You might have heard I wrote a story that took second place in the international talent search for speculative fiction writers known as Writers of the Future. Okay, you’re here, so I think it’s safe to assume you have. You might have also heard the story has been reprinted in the professional science fiction magazine Future Science Fiction Digest, Issue #3. You might have also heard I was hired by the same editor to produce it as a podcast (see my header “Podcasts” to listen to it for free). So what’s the news? Why am I jumping up and down on your bed at 3 a.m.? FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, you say, I’M TRYING TO SLEEP!!!
Well, what you might not have heard is that wonderful, positive reviews on this story have been coming in almost every day since it was published at the start of April, 2019. Several reviewers have also singled it out for praise, saying this story touched them and made them cry…and then told everyone they need to read it!
Well, here’s a few highlights for your review. If you missed it, I hope you’ll read the story. I hope you’ll also consider it when year end award time comes around. It means a great deal to me, and it has touched the lives of many readers from around the world. How do I know? They’ve told me. And I’ll share just a few with you because I am happy this sweet story I wrote about a disabled girl on the Moon and her robot life support dog is not only being read, it’s getting lots of love. That’s something you may not know.
And it’s worth jumping up and down about.
1. Reviewing website: Lisa at The Spine View, July 7, 2019
“The next story I want to talk about is a Sci-Fi story, Super-Duper Moon Girl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler written by Wulf Moon and illustrated by Alice Wang. This story actually made me cry. It is about a young girl living on the moon with her parents. She is the sole surviving student of a school bombing that left her unable to breathe on her own. She has an AI unit is the shape of a dog who breathes for her and is her protector. Yet, some times protectors are too good at what they do. This is also a five-star story. Same as the previous story, I loved the character and felt a real connection.”
2. Reviewing website–with the longest history of critical reviews on the internet–The SF Crowsnest, reviewed by Eamonn Murphy:
“‘Future Science Fiction Digest’ is still going (hooray!) and the third issue is out now. The non-fiction feature is an interesting interview with Dorothy Fontana of ‘Star Trek’ fame but I’ll focus on the fiction. There are two themes herein: the Moon and AI. There are also dogs.
The Moon, AI and dog themes are beautifully combined in ‘Super-Duper Moongirl And The Amazing Moon Dawdler’ by Wulf Moon, a canine story set on our satellite. The Super-Duper Moongirl is Dixie, aged twelve, who wears red space keds and a silk cape to hide her tubes. Dixie is severely disabled, kept alive and mobile by Moon Dawdler, the latest Med Gen robodog and perfectly happy until an encounter with a grumpy astrobotanist leads to serious trouble. The Moon colony was realistically portrayed and the human-dog story would make a grown man cry.”
3. Lou J. Berger, founding editor at Sterling Editing, LLC, as found on the Future Science Fiction Digest comment box:
“What a delight! It was like Heinlein back from the dead, a fiery, disabled Dixie girl whose red hair implies a volatile spirit that will NOT be tamped down! Love the dog, love the parents and their ways, and I really like the world-building. Wulf, you done yourself proud.”
4. An educator, Anne Larsen, with a PhD from Princeton, posting to social media about the podcast release:
“I listened to this immediately! You have the perfect voice for a Z-dog’s chant, and for a fierce chick-chickadee. I am really looking forward to the adventures of these two once the Kitten is old enough to legally insist on having the personality of her choice in her medGen dog. Until then, I can imagine that she and Z will mess with that lesser AI’s mind in definite and goofy ways. You are turning two wonderful beings loose on the solar system, Wulf! This story, along with “A Closed and Common Orbit” by Becky Chambers lead my list of favorite stories where the relationship between a human and an AI drives the tale as both the figure and the ground, the context and the character arc. On the list with your story and Chambers’ are “Hellspark” by Janet Kagen and “The Ship Who Sang” by Anne McCaffrey. I would love to develop a teaching unit for high school students on this set of books.”
5. Kristin J. Dawson, author of The Lilac Plague:
“I read your story last night. A-maz-ing. Loved it SO much!! Maybe I started crying, maybe I didn’t. I’m not telling.
Super impressive. The different/developed characters, the way you ramped up the tension, the way the protag solved the problem, the humor, the heart…. looooove.
Well done, sir, very well done indeed!! ❤”
6. Martin Shoemaker’s review, award-winning author of Today I Am Carey:
“This story blends social media, reality TV, artificial intelligence, and hard science fiction in the story of a plucky young girl and her robot dog. Dixie is a minor celebrity for surviving a school attack and coming back from near death; and she leverages that celebrity to go to the moon! With her parents, of course — and with Moon Dawdler, a medical assistant shaped like a robotic doberman and with the artificial intelligence of a gangsta rapper. In this story Dixie overcomes obstacles far bigger than herself, all with Moon Dawdler by her side — until Moonie himself is endangered, and Dixie has to face her toughest challenge. The resolution surprised me, even though all the elements were there in plain sight. The ending is touching.”
7. Alicia Cay, as posted on Facebook:
“Omgosh I have to tell you this!!! I was sitting in a waiting room the other day and someone had a copy of volume 35 in their hand, so I struck up a conversation with them about the book. And the guy says to me, without any prompting from me, the Super Duper Moon Girl story was my favorite! To which of course I promptly replied, ‘ “OMG my friend wrote that one!!” ‘ ”
8. Coffee shop owner Damon Hunt on Vancouver Island, B.C., that read the story and searched the internet to contact me:
“I looked you up on facebook. I wanted to tell you about my reaction to your story, I got my 13 girl to read it when I was off shopping, begged her to read 2 pages of it.. I got home and she said it was really good and she read the whole thing, WTF?
So now I intrigued nothing but rainbows and dancing fluffy things can usually hold her attention for seconds. So I thought I would read it my son who is 10 and only Doom video games basically.. he was head hands by 3rd page and fully engaged. The last page brought me to tears and I had a hard time getting the last paragraph out without awkward long pauses.. thank for such a wonderful Story 🙂 Ive only read two of the stories and both knocked it of the park.. I’m incredibly surprised at the talent at this contest!”
9. Here’s one all the way from New Zealand by Christopher Henckel:
“Congratulations on winning WOTF. I’ve just finished reading super duper moon girl (a few Min ago) those last few pages were Emotional sucker punched.well done. Also a very good podcast…. BTW, my favourite part about your story. You nailed the voice perfectly in perspective and language.”
10. This one from the comment box on the podcast at Future Science Fiction Digest, posted by Chuck Thompson:
“COMMENTS ON “SUPER DUPER MOONGIRL PODCAST
JULY 3, 2019 AT 1:48 PM
A delightful and engaging story and reading. This tale is fortunate to have an author who can spin a yarn and also has this amazing voice! Can a deep-baritone pull off a twelve year old girl telling her story first person? Okay, one spoiler. Yes, he certainly can. Join Trixie and her family who live on the moon in the not to distant future and learn how she and her rap-loving sidekick overcome a tough situation. One more spoiler. The whimsical title doesn’t mean excessive silliness. It’s a well-grounded story full of character and the author takes the trouble to get the science right (though that’s not the main thing). Great job Wulf Moon. I’ll look forward to reading more of your stuff.”
11. A few Amazon reviews and public forum posts:
“The first story I read in Volume 35 Anthology was, of course, yours. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – the strongest first-person tense I’ve ever read in science fiction, and it’s difficult to imagine a more flawed, sympathetic protagonist, with a total command of emotional elements (you can turn the tears on and off at will) than your story. Double kudos to the narrative of a twelve-year-old tween combined with real-world knowledge of social media gadgetry.”–Barry
“Wow. Your story is amazing, Wulf! The hook, intrigue, emotional throttle. And that ending! No wonder you won.”–A.K.
“Wow. Super duper moongirl might be my favorite wotf story ever. Well done!”–M.G.
“These characters deserve more stories. Please??! Thank you!”–Duncan Nelson Clark
“Super-Duper Moongirl–Hard Sci-Fi: Great point of view character with a plucky and humorous voice. Full of heart and really nails the ending. The art does a good job capturing details that are important to the story and has a unique retro style.” –Darci
12. I shall conclude with a surprise message from one of the winners in Writers of the Future, Volume 35, who I will refrain from naming. May she not hang me for quoting her, but it was so funny I had to take the chance:
“Which reminds me…
Screw you, man! You made me cry in public with your story and I’ll never forgive you! Also, I loved your story. So there’s that. 😛”