Saturday, 30 October 2010

Moon Prospector by William B.Ellern 1966

Ever since coming across the MOON PROSPECTOR art by Kelly Freas on the cover of Analog April 1966 [below] I've been fascinated by the painting and the likely content of the story. As it's a short story I had hoped I would find it printed in full on the net so I've kept on looking for ages but to no avail.  There's nothing for it., as soon as I replenish my hobby funds I'll acquire the real thing from somewhere and read the story for the first time.

In the meantime I've located this excellent summary on an online forum by one "murphydyne":

"Next up is "Moon Prospector" by William B. Ellern in the April 1966 "Analog: science fiction-science fact", weighing in at 22 pages. What is notable about this particular story is that it is set in E.E. 'Doc' Smith's classic "Skylark of Space" series of the distant future. Doc Smith gave permission for this story to be set in that Universe, and permission for its publication just four days before his death. It is a sort of early prequel, set on our Moon.

Pete Miller is an old-time prospector on the Moon. He and his moon creeper wander around looking for useful stuff and transporting it back to base for processing. This time around there's a meteoroid strike about a hundred miles from Copernicus Base which kicks up a lot of debris. Pete manages to get his creeper under some minimal cover, but can still hear the impact of molten material kicked up by secondary impacts splattering on his hull. After things subside, Copernicus Base is largely blocked in, and his friend Harv is missing out at crater Mayer A, and Pete needs to go dig him out, pronto. When he gets there, Pete puts a few pieces together and figures out that there's a LOT more going down than anyone is telling him, and when the first 'cleaner' tries to take him out, his suspicions are confirmed - Harv has stumbled on a couple hundred year old nuclear base, and there are evil forces conspiring to control the facilities to their own dark power-hungry ends. Can Pete and Harv save the day? "

Moon creeper! I love it! Anyone else read the story? And where is the original art by Kelly Freas? In a gallery?


  1. I don't know the story and have not a clue about the artwork ... but I have read the Skylark series more'n once. Not sure if I'd like them now, but loved them years ago.

    Tried reading the Lensmen series after but never could get on with them. About the only thing I took from those was the wonderful word "Dexitrobopping", a word E.E. "Doc" Smith invented to make a point about language translation.

  2. The Moon Prospector was also collected in the fix-up novel New Lensman.
    William Ellern bibliography

  3. I've never read any Skylark Lensman or New Lensman. Are they full of space-age vehicles? I've tried to find a Perry Rhodan comic with Moon Prospector in it and hoping it appeared on the cover but no joy. I think it maybe was a book rather than a comic. Wonder if Moon Prospector was published in German, Dutch and other languages in Perry Rhodan?


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