Maza of the Moon is doing all of those things you expect and want a classic pulp sci-fi to do, not the least of which being to put a smile on your face.
In the not-so distant future of the 1950s, solar power has revolutionized the energy industry so that mankind can move away from fossil fuels and toward the much more lucrative promises held by the mighty atom. Industrial genius Ted Dustin has gone broke pushing the boundaries of technology for the betterment of mankind; the only way that his company can remain solvent is by winning a $1 million prize offered by the united earth governments for landing a projectile on the Moon. Ted builds a massive cannon, longer than two football fields, from which he fires a giant bullet at the moon. Unfortunately, firing a ginourmous cannon from a tropical island sets off a volcano, clouding out the sky and obscuring the view of the official scientific observers. Dustin is ruined!
Ted Dustin is branded a failure and embarrassment to the world community. Even worse, he’s held responsible when a projectile lands outside of London, doubly so when it becomes apparent that it was not his missile returning to Earth but the Moon launching a counterstrike after Paris, New York, Lake Michigan and the Tyrrhenian Sea are hit, causing massive damage and loss of life. The quasi-League of Nations tries to do damage control and apologize to the Moon; the first attempt to contact the lunarians reaches a beautiful woman whose signal is quickly jammed out by a Ming the Merciless type who declares that the rulers of earth are obviously far too irresponsible to govern themselves, so earth will be expected to submit to his autocrats or be destroyed. Though the spoken language is totally alien, the written language is identical to Chinese! The Chinese interpreters betray the not-League of Nations by writing a declaration of war against the moon so that China can establish a separate peace with the lunarians. It’s going to be up to Ted Dustin to go to the Moon himself and try to sort stuff out.
Who or what is Maza of the Moon?
She was not large – a scant five feet in height, [Ted] judged – but there was a certain dignity in her bearing which somehow made her appear taller. The golden glory that was her hair, dressed in a style new and strange to the inventor, was held by a band of platinum-like metal powdered with glistening jewels. Her clothing, if judged by earthly standards, was not clothing at all. Gleaming meshes of white metal, woven closely together, formed a light, shimmering garment that covered though it revealed the lines of her shapely breasts, slender waist, and lissome hips, leaving arms shoulders and legs bare. A jeweled dagger hung from a chain-like belt about her waist, and a huge ruby blazed on the index finger of her left hand. On her feet were sandals, apparently constructed from the white metal.
She has “a set of small, even white teeth, and a most adorable pair of dimples” and speaks in “clear, flute-like tones”.
I cannot wait for Ted to get on his spaceship so he can go to the moon and meet this lady!
Where Earth’s Final Citadel was a murky blur, Maza of the Moon is gorgeous HD with surround sound and smellovision. I’m only 30 pages in and I’m ready to declare this an all-time classic of Sci-fi badassery.