Life on the Moon by Tony Daniel

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This is a guest post by Jillian Terry.

First published in Asimov’s, this short story received the magazine’s Readers Choice award for 1996. The futuristic story was also nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Story in the same year. The story is told from the perspective of a writer whose wife travels to the moon.

Non-Spoiler Summary

When Henry and Nell meet at a party, their fates become bound together. Told from the perspective of Henry, an emerging poet, this story unfolds against the backdrop of futuristic Seattle. Advanced technology has incited new construction methods and the possibility of moon colonization, both of which capture the imagination of Nell, a prominent architect. While Henry’s poetry is inspired by the earth, Nell’s artistic genius draws her to the blank canvas of the moon’s surface. Faced with an enormous void of separation, the two artists struggle to maintain a human connection.


The scenery of this futuristic world is crafted with care. The elements of futurism are not so overwhelming that the reader feels displaced. Instead, there is the feeling of being anchored very much in reality as the characters travel through the natural wonders of planet Earth and behold the modern man-made wonders of architecture and technology.

The relationship between Henry and Nell is absolutely riveting. Both pragmatic and artistic, the two characters are able to maintain a balance of passion that is emotionally gripping but that avoids sentimentality. It is a story that portrays love and human connection as an anchoring point for a race that is adapting to a quickly evolving world.

Where to find Life on the Moon

You can read this story at The Infinity Plus Website.

Jillian Terry is a former teacher with a passion for sci-fi and fantasy. If she’s not writing for, you can find Jill plotting her own sci-fi novel or watching Mystery Science Theater classics.

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