FABIAN: Nuns In Space? The Story Behind ‘Moonboy’ in Planetary Anthology Series: Luna


Hi. I’m Karina Fabian, and I write nuns in space.

Karina Fabian April 2020Go ahead, say it loud. Say it long. Nuns in Spaaaace! The stories are as much fun to write as the concept.

Why space nuns? It actually started on a date night. My husband and I used to come up with story ideas on dates, and this time, I was writing articles about different religious orders, and Rob was volunteering with Artemis Society. The ideas crossed.

It makes a kind of sense. The Church has always followed exploration and (arguments with Galileo aside), has a strong history of scientific research. Rob and I decided that to get our order of religious sisters off the Earth, they needed to provide some kind of service of value to the early spacers. Search and Rescue, medical, and engineering came to mind. The Rescue Sisters were born!

We’d written several stories and I wrote a novel starring some of these intrepid nuns. It was interesting to combine the grit and high-tech stakes of space life with the faith, practice, and moral stakes of spiritual life. The Rescue Sisters stories have taken place in the asteroid belt, in LEO, and even as far as Pluto. But I’d always thought there needed to be one on the moon.

So, when Declan Finn asked me to write for Luna, I had my chance.

First, I needed a setting. I was lucky, because thanks to a talented friend who wrote for one of my anthologies (Infinite Space, Infinite God), I already had a moon “world” to write in. “Brother Jubal and the Womb of Silence” by Tim Meyers is still one of my favorite stories. It takes place on a hermitage in the Aristarchus Crater and on the support station, Drake Lunar Station. He was kind enough to let me adopt his world into my Rescue Sisters Universe.

Next, I needed a rescue. After all, these are the Rescue Sisters. I’d been wanting to explore the idea of children in space and toyed with the idea of rescuing some spoiled brat who went off on his own, but it felt superficial. After all, if we’re involving nuns, we need a spiritual element. Besides, unless I’m doing humor, I try to assume people are generally smart. No kid is going to risk certain death in the cold of space just to go haring off by himself.

What would make a child risk everything?

What if he had nothing to lose.

Enter Cory, the first lunar-born boy just on the cusp of manhood, who has found out he won’t live to 20. Whose entire life is one of medical tests, over-protective parents, and shallow distractions. A boy who longs for adventure, like the hero in his favorite series of novels.

The story begins when Cory decides to take his fate in his own hands and head out to an adventure that will probably lead him to an early death – or worse, a life of abuse and desperation before he eventually dies. Fortunately, God had different plans for him, and he meets the Rescue Sisters.

I really appreciate Declan giving me the push to write this story. Otherwise, it would have sat in the back of my mind, as useless as Cory felt he was.

Nobody should feel worthless.

Karina Fabian writes both serious and seriously funny science fiction and fantasy. You can find her stuff at https://fabianspace.com 

You can check out the entire 11-book series right here. While four of the books have already been released, the remaining seven will be coming out in six-week intervals and can be pre-ordered at the link above. 

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