The Last Man on the Moon

Though editing Science Fiction Age had its undeniable rewards—it was the greatest toy anyone could ever ask for—it wreaked havoc on my own writing. Reading 10,000 submissions per year overtaxed my short-story muscles to such an extent that I was left with little energy for any of my own.

One result of this was that for several years I had been passing up opportunities to write stories for anthologies. After seeing several anthologies come out which could have contained stories of mine, I decided that the next time I learned about an opening, I would somehow find the time to take advantage of it, even though at the time, I was editing four bimonthly magazines.

I had learned through Paul Di Filppo that Pete Crowther was pulling together an anthology intended to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the first manned moon landing, and I decided to crash the party. Since the inspiration for the book was the first man on the moon, I pitched a story idea about the doings of a purported final visitor to the moon. Once of the things I did to pull off the story was to track down the complete transcipts of the Apollo 11 mission, which as it turns out, had been annotated by the astronauts themselves.

After the story was released in Moon Shots in July 1999, a few readers came up to me at conventions, stunned. “I didn’t know you also wrote,” was the message. Sigh. I had been away from the keyboard too long.

“The Last Man on the Moon” was reprinted in my SF collection What We Still Talk About.