Friday Face Off : Books with ‘Moon’ in the Title #VintageSciFi


Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme created by Books by Proxy .  This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers.  The rules are fairly simple each week, following a predetermined theme (list below) choose a book (this doesn’t have to be a book that you’ve read), compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.   Future week’s themes are listed below – if you have a cover in mind that you’re really wanting to share then feel free to leave a comment about a future suggested theme.  I’ve also listed events that take place during the year, that I’m aware of, so you can link up your covers – if you’re aware of any events that you think I should include then give me a shout.  I’m currently linking up with Vintage Sci-Fi and if you also want to link up then please do so but this isn’t a requirement simply my way of highlighting events.  This week’s theme:

Books with ‘Moon’ in the Title

So I’ve gone for another book that I’ve not read this week although I have read the author before.  The First Men in the Moon by HG Wells.  I’ve gone for a very small selection of the available covers and a selection of old and new:

Firstly, I must say – isn’t it strange how tastes change.  Only a few years ago I would have run a mile at the sight of some of these covers and yet now I find myself positively enjoying them (go figure).

So, a few observations:



What a difference colour makes.  The above two covers are virtually identical but look how the change in colour makes such a difference.  I’m very drawn to the SF Masterworks cover in this particular example, it gives an ‘other-worldly’ feel.

Speaking of Star Wars take a look at these two – Death star planet anyone?

These two just give me Lost in Space vibes.  ‘Danger Will Robinson’

My favourite:


Do you have a favourite?  And have you read this book?  

I’ve updated the list now to include themes for next year.  If you know of an event that’s coming up let me know and I’ll try and include covers that work for the event itself so that you can link up to the Friday Face Off and, as always, if you wish to submit an idea then leave me a comment – or if you’d like to host a week then simply let me know.  Also, I would just mention that it’s very possible that some of these might be repeats from previous FFOs although I have tried to invent more ‘open ended’ prompt that can be interpreted differently and also prompts that relate to emotions.  Finally, don’t struggle with any of these, this is meant to be a fun way of highlighting books.  If you can’t come up with a book you think fits for a particular week use a freebie – perhaps a recent read for example:

Next week – An Aerial encounter – spaceships and explosions



Vintage Sci-Fi month – if you’re taking part you could try and find some vintage style covers

15th – An Aerial encounter – spaceships and explosions

22nd – An Alien Encounter – ‘we come in peace’ or maybe not.

29th – A favourite classic or vintage sci-fi


5th – A Book with a romance that you enjoyed

12th – Furry – a beast, something cuddly, or a fur covering

19th – Serpentine – could be a snake, could be a snake-like font, could be a snakeskin style cover

26th – A book with ‘Magic’ in the Title


5th – March is named for the Roman God of War – a Roman style cover or a cover with a God or Gods or simply a book about war

12th – Middle Grade – choose whatever pleases you

19th – Ruin or derelict, old and worn, could be the book itself, a building, a place

26th – A picture within a picture


2nd – A train or tram – travelling down the track, could be old style, futuristic, overhead, down below.

9th – Cartoonish or graphic

16th – I have to have it – a cover that gave you ‘grabby hands’

23rd – Your current read (if it has covers to compare) or any recent read

30th– A series that you love – highlight all the books in the series


Month of Wyrd and Wonder

7th – A Series where the cover changed midway through – which style do you prefer most

14th – The earliest fantasy you recall reading – or the first fantasy book you really loved, maybe the book that kickstarted your love of fantasy

21st – The Top Hat

28th – The Hood


4th – The nose boop – any animal, or human, with a close up shot.

11th – A cover that annoyed you and why

18th – Out of Perspective, or make you feel a bit dizzy

25th – Upside down, back to front or topsy turvy


2nd – A book with a landscape you’d like to visit

9th – A Wicked Grin

16th – Books with ‘book’ in the title

23rd – A Black Hole – could be in the universe or going deep into the ground

30th – Chaos – maybe too much going on in this one


6th – “They cluck their thick tongues, and shake their heads and suggest, os so very delicately!” – The Motel

13th – A favourite holiday read

20th – Dressed to kill (could be literally someone dressed to kill, or someone dressed up for a big night out

27th – Sunbathing or on the beach

September (RIP event)

3rd – 1920s feel, noir detective

10th – I’m Henry the Eighth I am – let’s look at Kings or other Emperors/rulers

17th – Books with ‘Murder’ in the title

24th – A favourite thriller


1st – A Halloween read

8th – Chills – anything at all that almost makes you too scared to pick up the book (your own pet hate)

15th – Your favourite book of magic

22nd – Books with ‘Queen’ in the title

29th – Must be gothic

November – Sci Fi Month

5th – Your earliest sci-fi read or the first sci-fi you reviewed

12th – A book with ‘star’ in the title

19th – Futuristic vista

26th – A Black Hole – in the universe or going deep into the ground


3rd – Windswept, the classic figure, stood majestically, with wind blowing out in a fetching way

10th – A fairytale retold

17th – Winter Solstice approaching – anything cold and seasonal

24th – All things fire – red hair, red covers, fire breathing dragons, simply fire?

31st – What’s your catnip – if it’s on a cover you have to pick it up

Focus on Vintage Sci Fi Month : “If you liked that, you’ll probably like this”. #VintageSciFi

“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading.” Ray Bradbury 

Vintage Sci-Fi Month.jpgVintage sci fi is a month long, none challenge, event that takes place every January to celebrate, read and discuss science fiction.  This event is the creation of Andrea at the Little Red Reviewer who fostered the notion of getting people to read and discuss some of the older books that are already out there.

Science Fiction isn’t my comfort zone to be honest but thanks to this event over the past few years I’ve now read and loved quite a number of sci fi classics that I would otherwise have missed.  The only real criteria is to read and discuss during the month of January and for the books to be published on or before 1979.

If, like me, you need a bit of guidance about what type of book might suit you then you’re going to love today’s post.  Andrea is visiting my blog today to talk about books – and the whole gist of the post is ‘if you like ‘x’ then you might like ‘y’.  Some great advice in this piece – read on and prepare to discover some potential reads for this event in January 2020.

Firstly, hello Andrea.

I’m excited to read on so without further ado let’s get straight to it….

“If you liked that, you’ll probably like this”.

‘I learned a wonderful little trick a few years ago, about giving people book recommendations.  I was on a small panel at a local science fiction convention, and the panelists were book reviewers, book bloggers, book sellers. And we were supposed to be recommending books to the audience. An audience member would say something like “Recommend me a good fantasy book”, and us panelists were supposed to offer titles that we thought the person would like.

Some panelists just responded with their favourite titles.

One of the panelists, she worked at a bookstore (and I wish I remembered her name!), she’d respond to every request for a recommendation with a question of her own, asking something like “tell me what you enjoyed most about the last few books that you read”.  She was trying to tease out if the person was looking for an action story, or a family story, or epic fantasy or first contact or a love triangle or magic or urban fantasy or a long running series or a stand alone, or whatever.

I have no idea what that panelist’s favorite books were, because she never said.  Once she’d had her short back and forth with the audience member, she’d say “well, you’ve let me know that you like such and such, and this other thing, and that you prefer book that have XYZ, and knowing that, I think you’d love such and such author”.  I was in awe.

While the listing below does include many of my favorites, I have done my best to emulate the panelist whose name I never got, the woman who taught me how to make “give me a book recommendation!” about the person who was asking, and not about me.

Here is the Vintage Science Fiction version of “If you liked that, you’ll probably like this”.

If you like Han Solo,  you’ll like C.L. Moore’s Northwest Smith stories.  Smith is a pilot and smuggler, who has friends in every port. Always up for an adventure, he does make terrible decisions from time to time, but always with good intentions and usually a trusty blaster (or a friend with a blaster!) is around to help him out.


If you like Lovecraftian weirdness and/or New Weird or any combination thereof, you’re sure to enjoy C.L. Moore’s Black God’s Kiss.  Hard to believe that story was written in the 1930s!


If your favorite scene in The Traitor Baru Cormorant was when the economy gets purposely flooded and crashed, you might enjoy Nova  by Samuel Delany.  If you more enjoyed the conversations on the economics of colonization, A City in the North  by Marta Randall might be exactly what you’re looking for.  And speaking of Delany, if you enjoyed the movie Arrival, you’ll probably enjoy Delany’s Babel-17.

Looking for some fantasy adventure?  You’ll probably get a kick out of Leigh Brackett’s Skaith books, and Andre Norton’s Witch World books.

Do you enjoy having conversations about either a plummeting birth rate, or population out control? For the former, give Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm a read, for the latter track down a copy of The World Inside by Robert Silverberg.

If you loved The Good Place episodes that mentioned The Trolley Problem, you’ll get a kick out of The Cold Equations by Tom Godwin.  Fair warning, reading The Cold Equations will make you want to rewatch season 2 of The Good Place.


Enjoy cozy mysteries, but also kinda like the Cylons from new Battlestar Galactica?  Try The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov. You’ll have to be forgiving of some truly awful characterization, but the book is worth it to see what how people would react to a robot scare.  If you’ve ever said to yourself “why won’t this stupid machine do I what I tell it to do!”,  Asimov’s I Robot short stories are for you.

Oh, you’re a fan of Scott Lynch’s Lies of Locke Lamora?  Give Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and The Gray Mouser stories and/or Harry Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat books a whirl.

You’ve seen the anime Space Dandy (please, please tell me I didn’t hallucinate that show!) and are looking for something zany, but also more satirical?   What you’re looking for is Stanislaw Lem’s The Star Diaries. 


Hard scifi more your thing?  Hal Clement is your guy, and no matter what you pick up of his, you’ll probably enjoy it.

Oh, you prefer your science fiction with a healthy dose of fantasy and mythology? (mayhaps you enjoyed Neil Gaiman’s American Gods?) Give Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny a try.

Lord of Light.jpg

If you enjoyed the TV show Farscape, and enjoy stories with lots of aliens and very few humans, Larry Niven’s Ringworld might work for you.

You want aliens, but not the friendly fuzzy kind, more like Peter Watts style aliens? Definitely read Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris.

Prefer something more epic, more sprawling, more world shattering?  If you’ve not yet read Ursula K. LeGuin’s The Left Hand of Darkness, now is the perfect time to pick it up.

Oh, you meant sprawling, epic Space Opera?  Dune by Frank Herbert.

Space Opera-ish, but shorter and lighter more your thing?  Anything by Cordwainer Smith will scratch that itch.

And if you’d like to cry at the end, try The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlien.


The best way to find a Vintage Sci Fi Book that you’re most likely to enjoy is to start with finding a contemporary book you already enjoy. What do you enjoy about that book?  The characters were great? Or there was lots of adventure? Or the dialog had lots of banter? Or there were space battles and aliens? Or maybe incomprehensible aliens but it’s a fun ride?   Start with something you know you enjoy, and go from there.’