guardian
The Guardian
24th March 1961
The Irish Times
The Irish Times
27th March 1961
Books & Bookmen
Books & Bookmen
April 1961
Foresters' Miscellany
Foresters' Miscellany
April 1961
Express & Star
Express & Star
1st April 1961
Nottingham Evening Post
Nottingham Evening Post
14th April 1961
The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph
7th July 1961
The Sydney Morning Herald
The Sydney Morning Herald
5th December 1961
The New Statesman
The New Statesman
5th May 1961
Analog Sci Fact & Fiction
Analog Science Fact & Fiction
June 1961
Times Educational Supplement
Times Educational Supplement
16th June 1961
The Daily Worker
The Daily Worker
3rd August 1961
British Weekly
British Weekly
4th January 1962