Saturday, 13 September 2014
Escape The Morning II
Anderson, Poul, "Escape The Morning" IN Anderson, Space Folk (New York, 1989), pp. 52-63.
A Lunar station is an isolated enterprise. Jordan Station mined ice but exhausted their vein and, in any case, so much water has been found that the price has gone down so they now mine copper and, when they have saved enough capital, might extract oil.
Lunar oil is "'Heterocyclic compounds formed by photochemical reactions in the original dust cloud that became the Solar System'" (p. 57), and can be used to make rocket fuel.
Mr and Mrs Jordan died two years ago in a pit collapse before it had been learned "'...that ferraloy cross-braces can change into a weaker crystalline form under Lunar conditions.'" (ibid.) Mark Jordan and his younger brother and sister now run the automated station, receive education by two-way television from Tycho Crater and entertainment broadcasts from Earth and deliver ore to Copernicus Town and Keplersburg. Next year, when Mark moves to the Tycho University dorm to take lab courses for an engineering degree, Tom, who is two years younger, will run the station and hire an assistant.
Thus, Anderson briefly sketches economic, educational and social features of life on the Moon and underlines, for his younger readers, that:
"'Pioneers have always had to grow up fast...'" (p. 58)