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Travel Books Review, Spring 1996 (USA)

Moon Handbook: A 21st-Century Travel guide by Carl Koppeschaar (Moon Publications, 140 pages, B&W/color photographs, maps, index, $ 10.00 ISBN 1-56691-066-8)

In the spirit of the true adventurer, Moon, known for its intensive Moon Handbooks for world locations leaps ahead to the year 2020 with an imaginary travel trip to the Moon, weaving fact and fiction to help readers imagine what it would be like to travel to this far-away destination.

Organized like a travel guide, it is full of accurate information about the Moon's topography, gravity, and climate, contained in a descriptive sightseeing tour that will engage the imaginations of science fans, readers of science fiction, and armchair travelers alike.

The book traces the uneasy progress of human understanding of the Moon through the centuries, from the first would-be astronaut and his 47 firecrackers to a hoax that helped a New York City newspaper more than double its circulation. The guide also covers scientific aspects of the relation between the Earth and the Moon, the Moon in mythology, history, and the Moon's influence on our daily lives.

Aamateur astronomers will appreciate the book's accurate maps and charts, while earth-weary travelers and science-fiction enthusiasts will enjoy the whimsical tours of the lunar surface. With this guide in hand, travelers can confidently explore and discover the lunar landscape for themselves. Why not take a trip to the long, narrow Alpine Valley, or the Mountain of Eternal Light? Or for those with a bent for technology, a tour of the Moon's oxygen and concrete production plants. The best place to start a journey is a visit to the Moon Museum, which documents Moon history, mythology, exploration, and settlement.

Outdoor recreation receives thorough coverage, including tips on solar sailing, swimming, golf and track and field, which in the Moon's low-gravity environment is an activity at which almost anyone can excel.

Unlike many destinations on Earth, the Moon is an excellent year-round travel destination. The author says: "Since the Portable Life Support System (PLSS) completely regulates the temperature in your space suit, and the domes of Moon City and other settlements are kept at a comfortable room temperature, the ward robe you bring, from Bermuda shorts to formal dress, depends entirely on your frame of mind."

Get this book and prepare for the greatest journey of your life. The actuality of such a trip may be nearer than you think.

Mark Beffart

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