Hot Moon

Apollo Rising: Book One

From the Sidewise Award-winning author of the acclaimed Clash of Eagles trilogy comes an alternate 1979 where the US and the Soviets have permanent Moon bases, orbiting space stations, and crewed spy satellites supported by frequent rocket launches.

Apollo 32, commanded by career astronaut Vivian Carter, docks at NASA’s Columbia space station in lunar orbit en route to its main mission: exploring the volcanic Marius Hills region of the Moon. Vivian is caught in the crossfire as four Soviet craft appear without warning to assault the orbiting station. In an unplanned and desperate move, Vivian spacewalks through hard vacuum back to her Lunar Module and crew, and escapes right before the station falls into Soviet hands.

Their original mission scrubbed, Vivian and her crew are redirected to land at Hadley Base, a NASA scientific outpost with a crew of eighteen. But soon Hadley, too, will come under Soviet attack, forcing its unarmed astronauts to daring acts of ingenuity and improvisation.

With multiple viewpoints, shifting from American to Soviet perspective, from occupied space station to American Moon base under siege, to a covert and blistering US Air Force military response, Hot Moon tells the gripping story of a war in space that very nearly might have been.

“A nail-biting thriller set in a plausible alternate 1979 [where] the Cold War is heating up in space … coupling suspenseful plot developments with fully realized characters.” – Publishers Weekly

“I loved it. Great ‘hard’ science fiction with convincing space battles.” – Larry Niven, Hugo and Nebula Award winning author of Ringworld

“Alan Smale is one of the brightest stars in the hard-SF firmament, and Hot Moon is his best novel yet. Enjoy!” – Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of The Oppenheimer Alternative

“A gripping tale of space warfare … Hot Moon is a provocative science fiction novel set in an alternative but plausible reality. It follows a war in space with original, imaginative flourishes.” – Foreword Reviews

“The pace is headlong right from the opening scenes, highlighted by the best wounded-pilot emergency Moon landing that you’ll ever read. That scene and many more add up to the perfect balance of danger and courage wrapped around science details that remind us that we’re in the hands of a writer who has the facts right. It’s masterful work that, quite literally, only a writer with Smale’s talent and knowledge could write so effectively.” – Rick Wilber, award-winning author of Alien Morning and Alien Day

“An alternate history of the Cold War wherein the rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union erupts in an armed clash on the Moon.” – Eric Flint, New York Times bestselling author of 1632

“Alan Smale’s Hot Moon brings a style and perspective to that’s wholly unique in its attention to detail and storytelling approach … Shifting from multiple viewpoints, Hot Moon offers a thrilling and engaging story of war, political intrigue, and derring-do that never loses sight of the world created or science and history behind them … an immaculately rendered thriller whose vision of an alternate history for manned spaceflight is as vivid and exciting as the battle over the control of its future, and I recommend it highly.” – Analog