A Fall of Moondust

Narrated by: Oliver Wyman
Length: 8 hrs and 7 mins
4 out of 5 stars (360 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Time is running out for the passengers and crew of the tourist cruiser Selene, incarcerated in a sea of choking lunar dust. On the surface, her rescuers find their resources stretched to the limit by the mercilessly unpredictable conditions of a totally alien environment. A brilliantly imagined story of human ingenuity and survival, A Fall of Moondust is a tour-de-force of psychological suspense and sustained dramatic tension by the field's foremost author.
©1961 Arthur C. Clarke (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A quick, fun read that entertains as it teaches

A Fall of Moondust is sci-fi disaster story that begins by placing a group of people in an impossible situation and follows along as they attempt to survive while awaiting rescue. It is a lot like the popular Discovery Channel show "I Shouldn't Be Alive," or stories like those depicted in the movie "Alive," although much less dark. Clarke's story is unique because of its setting. The Moon, and space is general, is harsh. Life is not suited to its extremes and the challenges we encounter there are vastly different from those we face here on Earth. As with Clarke's other stories, and as is common in disaster stories, the characters here are participants in the story rather than the focus of it. The real star of the show is the Moon and perhaps even the deadly moondust itself.

A Fall of Moondust was published in 1961 and it sometimes shows. The social mores reflect the time period and there is an obvious lack of computers, as if the 1950s had progressed into the 21st century without any further advances in computing technology. Regardless, Clarke certainly foresaw the future, and this novel is probably more relevant today than it has ever been before. With the recent discovery of water on the Moon and with NASA's plan to establish a lunar outpost there, the Moon may soon become a staging point for exploring the solar system and, yes, even a tourist destination. My biggest gripe with this story is that it wraps up a bit too quickly at the end. Many of the characters simply disappear and I didn't feel as if I was ready for the end. The narrator was quite good. His cadence and intonation were perfect and foreign accents were well done.

A Fall of Moondust is a simple story and, while it may not be Clarke's best novel, it is a quick, fun read that entertains as it teaches. It is essential reading for Clarke fans and for anyone who enjoys settings in space. Soon enough, we may find this setting more real than Clarke could have imagined in the 60s.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent, would be a great disaster type film

This is I think the best of the early Clarke. I enjoy all of his novels in general, but this is the culmination of the early ideas and writing style. With a minimum of updating this could be filmed as is and would make for a great Poseidon Adventure type disaster film. At one time a film was proposed I believe and it could be done. Turn up the tension between characters a bit and update some small items and it's ready to go. I've read it 2 or 3 times and listened to it twice now and enjoyed it each time. Very realistic, not the symbolic and poetic style of Childhood's End, which is the best of the other branch of Clarke, excluding 2001 which is as much Kubrick as Clarke. Just recommending Moondust to a friend and she enjoyed it.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A three hour tour gone wrong.

A short action triller set in the near future moon. Complete with settlements through the solar system. A simple three hour tour goes a bit wrong....and they are not stuck on an island with Gilligan. The story would make a great fast paced action movie...sort of a posidon adventure, a very fun read.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Classic old-time SF

I read this in print as a child, and it has always stuck in my memory. Listening to it again now, it didn't disappoint. I'll confess to being a lifelong Clarke fan, but somehow I never got around to reading this one again. You need to allow for the fact it was written over 50 years ago, at a time when people were still dreaming about ever getting to the moon. Once you can do that, it becomes a good space adventure which is fairly realistic given the extent of knowledge at that time.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Old Fashioned Science Fiction

No aliens in this one. No ancient artifacts.

This is as if we actually had people living on the Moon. There is nothing far fetched about it. You actually feel like we could live on other planets. In this story we see what that would take. AC takes no easy ways out. It is a fast paced story with chapters that end with teasers. It totally captured my attention.

No one writes science fiction like this these days. Bova and Baxter come close. It is probably harder to write stuff that could be true, that is well researched then to make up stuff. AC keeps you entertained without the bells and whistles of modern day authors. There is no character development here. There is a small attempt at romance, but it is basically science and at eight hours it is the right size.

A couple of small problems, like the first time the boat sinks it stays horizontal (what are the chances of that?). And we never hear how bad it must smell in a enclosed area with lots of people for days and no shower. And I am pretty sure there is no dust deep enough for a boat to sink in, but ??

If you like science fiction with lots of science then you will love this book. It is also a great adventure.

18 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Highly Recommended

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I am already a fanboy of Arthur C. Clarke, so i already loved this book. I thought the reader did a great job, very clear at a good pace, and the way he changes into the characters when they speak was not overly done, but natural sounding. Overall highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Nail Biting

Gripping, spell bounding, nail biting story. Excellent story. Thought it would be boring but after the first chapter I stayed up to get to the end.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A reasonably good sci-fi drama

The 1960s copyright explains the author's treatment of women . If you can get past that, you should enjoy the story.

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Good Arthur C. Clarke

Classic disaster story set in a novel environment of a sea of dust. Good listen!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

for old science fiction, it is still relevant.

great performance with character voices that helped to keep the story alive. The tension during the suspenseful portions was nail biting!