I Remember The Fear…

Alternate History free fiction On Writing Science Fiction

…to this day.

I was, in the parlance of children, eight-and-a-half. Apollo 8 had left Earth’s orbit and was the first crewed spaceflight to fly to the Moon. They orbited 10 times. What I remember the most, though, was their travel to “the backside” of the Moon. Their signal would cut out. The first time it happened, no one knew if they would make it back into signal range. Or at least, no one—according to my memory of 56 years ago.

My parents always had the TV on. Always. If they were awake (and there was something on the air), the TV was on. Which meant I watched the Apollo 8 mission start to finish. It happened at Christmastime, and had this lovely moment (as recalled on NASA.gov):

On Christmas morning, mission control waited anxiously for word that Apollo 8’s engine burn to leave lunar orbit had worked. They soon got confirmation when Lovell radioed, “Roger, please be informed there is a Santa Claus.”

Yep. There was. Apollo 8 has appeared in my fiction a number of times, but never like it had in this story. I think the germ for Recovering Apollo 8 was born in that fear I experienced throughout the mission, that these men would be lost. They weren’t. In our world, all went well.

But in the world of Recovering Apollo 8, the worst happened. And provided the catalyst for other kinds of space travel.

This novella, highly acclaimed and award-winning, is one of the six novellas in the current Kickstarter, which ends tomorrow night. You can get it, five more novellas, and at least five more novelettes (maybe another, if we hit another stretch goal). Check it out here. To find out more about the writing of the other novellas, go here, here, here, and here. I’ll post one more tomorrow.


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