I’ve received a number of questions about The Moonborn: or, Moby-Dick on the Moon, my novel that came out on Monday, November 14th. While I love getting questions about it, I decided to put together this list for people who might have questions and would like an easy answer.
Note that there are no spoilers, other than in a very general sense.
Is it really about Moby-Dick on the Moon?
Yes. With robots instead of whales. However, you may find that it’s slightly more metafictional than your standard dark and gritty reboot. Or you may not.
Do I need to read Moby-Dick first?
In my opinion, no. The narrator of The Moonborn hasn’t even read Moby-Dick. But I would like to think that you’ll find yourself wanting to read Moby-Dick after The Moonborn.
How do you think Herman Melville would feel about all this?
Flattered, I hope. By the effort, at the very least.
Is it as long as Moby-Dick?
No. The Moonborn is a lot shorter than Moby-Dick, for various reasons. The Moonborn is about one fourth the length of Moby-Dick, putting it in the same realm as The Great Gatsby or a shorter Vonnegut novel.
Okay, enough about Moby-Dick. Did you intentionally release it on the supermoon?
I chose the date for two reasons. The first is that I knew it would be a full moon. The second you might have to figure out on your own.
How long did it take you to write?
I wrote the first draft of this as part of National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo, November of 2015. Slightly less than a year after finishing the first draft, I published it as an e-novel and paperback.
Is this self-published? If so, why?
I always knew that I would self-publish this novel. For several reasons.
But yes, it is self-published. I never attempted for it to be anything other than self-published. The reasons to self-publish and my path in doing so is more than can fit in this list, but I’ll write more about self-publishing in the future.
You’ve written a lot of fan theories about other books and movies. Are there any fan theories for The Moonborn?
I’m a big believer in The Death of the Author. Ultimately, anything I say that I don’t say in the book itself—in this list or elsewhere—can be disregarded by readers and critics. So any theory I have about The Moonborn has equal weight to any other theory anyone else might have.
Is there anything else I should read before I read it?
I reference a handful of novels, plays, films, and poems throughout The Moonborn. I’d be interested in seeing a list of all of them, but I’m not going to spell that out for you. I think it’s more fun to pick them up on your own.
One example is the poem “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley. If you want to read one thing that might heighten your reading experience before jumping into The Moonborn, I’d recommend this poem. It’s only fourteen lines long and has a particular relevance to the plot. You can read it here, or you can listen to Bryan Cranston recite it here, in a promo for Breaking Bad.
Will there be a sequel?
If there is, it won’t be called The Moonborn Identity.
I’m basically only reading it because it has a great cover. Who designed it?
I agree. The cover is awesome. It was designed by a talented artist named Steve St. Pierre, who I discovered through his project Jacket Everday.
I definitely think the cover is great, even if you aren’t meant to judge books in such ways. Look at it:
Can I buy it now?
Yes, you can and you should. Here’s the paperback. Here’s the e-book.
Enjoy, and thank you!
I did go through a “Thug notes” version of Moby Dick just to get me started 😉 and have started your book. But because of personal reasons, it is going a little slow. Sorry about that. But I am liking it so far.
Thank you for reading it! I’ll have to check those notes out.
It was a funny one actually. But as I am reading yours, I realize it wasn’t really necessary.
The awesome Shameful Narcissist’s post mentioned your novel so I thought I’d check out your blog. Robots on the moon based on that epic story about a whale sounded intriguing. 🙂 It’s on my to read list now! I hope I get to it soon. I’d also like to learn more about self publishing. I’m currently a wannabe writer who’s working on a novel thing. I may or may not try to share it with the world if I finish it, but I’d like to find out more about the options out there.
Thanks! I agree that the Shameful Narcissist is awesome. Glad to make it onto your read list!
As far as self publishing, I’ll probably write more about it in the future. There are lots of great resources out there for it but I’ve found that some subreddits and a few blogs and sites specifically about it really helped me. Overall, it has been a lot of trial and error as well.