There was something about Dave, and I was already keenly interested in the subject, so I thanked him for the present and added it to my bag (it was filled with non-fiction books, by the way, which I do read when I can).
It was well into June before I had a chance to open Red Moon. And when I did - well, I couldn't put it down. It might as well have been a new Foundation or Harry Potter novel. The subject, the plot, the characters, the writing was brilliant. I contacted Dave right away, told him how much I enjoyed the novel. It had been published by a very small press. I told him I would try to get it to the attention of a bigger publisher.
Which I did... But all of this was right before September 11, 2001, when lots of things changed in the publishing world (most of which is headquartered in New York City). And in the aftermath, at least the publishers that I had been in contact with were doing other things, cutting back their acquisition lists.
And so, nothing more happened with Dave Michaels' Red Moon. I listed it as my #1 favorite first science fiction novel on a list I started on Amazon. (It's a pretty exclusive list. I'd highly recommend Bob Katz's Edward Maret, which is #2 on the list. Wen Spencer's Alien Taste and Larry Ketchersid's Dusk Before Dawn are there, too.)
Amazon now has an "out of print" sign on Dave Michaels' Red Moon page. (I also have a reader review of the novel there.)
Now that I'm thinking about the book again, I'm going to do once more what I can — in a hopefully more successful attempt — to help get it published.
In the meantime, if you're at all interested in the space race, what could have been, why what happened — and didn't happen -- happened, the extraordinary human struggle to reach the cosmos, give yourself a treat, and see if you can score a second-hand copy of this novel somewhere. Trust me - you'll be caught up in an adventure, in an intrigue of alternate and real history, that you'll never forget.