The Luna Missile Crisis

Narrated by: Ray Porter
Length: 14 hrs and 57 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (682 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Audible number-one best sellers Rhett C. Bruno and Jaime Castle return with a relentless sci-fi adventure that asks: What if?

The year is 1961. The Cold War is in full swing and the space race is on. Russia aims to send humanity to space. But what if space comes to humanity instead? Yuri Gagarin’s epic flight into space is disrupted when an alien Mothership jumps into orbit, causing a cosmic car crash that defies all odds. 

Everything changes. The US and USSR must quickly put aside their differences. In exchange for the Earth’s help in the rebuilding of their Mothership, the mysterious aliens, the Vulbathi, offer promises of technology beyond humanity's wildest dreams. All the while, the world asks whether the Vulbathi are saviors or conquerors. 

When an alien tech counterfeiter's mistake sets off a chain reaction, the fragile peace is threatened. Connor McCoy didn't mean to upset Earth's new intergalactic neighbors. He only wanted to make some cash.

Now, Connor is the only person who can stop the doomsday clock from striking midnight. That is if his estranged brother, an agent in the new Department of Alien Relations, doesn't stop him first.

If you're a fan of District 9, The Expanse, Destiny's Crucible, or Andy Weir's Artemis, you'll love this alternate history romp across Earth and space, post alien contact. 

©2020 Aethon Books (P)2020 Audible Originals, LLC.

Critic Reviews

“Aliens, agents and espionage abound in this Cold War-era alternate history adventure. This is classic SF in the golden-age tradition. A wild ride!” (Dennis E. Taylor, number-one best-selling author of We Are Legion (We Are Bob))

"An alternate world that captivates the imagination and brings the reader on a thrilling adventure that will leave the devotees of classic science fiction eager for more." (Jason Anspach, best-selling author of the Galaxy's Edge Series)

“A unique, unexpected take on a sci-fi adventure. Pure fun that that had me racing through the pages!” (Nicholas Sansbury Smith, New York Times best-selling author of the Hell Divers series)

“An inventive and entertaining alternate history science fiction book set in a Cold War that became damn hot and very wild.” (Steven Campbell, author of the Hard Luck Hank series) 

"A fun and fast read. I can't wait to see what happens next!" (Olan Thorensen, author of the Destiny’s Crucible series) 

What listeners say about The Luna Missile Crisis

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A Real McCoy of Science Fiction Goodness

Rhett and Jaime have truly crafted a love-letter to sci-fi fans with The Luna Missile Crisis. We’re talking alternate history, battletoad aliens with super cool guns and glowing radioactive fields full of zombies. Oh, and despite the standard disclaimers, any characters resembling persons living or dead is entirely intentional. All that and so much more is packed into this irresponsibly good story of what might have been if aliens came crashing out of the sky at the dawn of the space race. Now, for all the campy trappings the book’s premise brings, I found myself fully unprepared for how compelling the main character proved. Connor McCoy has spent his life burning his bridges and failing at everything his perfect identical twin brother, Kyle, has succeeded at: work, women and even getting along with aliens. It doesn’t help, of course, that the E.T.s look like nightmare versions of Kermit and were sort of responsible for killing Connor’s girlfriend. Then again, as Connor reminds himself, he could as easily blame the Soviets for starting World War 3. That move did seem a bit much when the alien mothership T-boned their first cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, on his way into orbit. Of course, it’s still life, but not as we knew it in the mid-60’s. In this world, the Beetles sing, “All You Need Are Toads”, John F. Kennedy is still president, and Neil Armstrong drives a space bus. But some things never change and that’s human nature. Many people have never reacted well to strange strangers and visitors from outer space certainly fall into that category. So, if you like alt history sci-fi, a little post-apocalyptic flavoring and unexpectedly relatable characters, then get ready for a close encounter with this thrilling story. Oh, and did I mention the audiobook is narrated by Ray Porter? He’s kind of seriously awesome.

50 people found this helpful

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Amazing alternate history

Most alternate history picks most of the same turning points. Bruno and castle have chosen an original turning point. Aliens arrive at the point where the Russians first enter orbit. The amazing job Bruno and Castle have done here kept me listening till the early hours

42 people found this helpful

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Monsters, Mobsters, and JFK? What's Not to Like?

This is a fun, pulpy romp through a history of the Cold War that never was. It's the 1960s; folks are paranoid; tensions between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. are at an all-time high. Plenty of plot for most stories, right? But wait, there's more--add aliens, the Mob, international political intrigue, and a good man with the best of intentions dropped into an impossible situation. The authors can tickle your funny bone and heighten your heart rate at the same time. Well-written, great characters, twisty plot. And a performance by Ray Porter that's absolutely fabulous. Bring on the sequel!

36 people found this helpful

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Alternate History Must Have

The authors nailed it. The 60's, Aliens, Russians, Cuban Missile Crisis ... Great story cover to cover. Amazing narration. Check it out, well worth the credit.

32 people found this helpful

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Alt History at its best

This is beyond all expectations! JFK, Neil Armstrong, Nixon, and Ray Porter nailing their voices like a pro! Aliens and humans in a cosmic car crash that kicks off the beginning of the end, but also... utopia? My earbuds might as well have been glued into my ears. I couldn’t get enough. “Just one more chapter.” I’m in love with the McCoy boys and I really hope there’s a book two in the works for this. It stands nicely by itself, but there’s definitely room for another adventure. Fingers crossed.

31 people found this helpful

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Great alternative history!!!

Really enjoyed this book. The authors do a great job of sucking you in and making you feel like you are watching a movie in your head. Didn't want to stop listening. Narrator was awesome as well.

29 people found this helpful

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Interesting Alt-History SciFi Adventure

I really enjoy a good alternate history novel, and I love a great SciFi story. This book combined them in an excellent way. The characters in this book are great, especially the main characters, the polar opposite twins, Kyle and Connor. Kyle is a military hero, and Connor is a drug addict and conman. Their family dynamic was well written and believable. The story was well written, and I enjoyed every minute of it, from Mafia shootouts to irradiated cannibals. The narration is excellent in this book. Ray Porter always does an amazing job with all the voices and accents. I really wish the authors and narrator had watched a little Futurama while writing and narrating this book though, there wasn’t a single “AROOOOOOOOO! Nixon’s Back!” Other than that, this book is an excellent adventure, and I’m looking forward to book two. There better be a book two! I was given a free review copy of this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

27 people found this helpful

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In the spirit of Turtledove and Orson Scott Card

Welcome to our alternate past / future where things aren’t quite what you think. Mixing the best of Harry Turtledove and Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Game) authors Bruno and Castle lead us through a world that is ours, but is not. Rich characters and intrigues abound in a world not ready for aliens and change. In the midst of this turmoil you find family, friendship, sorrow and renewal mixed with starships, space travel and the hero's of our youth. I highly recommend that you add this book to your collection. Be warned, you will not want to stop listening, so best start on a Friday ☺

27 people found this helpful

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Fun, shameless pulp fiction at its best

The setting alone, a Cold War interrupted by an extraterrestrial presence, is worth the price of admission. High marks earned for the pacing and commitment to high-octane fun, spiced up by a setting that plays on my nostalgia for campy 60s sci-fi movies. Ray Porter, as always, thoroughly sells the performances. Well worth the credit!

26 people found this helpful

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Pleasantly Different

I enjoyed this book. It has historical figures and lingo intertwined in the story.. At first I was not sure how I felt about this. I binged this book. Once I started, I did not want to stop. Ray Porter’s performance is outstanding . This story is a Nice Change.

24 people found this helpful

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  • J Smith
  • 08-25-20

“For all he knew that was the alien sign for ‘kill everyone’”

Wow. Couldn’t put this down. Loved it from the beginning to the end! A great story with plenty of adventure and intrigue and it’s so well written. As for narration, Ray is always brilliant. There’s just something about his storytelling that really drags you in and his character voices are brilliant! Highly recommend. This is my honest opinion on a free review copy.

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  • Joshua holloway
  • 08-13-20

Good listen

I really enjoyed this adventure in an alternate history, but it did seem to fall a bit flat in parts. But mostly was a great listen, with an interesting story and background I hope they make a sequel.

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  • Steve
  • 07-14-20

epic tale with an epic narrator

excellent tale which stirs up the memories of suspicion that was rife during the cold war only down side is i wish there was a sequel

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  • A Bolton
  • 07-08-20

Amazing listen in the end.

I struggled to get into the book for the first few hours but once things clicked into place I thoroughly enjoyed the story. I have never read or listened to alternative history before but this was put together very well. I definitely recommend it, from the ending it seems as if there could be a sequel which I will be definitely picking up if that is the case.

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  • Nick Gilbert
  • 05-12-20

excellent

it was very easy to enjoy. looking forward to hearing the next instalment. well recommended

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  • bungle
  • 05-01-20

a headline is optional

A good book and a good narrator, I do love a bit of sci fi but I'm terrible at writing reviews. looking forward to more in this series and from the author.

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  • Hooch
  • 03-26-20

Great yarn

From the start right up to the end the story keeps you engrossed .Ray Porter’s narrative is perfect . Another great story by C Bruno and Jamie Castle . A must listen if you like Si-fi with a twist

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  • Nephrite
  • 03-24-20

An Entertaining Race Against Time!

The Luna Missile Crisis By Rhett C. Bruno and Jaime Castle An Audible Original Release Informational Note: I am reviewing this audiobook release of my own free will. However I did receive a free copy from one of the book’s two authors after displaying an interest in the plot which I feel I must disclose. I do intend to give an honest and fair review to the best of my ability Hello again to you all! It’s time for another piece of audio science fiction once more. But this time it’s a bit more retro…a bit more 60s. Why don’t I tell you all about the Luna Missile Crisis? The Luna Missile Crisis is actually an audiobook somewhat outside of my usual wheelhouse as despite being a science fiction story it is also an alternative history story which is something I have relatively little experience with. However I’m certainly glad I gave it a shot! The plot is as follows: The year is 1961: The Russian cosmonaut program is about to send its first hero Yuri Gagarin out into space and beat the Americans to at least that first hurdle in the space race. But there’s a slight problem. A cosmic car crash occurs utterly decimating Gagarin. The people on the other end of the incident: The Vulbathi: A toad like semi aquatic alien species who communicate in ways utterly unknown to humanity. As a side effect of this Russian premier Nikita Khrushchev does the unthinkable and fires nukes at the Americans. The Vulbathi feeling threatened destroy the nukes directly over Eastern Europe and turn Germany, Poland, Hungary and various connected nations into a radioactive wasteland known as The Dead Curtain. It has been three years. Things have changed. Humanity lives peacefully with The Vulbathi in a spirit of co-operation. The aliens have shared some of their great technology allowing great advances however not all humans view these new arrivals as allies or friends. Are they saviours? Conquerers? The fragile peace is threatened unintentionally when an alien technology counterfeiter sets off a geopolitical time bomb. So now it’s up to Connor McCoy to fix his mistake – provided his brother in the Department Of Alien Relations catch him first! The Luna Missile Crisis is an entertaining listen, very much in the same feel as the 1960s science fiction pulps of the era this story evokes. The changes to global society caused by the arrival of the Vulbathi are intriguing as are the changes in technology like the ‘holotube’ television or the entire existence of the Luna International moonbase. Despite its pulpy nature you can believe the character motivations in a lot of cases. Connor McCoy has perfectly reasonable personal trauma from ‘Contact Day’ which means he doesn’t exactly trust the new arrivals and generally closes himself off from would be friends. One of the small time threats who thinks they are a lot more important than they are – a certain mafioso – is convincingly motivated by a mix of arrogance, self-confidence and greed and various other examples. Rhett C. Bruno and Jaime Castle have written the story well. Alongside the aforementioned changes in tech and character motivation I also have to praise the internal logic. They’ve clearly spent some time together planning out how these new alterations have consequences so the story makes sense. Not to mention the limitations on what the alien arrivals can and can’t do. There are limits to the Vulbathi so they don’t just feel like gods or living deus ex machinas. But there is one criticism I feel I must bring up. This may be due to my minimal experience with alternative histories but it did feel like the book spent no small amount of time at the beginning wandering before starting the main narrative. Set up is important. That is obvious. But it felt as though the first quarter or so of this book was set up. Once the main narrative got going it was a gripping story well told and I may well give other books by the authors a listen. The narrator for this Audible Original is a certain Ray Porter who did an excellent job with the narration. He really heightened the pulp fiction vibe with his narration sounding like it came from an American news anchor of the period. My favourite voices he gave the characters were definitely his voices for the McCoy brothers as he did a perfect job displaying the differences in their outlook on life and personalities through their voices. With a secondary favourite in the form of Shimmer the Vulbathi Ambassador due to the way he manages to depict the way the Vulbathi communicate and their emotions through his vocals. I can definitely understand why I’d heard good things from elsewhere regarding Mr Porter! In conclusion The Luna Missile Crisis is a very entertaining alternative history tale with a pulp sci-fi bent. Bruno and Castle are definitely a pair of talented writers and ones I’ll keep an eye on. Despite my one relatively major complaint this is still an excellent story well told by talented wordsmiths and I’m more than glad I took a chance on the McCoy brothers! I hope I can persuade some of my readers to join me! Ah…yes. It’s you human. I’ve been keeping an eye on you as I promised. Becoming friends with the Inquisition is brave. Very brave indeed. But I think it’s time I take you back into the Warp. Back into the Heresy. As my newly returned Warpspawn pointed out it looks I will have to disappear until April. It is indeed time for another month of heresies. See you all soon! Sayonara! Nephrite

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  • Phil H
  • 03-23-20

What a story

This is cracking, a mix of alt-history and sci-fi meaning that nothing is mundane or boring, every part of it has a twist, turn or something you didn't expect.

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  • Louis V.
  • 03-22-20

Just did not engage me

As usual loved Ray's narration but the story just did not hook me. Ending is obviously open hot a sequel but not sure if I will listen unless on offer.

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  • Sharon
  • 03-22-20

A solid storyline executed with frustrating inconsistency.

Set in the early 1960s, The Luna Missile Crisis has some great plot twists and solid writing, but overall misses the mark. Connor and Kyle McCoy are estranged identical twins, who have never seen eye-to-eye about anything. One day, Connor’s shady dealings in fake alien tech set off a chain of events bordering on ludicrous, involving mistaken identify, the Cold War, lost/found love, and a nine-legged octopus. There were many opportunities missed to flesh out the personalities of the brothers who sometimes became characatures . In particular I feel Connor’s misdeeds were glorified over Kyle’s consistent and rational behaviour. The was sympathy exhibited towards Connor by the writers that was at times completely unwarranted. The mafia-inspired subplot was an unnecessary distraction and could have easily been removed, with the relevant plot devices it provides written into the main story. Ray Porter does an excellent job with the voices. I would like him to work on the female voices in his characterizations, they always sound so insipid. Red was by far the best female character he has voiced in any book to date. Overall, not bad, but not great.