EARTHFALL, published in 1977, never saw U. S. publication. What it does is take the pilot episode and build a novel around it that a real science fiction author could take some pride in writing. It addresses a number of factors that TV glossed over, explains a lot of stuff people have speculated about since the show first appeared. Five races and fifteen countries represented at the base. Each with their own ways, mores, and prejudices.
Basically three stories, the first is a reworking of the pilot BREAKAWAY. Commander John Koenig is convinced to return to Moonbase Alpha. He’d been replaced two years before and his replacement hadn’t done a stellar job of command. Thirteen had died during that period and no one knew why. It doesn’t take Koenig long to grasp the problem. His replacement had extended dump sites and wasn’t exactly careful. Also scanners picked up a mass headed toward the earth system and investigation found it to be antimatter. The devastation to Earth would be heavy. Science officer Victor Bergman and his staff devise a plan to split the mass with nuclear weapons and hopefully avoid Earth.
it only works partially.
The main mass misses Earth, but the small one piles into the waste dumps of nuclear material on the Moon. That’s what sets the Moon on it’s course away from Earth. But here it does more. It knocks it into another dimension.
The second story picks up four months later. Moonbase Alpha is attacked by an alien race somewhat analygous to termites. A queen, specialized drones, and a technology. They are there to set up a new colony on the Moon and the Alphans have to figure out how to deal with them.
Our third story is twenty year later. By the end of the second story, several women were pregnant, including Doctor Helena Russell with Koenig as the father. As the next generation was being born, the Alphans were revising school studies. Since Earth was a thing of the past, geography and history of it were useless. One of the early problems Koenig had had was getting people to come to the understanding they were no longer Earthlings with all their differences, but one people that must work together to survive and prosper. One man with his own contingent of followers was more interested in who did the leading than anything else.
a disease starts spreading through the populace after a chamber is found by a crew drilling a tunnel under the Moon’s surface. It was an alien ship with a table full of mummies surrounding a coffin. The hull had apparently been a force field of some sort. And the age it had been there was figured to be half a million years. The alien mummies were humen enough to have a deadly disease.
While trying to deal with that, some were also working on reverse engineering the technology to produce the drive the ship had used. Disaster ensues when using it agitates a black hole they were passing close by, putting the Moon to close to being sucked into the event horizon. The Moon’s track gets warped and it’s pushed back into it’s home universe, only to find itself in orbit around Earth.
A devastated Earth. The ripping of the Moon away had caused earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, the shifting of tectonic plates, returning the planet to near stone age level for the survivors. Time had passed at a different rate during this period the Moon had been in the alternate universe. Twenty years for them, two hundred for Earth.
That’s how the book ends. It completely violates the second series when several of the characters from the first weren’t there. An interesting novel though.
This book was reprinted in a revised addition by Fanderson, the fan club for all things Gerry Anderson. The three stories were separated into three parts. One other novel, an original by Tubb, was published by them. Both fan club books don’t seem to be on the market. According to what I read, British law kept them from being sold to any but club members.
Evan Lewis is doing the link gathering this week over at Davy Crockett’s Alamanack.
I used to love this show as a kid – or rather the first season; the second, with the shape-shifting Maya, seemed too silly even to my pre-teen eyes. The novel sounds a lot better than i thought though – I have a horrible feeling I used to have this but let it go – shame. Thanks Randy, fascinating to hear about this.
I’m sure I would have liked the show but I just never caught it when it was on. I should have a look into it now that I’m all grown up. Physically at least.
Randy Johnson said:
It’s an acquired taste, Charles. Most of their writers weren’t SF and it showed at times. The books Tubb and others did were so much better and the less said about the second season the better. The Maya character was added because Trek was taking off and Spock was the most popular of the crew at the time.
Tubb was a pretty good SF writer, I thought, but I’d certain;y not heard of this one. As now, then there seemed to be so many books, and I could only afford, or read, a few of them, since I had to concentrate on school.
Richard Prosch said:
Acquired taste, indeed, but one we share Randy. I was pretty heavy into the S1999 boards back in the ’90s. I think the stun gun photo I contributed to the cyber museum is still visible online. You’re dead on about the paperbacks. Of the ones I’ve read, Tubb’s are the best. Check out the new graphic novel “Aftershock and Awe” at Amazon.
George Kelley said:
I’m a big E. C. Tubb fan. His SPACE: 1999 novels made more sense than the silly TV series ever did.
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