Science Fiction Magazine

Welcome to the Science Fiction Magazine

Science fiction fans of a certain age, will remember listening to radio dramas or stories being recounted over the air. Certainly, I recall waiting impatiently for Charles Chilton's drama, Jet Morgan and the Journey Into Spaee radio series, which attracted a huge audience in Great Britain. In the USA, millions tuned in to listen to Orson Welles reading H G Wells' War Of The worlds. It even caused a panic when some gullible listeners thought the Martian invasion might be real!

This set me thinking that there might be a gap in the market for something similar today. Science fiction stories told in episodes on a regular basis. The Internet allows such things to be created these days and, even better, they can be financed by Google Ads, meaning that the story or audio story can be provided at no cost.

This site is my experiment to see if there is a demand.

Below, you will find the opening chapters of Moonscape, my hard science fiction story set on the moon in the very near future. You can either read it or listen to it and when you finish, you provide your email (all data protection laws adhered to) to be sent the link to the next chapter - after a few days to build anticipation. Sounds like fun, eh?

Will this work, or will it prove to be one of my rare ideas which falls flat on its face? It is up to you.

Enjoy!


Ebooks & Paperbacks

Below, you will find the covers of all of Tony Harmsworth's science fiction novels, trilogy and series, including his non-fiction work at the bottom.

By clicking the book covers, you'll be taken to a book description and links to buy the books on various platforms including Amazon/Kindle, KOBO, the iStore and others.

The books are listed in the order in which they were written. Except non-fiction at the bottom.


Moonscape - 2019

The Door

The Visitor - 2019 - Tony's first First Contact novel

The Visitor

Federation - 2019 - The first of an epic trilogy

Federation

Mindslip - 2019 - Tony's favourite novel

Mindslip

The Door - 2019 - A tongue in cheek SF mystery

The Door

Tony Harmsworth Starter Collection - 2019 - Three novels to introduce the author

Tony Harmsworth Starter Collection

Federation & Earth - 2019 - Book two of the trilogy

Federation and Earth

Moonstruck - 2019 - Sequel to Moonscape

Moonstruck

Hidden Federation - 2019 - The final book in the Federation Trilogy

Hidden Federation

Trappist-1 - 2020 - Book three in the Mark Noble Adventure Series

Trappst-1

Federation Complete Trilogy - 2020 - All three Federation novels

Federation Complete Trilogy

The Spolding Connundrum - 2020 - Mark Noble Adventures book four

The Spolding Connundrum

Cybernetic Tyrant & Deep Space Visitor - 2021 - Mark Noble Adventures book five (two stories)

Cybernetic Tyrant and Deep Space Visitor

Mark Noble Space Adventures Anthology 3 - 2021 - All six Mark Noble Adventures in a single volume

Mark Noble Space Adventures Anthology 3

NON-FICTION

Scotland's Bloody History - 2006

Scotland's Bloody History

NON-FICTION

Loch Ness, Nessie and Me - 2007

Loch Ness, Nessie and Me

NON-FICTION

Raducanu's Fairy Tale in New York - 2022

Raducanu's Fairy Tale in New York

Moonscape - Mark Noble Space Adventure Book One

Story Description: We've known that the moon is dead since Apollo. But what if something lay dormant in the dust, waiting to be found?

In 2028, Mark Noble is conducting a survey of a moon crater. An entity secretly grabs a ride back to Moonbase on Mark's buggy. Once in the habitat, it begins to take over the crew. They find themselves in a frightening, helter-skelter adventure with only two possible outcomes: losing or saving the Earth.

MOONSCAPE is a hard science fiction story from Tony Harmsworth, a First Contact specialist who, some say, writes in the style of the old masters. If you like fast-paced adventure, fraught with the additional dangers found in space, then Tony's latest tale has been written especially for you. You don't even need to be a SciFi fan as the story could be played out anywhere and is described by some readers as having 'horror' overtones.

Start the page-turning SF/horror world of MOONSCAPE today! Choose to read or listen, it is up to you. The audio version is brought to life for you by Caprica actor, Luke Welland.


Are you ready to start your adventure in the company of Mark Noble on the moon's surface?

Begin the first adventure today.

FOR THE AUDIO VERSION CLICK HERE.

If you prefer to read, you'll find chapter one below.


MOONSCAPE

Chapter One - Routine

[Note for non-British readers - Tony writes using UK English spelling, punctuation and grammar. Both miles and kilometres are used where appropriate.]

The dust returned to the surface as if in slow motion. I'd kicked up a cloud of it as I turned towards the Earth which hung in the sky like a Christmas bauble.

The blue and white marbling was extraordinary. I lifted my gloved hand and covered the entire disk with my padded thumb.

With a single digit, I'd hidden almost all human beings in existence, leaving just the twelve of us on the surface of the moon, including the four in the Chinese habitat.

'Can you straighten it, Mark?' a voice called over the radio, intruding into my isolation.

'Two seconds, Roy,' I replied. I straightened the theodolite target pole, lining up the marks on the two gauges. 'Okay.'

I held the pole still and looked across at Roy. Between us was a one-kilometre crater named Timocharis Delta, one of the craters on the fringe of Mare Imbrium. We'd discovered it was relatively new, only a few thousand years old. A previous visit had indicated a magnetic core. Whatever had created Timocharis Delta must have been composed of iron. That wasn't unusual but warranted this closer examination.

In the distance I could see the wall of the main Timocharis crater after which Delta was named. It was far larger, over thirty kilometres wide.

Behind Roy, a kilometre away from me, stood the six-wheel moon-buggy, our home during this six-day expedition. Ten kilometres to the west, Moonbase One awaited our return the day after tomorrow. We'd been carrying out surveys of craters east of Moonbase and were now on the homeward arm of the loop.

Back on Earth, our work on the moon's surface had initially been on the news almost every day but was now rarely mentioned. Real science wasn't as exciting as political scandals or soap stars' affairs. Very few of the general public would even know our names.

'Got that, Mark. Give me a few minutes to pack up and I'll drive around and collect you.'

'Roger that.'

That gave me at least thirty minutes to absorb the amazing location. Me, Mark Noble, standing on the surface of the moon, following in the footsteps of Neil Armstrong, metaphorically if not actually. The Apollo 11 landing site, of course, was an internationally protected area. No one was allowed to approach within two hundred metres of it, owing to its historical significance.

I walked ten metres down the slight slope of the outer ring of the crater and turned to watch Roy. I could just make him out, walking towards the buggy. I leaned on the target device. It took little effort to stand on the moon, but there was a tendency to lean forward due to the mass of the backpack. Leaning on the target tripod helped my balance.

'Moonbase, I'm opening the access hatch.' Roy stood on the ladder and swung open the one-metre circular hatch towards the rear of the buggy. His tiny white figure filled the black hole in the buggy for a moment, then he pulled the hatch back into position.

I continued eastwards so that he could collect me en route to our planned overnight camping location.

'I'm in the buggy. Stowing the equipment and sealing the hatch, Moonbase.'

'Copy that, Roy,' came the tinny female response.

I plodded eastwards, kicking up dust with each step. 'Moonbase, Mark here. Surprisingly deep dust to the east of Timocharis Delta. At least ten centimetres here. Can't walk without kicking it up.'

'Acknowledge that, Mark,' said Crystal from Moonbase.

'On my way,' said Roy.

'Copy that,' said Crystal.

The buggy was on the move, heading eastwards to clear the crater rim. As I walked, I looked down at the deepening dust. I'd not seen dust so thick during my three months at Moonbase.

'Odd. The dust is now at least twenty centimetres. It's halfway to my knees.'

'Normal here, just the usual couple of centimetres,' said Roy.

'Hi Mark, Blake here. Looking behind you, is there any change in the surface colouration as it gets deeper?' asked the Moonbase commander. I pictured Crystal sitting at the communication centre in the comdome with Blake Smith leaning over her to speak.

I turned. It was becoming more difficult to move my feet. Not seriously, but I felt the resistance. 'No, Blake. Surface looks absolutely normal - the usual darker disturbed dust. You can see my footprints,' I said, sending him a digital image.

'Yes. Odd. Take care. Roy, you listening to this? Any change where you are?'

'I'm kicking up dust with the wheels, but nothing out of the ordinary,' replied Roy.

'Proceed with care,' said Blake.

I walked a few paces further and stopped. 'Roy, Blake. Dust up to my knees. Copy please.'

Blake cut in. 'Hold your position, Mark. Any deeper with you, Roy?'

'Copy that, Mark. I've eased off to 4kph. Can't really see any change here,' replied Roy.

'Proceed with care, Roy. Mark, can you backtrack? I don't want you entering anything deeper.'

'Copy that. Backtracking.'

Soon I was back on the normal surface.

'Would it be better for you to follow my original tracks around the west side of Timocharis Delta, Roy?'

'Well, I'm halfway around now and no change in the surface.'

'Skirt well out into the plain to avoid whatever I've encountered.'

'Watch the speed, Roy. Slow to a crawl,' said Blake.

There was no doubt this was an unusual phenomenon. Before the Apollo missions, there'd been real fears that there might be deep dust, so deep that the Apollo crafts might actually disappear into it and be lost forever. None of those fears had materialised.

'Have we encountered anything as deep as this?' I asked.

'No. Twelve centimetres in an area found by Apollo 14 at Fra Mauro,' said Blake. 'I'll mark the spot for a future investigation.''

The buggy continued its journey eastwards and gradually began to turn south, but well beyond the original planned path. I could see very little dust being thrown up, but Roy was travelling extremely slowly. I looked at my O2 gauge. Plenty.

'Halfway to Mark,' said Roy. 'Dust still normal.'

'Copy that,' I said. Crystal acknowledged him too.

'I'm walking southwards so as to save Roy having to approach anywhere near that pool of dust,' I said, trudging slowly away from Timocharis Delta, trying to avoid adopting the bunny-hop gait which was more natural when moving quickly on the surface.

'Copy that, Mark. Roy, skirt further south to be safe,' said Blake.

I walked a good forty metres southwards. The ground was absolutely solid, with just the usual one or two centimetres of fine, loose regolith. I stopped and turned to watch the buggy's progress.

Roy was now some hundred metres east of Timocharis Delta and almost level with its southernmost tip. 'I'm turning westwards. Should be well south of Mark's dust pit,' he said.

'Roger that, Roy. Proceed with care.'

The buggy was now approaching me head-on. It comprised a single lozenge-shaped cabin about five metres long and three metres wide. Inside there was plenty of headroom. It contained three bunks, cooking facilities, a chemical toilet and half a dozen seats. The structure sat on a raised chassis with prominent axles and six wheels with chunky tyres. Electric motors powered each axle independently and the hubs of the front two wheels contained additional motors to provide more traction if required. It was now pointing towards me, maybe fifty metres to the east of me.

'Do you think I'm far enough south of the pit, Mark?'

'Can't be sure, but probably,' I replied.

'Any change in depth?' asked Blake.

'Not so far.'

'Okay. Just stay cautious,' said Blake.

'Copy that.'

The buggy slowed to a crawl.

'Dust's thicker here,' said Roy.

'Okay. Stop,' said Blake.

'Stopped. Left front tyre at least twenty centimetres deep. Right front about ten centimetres. I can see wheels three and four are on normal ground. Think I should turn south again. Blake?' said Roy.

'Right. Turn south,' said Blake.

'Roger that.'

The front wheels turned to the right. The buggy started to move forward to starboard, beginning a turn southward. I watched in horror as the entire cabin began to list to port.

'Oh, fuck!' said Roy.

The buggy slid forward and lurched sideways. I saw wheels spinning and dust flying as Roy slammed the drive into reverse.

'I've hit full reverse on all wheels!' shouted Roy.

All that happened was that the starboard wheels started to grip, but that swung the vehicle further to the south. In dreadful slow motion, the whole vehicle rolled onto its side, half the cabin and all of the port side wheels buried in the dust.

'Report!' said Blake.

'Buggy two's on its side. Here's some pics,' I said as I sent a series of images to Moonbase.

'On its port side. I'm half buried in dust,' said Roy.

'Stop all drives,' said Blake.

'Drives powered down,' said Roy.

'Seems to be just lying there. Not slipping deeper,' I said. What was most worrying was that the hatch was under the dust. A removable panel on the starboard side would give access, but releasing it involved all sorts of precautions, and even then it was cumbersome and was supposed to fall downwards. If I opened it, how could I lift it onto solid ground?

'No further movement,' said Roy.

I looked at my O2 gauge. What had seemed plenty before, now seemed far less adequate. We were in trouble.


How are Mark and Roy going to get out of this mess. Click this email link to request chapter 2. It will arrive in a few days.



Design & Copyright: Harmsworth Publishing Ltd


Audible Books

Below, you will find the covers of all of Tony Harmsworth's Audible publications.

By clicking the Audible covers, you'll be taken to a book description and links to buy the books on the Audible website.

The books are listed in the order in which they were published on Audible.


The Visitor

The Visitor - narrated by Marni Penning

Federation

Federation - narrated by Marni Penning

Federation and Earth

Federation and Earth - narrated by Marni Penning

Hidden Federation

Hidden Federation - narrated by Marni Penning

Mindslip

Mindslip - narrated by Kim Miller and David Sweeney-Bear

In Production

Currenly we are recording all of the Mark Noble Space Adventures with Luke Welland, and The Door, narrated by David Sweeney-Bear sometime in 2023.