The Moon Is Not For Sale by Wallace Provost – Book Review

Land, Society and How Issues May Be

Annabelle Taylor (Annie) and Clint Baker are thrown collectively in the midst of an asteroid bathe on the Moon. Lunar Metropolis, for the second, is in chaos, providing solely very cramped, bored and squalid circumstances till the subsequent shuttle arrives in two weeks time. Annie is just a brief employee on the Moon having gone there to select up simple credit for her legislation diploma, however Clint is a “Luney”, that’s, he was born on the moon. Clint decides it’s best to take Annie with him to his household house, Moondogy Ranch, which is a number of days drive away by very tough highway. The ranch is positioned in an enormous cavern, which is sealed off from the skin to guard it towards the photo voltaic radiation and the extremes of temperature. Annie feels stirrings of emotion for Clint, however her plans for her life don’t embrace being a farmer’s spouse, a lot much less one who lives on the Moon. Annie is a Cherokee Indian and really a lot intends to turn out to be a lawyer so she will advance the standing of her individuals. What path will Annie’s life take, and certainly what path will occasions within the pioneer Looney civilization take?

The Moon Is Not For Sale is Wallace Provost’s first novel and is a really amiable e book, filled with journey. It’s written within the arduous science fashion, which is to say it’s primarily based on science truth, present science concept and logical projections from at the moment’s broadly held science ideas. Provost holds a Masters Diploma within the philosophy of science, and a second Masters in sociology. Not surprisingly the novel additionally accommodates speculations concerning the nature of society and the chances of future societies. At its coronary heart this can be a e book for individuals who wish to think about and dream, and for individuals who like individuals.

Provost’s novel could be very a lot about frontier life on the Moon and suitably the fashion has a touch of the back-woods, fire-side story. The voice could be very chatty and we really feel we’re maybe listening to our uncle or grandfather inform us about individuals he is aware of. Every new character, for instance, is launched by a brief yarn which reveals one thing of their historical past and character. This helps to make the e book heat and pleasant and we instantly really feel at house. Alongside the best way there are a number of shock endings which spur us to learn on. There are occasional moments of actual irony, such because the “jungle drum music” (p. 153) in Chapter 18, the place patrons of the “Haven of Evil” lasciviously put together to look at a really gratuitous spectacle. This very a lot contrasts with the earlier chapter by which Kwame Nkuomo, a Gahanna engineer, beats his jungle drum whereas remorsefully considering the horrible penalties of a failed challenge which he helped to provoke. The philosophical ethics of the primary chapter bitingly contrasts with the degradation of the subsequent.

This e book has an uncommon plot construction. The primary half of the novel follows Annie as she rises on the planet and has to cope with varied issues, resembling a attainable romance with Clint and even a plot to kill her. Within the second half of the e book the plot diverges into varied tales, a lot of that are centred on the event of the moon colony. We learn of, for instance, the institution of various new settlements. On this second half there may be nonetheless a plot line associated to Annie, nevertheless, she doesn’t take centre stage. One criticism of Provost’s e book is that this second half is unnecessarily repetitive. There’s, for instance, a second try to kill Annie. Within the first half Black Horse Jones, Cherokee Indian ‘large man’ and Annie’s lengthy standing enemy, is the person who needs Annie useless. Within the second half Injun Joe Bristow, additionally a Cherokee Indian ‘large man’, is the assassination schemer. As soon as once more within the first half we learn the story of the institution of town of Inyanga by dispossessed Zulus. Within the second half of the e book we learn of the institution of Helium Metropolis by Indians from the slums of Mumbai, after which once more the story of the institution of the village of Xi Hue by oppressed immigrants from Tibet. That is principally the identical plot concept repeated. Lastly within the second half we learn the three tales of Mike Riggs, Monty Wilson and Artwork Anderson, all of who’re non permanent immigrants to the moon and all of who meet and marry Indian ‘Luneys’ in Helium Metropolis. These tales are available in so shut proximity that we can not assist noticing the repetition. A associated drawback to that is that, with out Annie taking centre stage, there may be much less to tie the assorted plot developments collectively. In consequence this second half of the e book is simply too diffuse. This isn’t to say that the final half is completely boring: it’s attention-grabbing however over prolonged. Seen as a complete the novel actually works.

The characterization is among the novels strongest factors. Provost has a approach of capturing individuals in a number of phrases and making us really feel that we perceive them. Annie is outspoken and impressive in a degree headed, likable approach and we’re instantly on her facet. Provost has additionally given her just a little thriller. We surprise why she feels the primary journey to Moondogy Ranch is such a “lure.” (Ch. four) The introductory character research, which have already been talked about, are actually one of many highlights of the e book. That is, nevertheless, very a lot a narrative about one particular person. Provost has given us a stage filled with characters, however he does probably not develop any of them besides Annie. Even Clint will not be depicted in any depth, or as rising in any approach. The novel would have benefited from having only one extra character explored intimately. I don’t want, although, to overstate this level. The Moon Is Not For Sale is kind of readable and pleasurable.

Provosts novel is especially motion and journey, however there may be just a bit symbolism. The asteroid bathe in Chapter 1, for instance, is a extremely ironic image commenting on capitalist society. Lunar Metropolis’s enormous roulette wheel, which is a monument to the grad imaginative and prescient of the Moon’s on line casino, is smashed to items. What was meant to final “without end” (Ch.7, p. 49) is in ruins. Provost is under no circumstances liberal, heavy handed or apparent with this symbolism, so do not anticipate a gratuitously ‘poetic’ e book, however just a bit imagery is there should you search for it.

The Moon Is Not For Sale is about frontier life and the theme of individualism, ingenuity and free considering could be very outstanding. This pioneer spirit existed within the U. S. when it was first being explored and colonized, and likewise in Australia at the same level in its historical past. When nothing exists to depend on people need to fall again on their very own sources and concepts. In consequence new varieties of society can emerge. Alongside related strains the query of ‘What’s success?’ is examined in some element. Our society says that cash, property and social standing imply success, however is that actually so? Aren’t our personal private objectives essential in defining us as successful, and are these essentially the targets prompt by society? Provost’s characterization of Annie very a lot delves into this theme of success. Friendship and pairing into additionally options strongly within the novel. What makes us completely satisfied and what helps us via life? Certain bonding is at the least a part of the reply. Bonding is a really primary human want and Provost depicts it each light-heartedly and likewise with just a little philosophic depth.

As we’ve famous within the paragraph above, the e book has rather a lot to do with society. On the Moon non-public possession of land is banned. The Capitalist/Marxist debate due to this fact options strongly within the novel, although it must be famous that Provost will not be in any approach advocating totalitarian communism, which Marx himself would have been fairly horrified by. (Gill Arms. Understanding Marx: Hodder Schooling, 2011, p. 79-83) As Arms writes: “The Soviet Union was ostensibly a Marxist-Leninist regime beneath… [Stalin’s]… rule however this was nothing just like the society envisaged by Marx or Lenin.” (p. 83) Certainly in Provost’s novel in Ch. 46 the Tibetans, who’ve lived beneath communist Chinese language rule, discover it very arduous to consider that on the Moon enterprise is run to very a lot profit atypical staff. (p.264-265) Provost notes, as Marx did, that Capitalism encourages an aggrandizing self-ambition virtually like a fetish. (Hand, p. 46-49) In Chapter 7 Provost depicts Fuller, the unique proprietor of Lunar Metropolis on line casino, as precisely such a fetish pushed man, and certainly there are fairly a number of examples of comparable males within the e book. The significance of energy in Capitalism, as famous by Marx (Hand, Ch. three & p. 59), can be famous by Provost. In Chapter 9, 10 and 11` we learn of Annie being cautious of and avoiding ‘males in black fits.’ Marx, in fact, noticed that entire lessons of persons are enslaved by the few (Hand, p. 51-53), and certainly that entire nations could be oppressed by the Capitalist elite (Hand, p.44-46). As we’ve seen, the historical past of oppressed peoples such because the Zulu’s and the Indian poor is highlighted. Most notably Provost explores in depth the Marxist level of the possession of land and the ensuing enslavement of individuals. (Provost. Ch.21, p. 165-166 for instance, & for Marxism Rius. Introducing Marx: Icon Books, 1999, p. 117-118) It must be famous, nevertheless, that Provost will not be saying that the proto-Marxist society of the Moon is a seamless paradise. Unemployment is famous. (Ch. 37, p. 242) It’s also famous that capitalist competitors and land possession are sturdy drivers of development. (Ch. 42, p. 251-252)

From the attitude of post-colonialism the Moon Is Not For Sale is filled with profitable, educated and impartial (self-empowered) characters from the ‘third world.’ From Africa alone we’ve Physician Harim Mbeke from the College of Cape City, his spouse the astronomer Indira Mbeke, his daughter Niri Mbeke, who has a doctorate in lunar geology and one other in Earth geology, Physician Magogo Betheluzi and the engineer Kwame Nkuomo. Provost makes a particular level of noting the oppressed state of the Zulus and their want for freedom (Ch. 40, p. 247). In a single attention-grabbing passage (Ch. 23, p. 178) Provost notes that initially nomad individuals had no want for the possession of land. ‘Indigenous’ individuals, for him, have a knowledge from which we as ‘superior’ society might be able to profit. Because the plot progresses there are additionally various profitable East/West relationships as ‘atypical’ staff meet and blend on the Moon. (Ch. 33, 36, 38) There isn’t a bigoted worry of ‘combined marriages’ right here. As with Marxism although, right here too the image will not be patronisingly splendid. The Ecuadorian homeowners of the unprofitable Titanium mine on the Moon resolve to easily shut down the operation, abandoning the employees to die of hunger or thirst in isolation. Clearly these within the third world will not be all mannequin characters.

Indigenous North American Indians play a particular position within the novel, however right here as soon as once more Provost takes a balanced strategy. There are two Cherokee legal professionals, Annie and her uncle Bradley Hays, however there are additionally the 2 beforehand talked about Cherokee villains, Jones and Joe. Provost does, nevertheless, take a primarily constructive strategy. From this constructive perspective Cherokees are depicted as having expertise of worth. One Cherokee character, an outdated girl residing a conventional life within the woods, is depicted as having very eager, virtually intuitive remark expertise, far more than a white Westerner would. (p.72-73) The bigotry which North American Indians face can be depicted. In a single very telling scene Mina and Robert Lowrey talk about with ethical indignation the “Haven of Evil” which the brand new Cherokee homeowners of the Lunar Metropolis on line casino have arrange, utterly ignoring the “snuggle tunnel” which the earlier white homeowners supplied for his or her prospects.

The homosexual characters Evan Williams and Ralph Burns make temporary constructive appearances (Ch. eight, p 58-62), as do the lesbian characters Glenda Trilling and Marsha Mayberry. (Ch. 50)

The disabled character George Morgan works as a profitable brief order cook dinner in a bar and grill he owns along with his associate. (Ch. 39, p. 242-245)

Provost has made a particular effort to painting ladies positively and the plot has many clever working ladies. Antonia Vilafiana, for instance, is Mayor of Lunar Metropolis on the age of simply 22 years. In Chapter 51 (p.289) feminine contestants within the first “Pan Lunar Video games” take a starring roll defeating male contestants.

Provost’s novel is primarily an journey story; nevertheless, there may be psychological accuracy within the story. For instance Provost has various characters fall in love throughout the first few days of their keep on the Moon. (Ch. 33 & 36) Robert Epstein, in his article How Science Can Assist You Fall In Love (Scientific American Thoughts, Jan/Feb 2010, p. 29 & 33) factors out that folks turn out to be extra hooked up to one another in moments of disaster/vulnerability/change.

Wallace Provost’s The Moon Is Not For Sale is a novel that’s each thrilling and attention-grabbing. The story bounds alongside, full of pleasure, but in addition has moments that make us assume deeper concerning the society by which we dwell. Provost exhibits a fairly balanced strategy to lots of the points he raises, such because the Marxist/Capitalist debate, the depiction of ‘third world’ individuals and the portrayal of North American Indians. Ladies, LGBTI and the disabled are represented positively. The novel will not be with out its shortcomings. The second half is a bit too diffuse, needing some central character or foremost plot to drag it collectively. That a part of the e book, nevertheless, is actually not a whole failure: it’s attention-grabbing and entertaining. All in all I’m completely satisfied to offer this e book a 4 out of 5 star ranking.

Source by Raymond N Mathiesen