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The Moon Is Hell!

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Country  United States
Publication date  1950
Pages  256 pp
Author  John W. Campbell
Cover artist  Hannes Bok
3.4/5 Goodreads

Language  English
Media type  Print (Hardback)
Originally published  1950
Publisher  Fantasy Press
OCLC  1453762
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Genres  Short story, Science Fiction, Speculative fiction
Similar  Works by John W Campbell, Science Fiction books

The Moon Is Hell! is a collection of science fiction stories by author John W. Campbell, Jr.. It was published in 1950 by Fantasy Press in an edition of 4,206 copies. The title story deals with a team of scientists stranded on the Moon when their spacecraft crashes, and how they use their combined skills and knowledge to survive until rescue, including building shelter from meteor showers, and creating their own oxygen from Lunar rock. The second story, "The Elder Gods" Campbell rewrote, on a short deadline, from a story by Arthur J. Burks purchased for Unknown but later deemed unsatisfactory. It originally appeared in that magazine under the pseudonym Don A. Stuart.

Reviewer Groff Conklin noted that while "The Elder Gods" was "actually not among the best of Campbell's work," the title story, original to the collection, was "a brilliantly circumstantial narrative [and] "first-rate stuff." Boucher and McComas praised the title piece as "an extraordinary short novel . . . with Defoe's own dry convincing factuality.". P. Schuyler Miller received the volume favorably, describing the title piece as "a realistic story of the first men on another world, worked out with an absolute minimum of hokum." Everett F. Bleiler found "The Elder Gods" to be "contrived, derivative, and dull." Lester del Rey, however, found "The Elder Gods" to be "a fine sword-and-sorcery novel, having some of the magic of A. Merritt but a lot more logic in its development." New York Times reviewer Basil Davenport praised both stories, the title piece for its "close attention to scientific accuracy," the second as "pure swashbuckling romance."

The title of the eponymous story is generally reported without the exclamation point, although the punctuation is used for the title of most editions of the collection itself.


  • "The Moon Is Hell"
  • "The Elder Gods"
  • References

    The Moon Is Hell! Wikipedia

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