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Rogue Moon

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  1,280 ratings  ·  86 reviews
Rogue Moon is a short sf novel by Algis Budrys, published in 1960. It was a 1961 Hugo Award nominee, losing to Walter M. Miller's A Canticle for Leibowitz. A novella-length version of the story was included in the anthology The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume 2, edited by Ben Bova.

Before 1969, every science fiction writer wrote his or her own version of the first Moon...more
Mass Market Paperback, #38950, 188 pages
Published 1978 by Avon Books (NY) (first published January 1st 1960)
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Community Reviews

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This book is one of the SF Masterworks series of classic sf novels so it clearly is not something to be sniffed at, plus it was cited by Alastair Reynolds as a favorite so I duly added it to my reading list (a year or so ago!) and finally got around to it. Really not what I was expecting to be honest.

Set in 1959 it is the story of a scientist who sends a man to the moon to investigate a mysterious alien construct (Big Dumb Object ) picked up by a satellite photo. Unfortunately rocket science is...more
6.0 stars. On my list of "All Time Favorite" novels. I just re-read this novel after having first read it about 15 years ago and I was blown away by how amazing this novel is. Algis Budrys was a phenomenal writer who wrote highly intelligent science fiction during a time when much of the SF being published was of the stereotypical "spaceships and aliens" variety. Quality science fiction at its most basic is usually about ideas and the human condition. Well this book screams about the human condi...more
Gusto Dave
It started out so well...

With a premise like the one this book has, it seemed like a must read. published and set in 1960 before we went to the moon, this sci-fi tells of space exploration. Some kind of implied NASA agency has created a cloning device that transports a pilot's double up to the moon to check things out. The astronaut can sense what his clone is experiencing. And there's an entity up there that keeps killing clones. Cool? One would think, right?

And the pilot that they rope into do...more
A piece of classic SF with an intriguing premise that explores some of my favourite themes but for me seemed to lack focus and was distracted by pointless character interactions and conversations.

Many a time I've pondered what really happens to you if you were teleported from one location to another, the original you destroyed but your exact molecular structure accurately recreated in the target location. How would you really know you were still who you were before after the event? All you would...more
In these days of ten volume, backbreaking series, it’s easy to forget that sometimes brevity can equal quality.

Algirdas Jonas Budrys (1931-2008) is a writer who deserves greater recognition in the genre, though these days, if he is known at all, he is perhaps better known as a critic. For the record, much of his time was spent writing the Book Reviews column for Galaxy (1965-71) and The Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy (1975-93), as well as being a teacher at the Clarion Writers Workshop...more
I think that's a 2.5 rating. The science speculation in this book, the mysterious object on the moon and the teleportation technology, is seriously chilling. I loved that part of it. It was interesting and terrifying. Unfortunately most of this book is about some bitter, obsessed middle-aged men and their pissing contests and whatever it means to be a "real man" in the 1960's. There are two female characters: one is a one-dimensional femme fatale who only stays with real men, and the other is no...more
Mike Franklin
This was a very disappointing science fiction novel. Why? Because for much of the book the science fiction was irrelevant. There are two main SF elements: an enigmatic and deadly alien artefact found on the moon and a matter transmitter remarkably similar in principle to the later Star Trek transporter (though its use is not nearly as casual). The alien artefact thread is not really taken anywhere at all; the transmitter and the issues of death and identity that it raises are well examined but o...more
Dec 14, 2010 Liss rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: geeks
Shelves: suspense
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rogue Moon was written in 1960, long before the moon landing. I probably read it in the mid-70s, and can only recall one critical element of the story: an alien artifact discovered on the moon is, in effect, a lethal funhouse labyrinth.

Spoiler, I suppose:

Scientists want to understand its secrets, but it kills whoever enters. The solution: they have a way of recording the explorers thoughts as they enter and are inevitably killed -- and then the knowledge of how they got as far as they did, and...more
I recently got a taste for Budrys through second-hand books, then found to my dismay that he's more or less out of print in this country. Bah! Luckily his most famous novel Rogue Moon just got picked up by the SF Masterworks line.

Like many SF novels that have stood the test of time, this one is a weird mix of the surprisingly modern and the gobsmackingly contemporary (in this case, the late 50s). The central gimmick is a thunderingly good one, but the action is highly abstract and largely offsta...more
Ben Loory
this was a reread, as it's one of my favorite books. hadn't read it in a while. it more than holds up. the thing i like about this book is that my brain can't contain it. the character interactions are so intense and limited, mostly, to dialogue (and often speeches) about abstract subjects... ethical and existential conundrums, what it means to be a man, to be brave, human... sometimes it makes me feel like i'm a little kid who had wandered out of bed in the middle of the night and is eavesdropp...more
An SF classic, short-listed for the Hugo, and very much of its time (1960) -- the gender politics are bizarre by post-feminist standards (powerful male figures -- adventurer, manipulator, intellectual, fighting over their various interpretations of manhood; two female characters: non-speaking angel and horrible but beautiful sexually promiscuous succubus, both only seen in relation to how they deal with the central (male) characters) -- but the science-fictional horror aspect (an occult alien ar...more
Dec 05, 2008 Brian rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Brian by: Ben
Shelves: read-2008
"A man who turns his back - who lurks at the edge of the battle, and pushes others in to face his enemies-" Barker looked suddenly and obviously at Hawks. "That's not a man. That's some kind of crawling, wriggling thing."

Great book! Thanks, Ben. This isn’t the science fiction I remember. A handful of messed up characters fiddlin’ around with death, material transmitters, and weird shit on the moon. Some of the best dialog and character interaction I’ve read this year. Death. It’s a book of death...more
Explorers found a strange formation on Moon. It kills volunteers in very sophisticated ways. Actually, It loves to kill them. All attempts to investigate the thing failed.

Doctor Pawks thought out a new idea. What will happen if he finds a volunteer who himself loves death so much as the formation on Moon loves to kill? He found Barker. He transmitted him to Moon. And it worked. At least, for the first time partially. He lived several minutes.

The process of transmission or materialization is rat...more
Calling "Rogue Moon" a science fiction (sf) masterwork is somewhat misleading. As the reviewer Graeme Flory noted, the book really isn't about the science fiction at all. It overturns the conventional ratio in sf works, where characterisation is submerged underneath piles of technology, aliens or whatever the 'novum' (to use Darko Suvin's term) is in that case. Here the sf elements are introduced sparingly and ambiguously, for the real reason that it frames the character relationships. The centr...more
Sean Lewis
Philosophical? Yes, Psychological? Definitely, Science Fiction? Only partially.

I bought the SF Masterworks version on the strength of the blurb and the quotations on the back of the book 'the most terrifying pages in any science fiction novel I have ever read' and 'comes very close to realizing our ideal of science fiction' certainly helped my buying decision.

Well, I found it a difficult story to connect with, I felt no empathy for any of the characters, and the obvious American Cold War overton...more
An interesting book by an interesting author, from 1960. Man has arrived on the Moon-by means of teleportation. However, triumph turns to horror, as humans discover a structure on the Moon, something that can't be comprehended by humans and something that kills. Al Barker, super-macho man and real 60s "Madman" is sent to probe the thing. In a way, the story is a real disappointment--and this should be considered a SPOILER ALERT---

We never find out what the structure is and what its purpose is....more
Jun 05, 2011 Kernos rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: College kids who need bull-session ammo
Shelves: science-fiction
Gods, just lost my brilliant review... In summary

1. Superficially a SF
2. Really an essay on what it means to be me
3. Been there, done that
4. Know what it means to be me
5. It can have only 1 ending (this the SF part)
6. I was bored
Jim Mann
Budry's Rogue Moon is one of the great SF novels of 1960. One one level, it tells the story of a man who dies again and again as he tries to make his way through an alien artifact found on the moon. Daily he is transported there from earth, while a copy of him remains behind, subject to all thoughts and feelings -- including what it feels like to die -- of the copy on the moon. On another, it's the story of the interactions of a group of rather disturbed individuals. None of the characters in th...more
Tom Tresansky
Manly Men of Science recruit a playboy adventurer to explore a mysterious structure on the Moon, which kills everyone who enters it. More a workplace drama and character study than hard SF. I get that the structure is a metaphor for the universe, and the men are a metaphor for...well...mankind, but while the novel does have something to say thematically, it still has aged very poorly. Especially the women characters.

Published well before the Apollo program, and super optimistic about the pace of...more
Rogue Moon is a surprising book that is not what I expected, yet kept me eagerly turning pages late into the night. This story is not so much an exploration of an alien artifact on the moon, but, rather, an exploration of the human condition and how individuals approach life and death. Budrys examines the motivations of people, how those motivations drive their interactions with others, and how those motivations define the way in which they see themselves. More importantly, in a universe that ca...more
John Defrog
I’ve seen a few people namedrop Algis Budrys as a less-famous but no less visionary Philip K Dick, and this particular book – part of the SF Masterworks series – is heralded by fans as a great exploration of the psychological nature of death and identity. Certainly the premise is interesting – scientists are sending men to the moon by duplicating them and transmitting them transporter-style, in order to explore an alien structure from which no one has come out alive. And the earthbound version o...more
For those interested in reading this book, some facts to be aware of...

First, the book is a product of its time. It was written before man had set foot on the moon and the world was a different place. This dates the book in places but does not ruin the book as a whole. However younger readers may have issues comprehending certain actions or dated technologies.

Second, despite the title and the blurb on the back cover, the book isn't primarily about the moon or moon exploration. It is more of a ch...more
Probably my favorite science fiction novel of all time, discovered on a basement bookshelf with the rest of my father's paperback collection.

A scientific team is able to send astronauts to the moon by teleporting doppelgängers and maintaining a brief psychic link between the original and the duplicate. On the moon, the explorers discover a mysterious alien artifact that kills them in inevitable, ghastly ways, driving their earthbound duplicates insane. The only way the chief scientist can contin...more
The best science fiction is about ideas, and Rogue Moon wrestles with at least a couple of big existential ones, e.g. what meaning can there be living in an impersonal universe? In its day (the late 1950s), the book was considered pretty ground-breaking, and perhaps it was. After all, Americans at that time were fairly confident they knew their place in the universe: few questioned America's dominance and with the churches full on Sunday mornings, everyone could easily ride the complacent wave t...more
at its core, science fiction holds society and culture up to the light for inspection and criticism. this book does that well. it goes further into our fears by asking the question "what does it mean to die/be conscious?"

i think the way this idea is presented by the characters in the book is interesting but the characters themselves and the interpersonal play among them are bland and not quite believable. at least, maybe i would believe it had the author been a better storyteller. or, perhaps, i...more
Charles Dee Mitchell
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Despues de haberle leido su magnifica novela "¿Quien?" (Who?) tenía muchas ganas de volver a leer algo más de Algis Budrys. Un autor no demasiado prolífico, y que me da la sensación de que está algo olvidado.

Publicado en 1960, años antes de que el hombre llegase a la luna, Budrys hizo su particular versión del suceso. Donde la gente es transportada mediante un emisor y un receptor hasta allí, conservando en la tierra un duplicado. El eje central tiene que ver con una misteriosa formación negra q...more
Michael Eisenberg
This book didn't have to be "Science Fiction" as it's really a very in depth character study. When reading this, I was reminded of "Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf" in as much as the dialog between all the main players kind of fleshed out the "truth" hidden behind the character.

But, since this was written with a Science Fiction backdrop and, I think to the stories benefit...that element enabled Budrys to embark on a methodical study of lofty philosophical deep thinking such as what does it mean "...more
I'd rate this a 2.5.

Rogue Moon was not quite what I expected. It focused a lot more on analyzing people, and their motivations and felt like we were peering in on the main character moonlighting as an eager to share his thoughts psychiatrist rather than it being about the discovery of an unknown object on the moon, what it meant, etc...

What time was spent describing the moon entity and the science behind getting there and how everything worked only seemed garbled to me. It felt almost like a su...more
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Algis Budrys was a Lithuanian-American science fiction author, editor, and critic. He was also known under the pen names "Frank Mason", "Alger Rome", "John A. Sentry", "William Scarff", "Paul Janvier", and "Sam & Janet Argo".

Called "AJ" by friends, Budrys was born Algirdas Jonas Budrys in Königsberg in East Prussia. He was the son of the consul general of the Lithuanian government, (the pre-Wo...more
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“Perhaps it's the alien equivalent of a discarded tomato can. Does a beetle know why it can enter the can only from one end as it lies across the trail to the beetle's burrow? Does the beetle understand why it is harder to climb to the left or right, inside the can, than it is to follow a straight line? Would the beetle be a fool to assume the human race put the can there to torment it — or an egomaniac to believe the can was manufactured only to mystify it? It would be best for the beetle to study the can in terms of the can's logic, to the limit of the beetle's ability. In that way, at least, the beetle can proceed intelligently. It may even grasp some hint of the can's maker. Any other approach is either folly or madness.” 2 likes
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