Moon Six

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"Moon Six" is a science fiction short story by British writer Stephen Baxter. It originally appeared in Science Fiction Age in the March 1997 issue.

"Moon Six" concerns an American astronaut named Bado. During a visit to the moon, Bado witnesses a sort of "heat haze," and then finds himself in an alternate reality; this happens numerous times during the story. These shifts cause various circumstances to change for Bado throughout the story, including the disappearance of his spacecraft, the disappearance of a fellow astronaut, the appearance of other space travellers, and eventually his release back into a society with a history different from the history he knows.

The narrative has two threads. One narrative proceeds as described above, with Bado enduring various shifts into different realities; the second thread portrays Bado as existing in an alternate United States of the late twentieth century, in a country (and world) which is experiencing a slower rate of technological growth than Bado has experienced. Bado uses materials and technologies borrowed from his spacesuit to obtain patents and earn himself a small fortune. However, Bado's unique experiences and knowledge are of limited use in a world where he has little influence.

"Moon Six" was a nominee for the Hugo Award for the best novelette in 1998.