“First Men in the Moon”

First Men
The book's original cover had been replaced
by a plain gray cloth binding. I remember

finding it in the school library on the last-
part-of-the-alphabet shelf. I remember

devouring the adventures of two Earthmen exploring
tunnels and caves beneath another world.

I was ten, and that was the first novel
I didn't want to put down. 

Nowadays I own a paperback edition with yellowed
pages found in a second-hand bookstore. I still

imagine a journey through "that enormous
void in which all light and life and being

is but the thin and vanishing splendour
of a falling star," a journey

with The First Men in the Moon
as told by the man who made the Morlocks.

Copyright 2014 by Brian Dean Powers

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5 thoughts on ““First Men in the Moon”

  1. So funny how many of us who have made writing our avocation were so affected by books as children. I struggle to get my son, Eli, to read novels. He has read every page of every Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Weird but True, Guinness Book, et al seven times but he never picks up a novel.

    Although the first novels I remember getting hooked on were The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant which came out when I was 14. From there, I went right into Tolkien and I haven’t stopped reading since (often to the detriment of the stuff I’m *supposed* to be doing). I think I’ll slip this one to Eli and see if I can get him hooked. Thanks for posting.

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    1. “First Men” is certainly not great literature, nor is it HG Wells’ best. But it’s a fine read for kids I think. “War of the Worlds” is surprisingly good, being grounded in the details of Wells’ British countryside.

      Tomorrow, July 20, is the anniversary of the moon landing. So I thought this poem might be appropriate.

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  2. I, too remember reading a lot of HG Wells when I was a kid. Great primers for deeper sci-fi. There was also a good (by my standards as a pre-teen) film version with Lionel Jeffries and Edward Judd that I recall terrifying me!

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