In an alternate 19th century, young Samuel Clemens sets out for the mining camps of America’s wildest frontier: the Moon. Travel with Sam and his partner Calvin as they venture into the desolate, deadly wastes of the Mare Imbrium and the Montes Caucasus, in search of wonders, adventure, and a fortune in precious water ice. This is Prospectors!, the opening salvo in the epic saga of Mark Twain on the Moon, as told by the alternate Mark Twain himself.
Michael Schulkins writes humor and sci-fi novels of phantasmagorical fun! His most recent series, Mark Twain on the Moon, explores the inimitable style of Samuel Clemens in a steampunk alternate history. Other novels include the out-of-this-world political satires Up A Tree: A Jobs and Plunkitt Galactic Adventure, Beltway, and the comic crime capers Mother Lode and Sting Suite.
Michael spent most of his life in California, but has recently escaped with his wonderful wife Helen to the wilds of Arizona. He attended several universities and eventually emerged with two degrees in physics, one in music composition, and minors in math, political science, philosophy, and poker. He subsequently spent twenty years teaching physics, and now writes fiction full time.
His work can be found at michaelschulkins.com, marktwainonthemoon.com, and at Amazon, Audible, and other book retailers. All of Michael's books should give you a good laugh, but they may also make you stop and think.
I have not read the works of Mr. Samuel Clemens, but I am American educated in America so I do feel like I have some inkling of what Mr. Twain's writing must be like. This feels like it. It is human, and it is humorous.
And this business about being on the moon? It's delightful. While technically steampunk (what with it being steam fueled science fiction and all) don't expect the traditional extraneous gears and goggles. This is genuine American storytelling without the quasi-Victorian affectations.
It does, however, feel like half a book. Is that how Mark Twain published his works? I do not know, but I checked, and the second book is around twice as long as this one. I enjoyed this volume, but is the second book part two of two? Part two of four? Part two of two combined with part one of three? Those averse to hanging on cliffs may beware.
Otherwise, prepare to spend some quality time seeking your fortune and fame on the moon.
This read is like a blast from the past it truly feels like a modern unique version of an old Mark Twain story. While reading it I was struck by the feeling that it felt like an old friend telling you a tale from his past rather then a carefully crafted fictitious narrative and I do believe that it was aiming for the mark that it hit.
First of all, I have never written a book, so I've never had one published. Michael Schulkins has, so he is more than "one up" on me. About this book. It made me want to go out and get a copy of anything written by Mark Twain. "Prospectors!" would be a good "beach read." That is the kindest thing I can say about this book. Be aware that this is the first book in a series of three. There is a cliffhanger ending that would urge you to read book two. If you look around, I think that all three books can be found in one volume. The title is a bit confusing, since the main character is Sam Clemens, Mark Twain's actual name. Since Mark Twain was Samuel Clemens, I suppose that this book title is accurate. I recall that there was, or maybe still is, a contest called "A Page of Bad Hemmingway." The finalists would all meet in Key West, sporting the appropriate beard, where they would read their version of something in Hemmingway's style. Mr. Schulkins may be aware of this, or should be. I think he'd do well.
This book is like Jules Verne meets Mark Twain's travel writings. Mark Twain himself (with his real name, Samuel Clemens) is the narrator, and the book captures his characteristic humor in a great 19th-century writing style.
My favorite parts are the character sketches given by the narrator of the fascinating people he meets along the way. Also the audiobook is UNREAL good!
It does end on a cliffhanger, but the next book in the series is already available, so I was fine with the suspense.
Reading this was much like listening to someone tell a story, and while it may be a story you want to hear, the storyteller tends to ramble or get stuck on less than interesting details. And then the story is over before the adventure has actually ended. I hate cliffhanger endings. I will not read the next book.