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   Moon Terror, The, by A. G. Birch  
  Anthology, first publication in April 1927 , latest edition in April 2000
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    Buy Moon Terror, The by A. G. Birch
       Additional Information  
      Reprinted from Weird Tales, the most famous of the pulp magazines, The Moon Terror contains two stories from 1927, the title novella, A.G. Birch's "The Moon Terror," and Anthony M. Rud's novelette "Ooze." Both stories are science fantasies and are recommended to fans of weird fiction, but they aren't likely to appeal to many other SF or fantasy readers, and they should be avoided by anyone unable to abide the casual racial epithets of an earlier day.

    "The Moon Terror" is an example of the pulp "yellow peril" subgenre, which features sinister Asians who intend the West only ill (a subgenre that has transmuted in modern times into the far more lucrative, but often as pulpy, techno-thriller). In A.G. Birch's story, a series of powerful, regularly occurring earthquakes proves to be the work of a secret cult of Chinese sorcerer-scientists bent on fulfilling a religious prophecy by tearing a chunk out of the Earth to form a second moon. This is a nifty idea, but the means of sundering the Earth in two--with electrical generators--is pretty dated.

    The scientific extrapolation in Anthony M. Rud's "Ooze" is also a pulp oldie, but it has remained plausible: a gentleman scientist uses radium to cause genetic mutation, and creates a murderous monster. Despite its less dated concept, "Ooze" is the volume's weaker story; it has rather purple prose, a passive narrator, and not nearly as much action.

    Both A.G. Birch and Anthony M. Rud are obscure authors; even John Clute and John Grant's massive, thorough Encyclopedia of Fantasy contains no entries for either. This isn't surprising; the authors were competent tale-spinners, but not nearly as talented or imaginative as Weird Tales regulars like Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, C.L. Moore, or Clark Ashton Smith.

    Source: Cynthia Ward,

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  • Horror - Terror

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