The man on the moon was dead. They called him Charlie. He had big eyes, abundant body hair and fairly long nostrils. His skeletal body was found clad in a bright red spacesuit, hidden in a rocky grave. They didn’t know who he was, how he got there, or what had killed him. All they knew was that his corpse was 50,000 years old; and that meant that this man had somehow lived long before he ever could have existed!
This is a very nice little novel and quite a bit of change from the military science fiction that I usually read. It’s written back in the 70’s and its age shows a little but surprisingly little. As a computer engineer I couldn’t help but smiling when the book talked about DEC computers in the future. DEC had of course not gone belly-up when this book was written. Also today, with the advancement of DNA-tests, you would never have the lengthy debate and scientific detective work in order to establish the relation to the human species of the body found on the moon.
Apart from that, the scientific (fictional) basis of the book has survived father time quite well. The entire book is more or less one long investigation/research story starting with the discovery of the space suit clad human (as it turns out) body in a cave on the moon. To get such a story as interesting and catching as is the case is quite a feat and this was very catching. The conclusions were, for the most part logical, and the unraveling of the mystery interesting and not too predictable although the mystery that eventually led up to some “astonishing” facts about our moon, that one could deduce the answer to rather quickly and well in advance of the big revelation in the book.
It’s no action story though. It’s a scientific detective story. If you do not like to read about (fairly) long scientific explanations for why this and that theory is or is not valid then you won’t like this book as much as I did. Anyway the conclusion is, obviously, that I found this book a very nice read. If I should complain about something it would be the little epilogue in the ending which, to me, is the classical cheap rubbish that you would but in an equally cheap B-movie.