The Trouble With Tycho
By Clifford D. Simak Thorndike Press, Large Print Edition: 2002
Genre: Science Fiction
Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - January 14, 2003
Chris Jackson is a rough and tough prospector backed by a syndicate formed by his friends and family back home - on Earth. Jackson is a prospector on the moon, seeking out everything from gems to molds with medical uses. His only companion, a small dog called Susie. Well, Susie is not really a dog, more like a high energy creature that acts like a hound dog - and she and her breed are native to the moon.
The entire moon is open for prospecting, except the crater known as Tycho. It is not that prospectors are forbidden to enter Tycho. It is just that no one has every come back from Tycho. On his own, Jackson would never have dreamed of entering this forbidding area, but when he runs across Amelia Thompson he changes his mind.
Thompson is out prospecting without the required licence. Her aim is to go to Tycho and recover any documents written by the members of the 'Lunar Expedition' that were lost somewhere in Tycho, along with the several expeditions that followed them. Thompson knows that at least one person lived to leave Tycho, as her brother found the remains of one of the members of the Lunar Expedition, along with his diary. While he managed to leave Tycho, he did not get far, dying a short distance from the crater.
Together, the two battle the moon and their own fears to uncover the mysteries surrounding Tycho. If they succeeded, they will come away with a vast treasure. If they fail, they will simply be another entry in the ledger of people and equipment swallowed up by the haunted crater.
The Trouble With Tycho is a short, fast-paced space opera by Clifford D. Simak. Jackson is an endearing character and Thompson is a strong female lead, especially for a book that was first published in 1961. This is a fun book to read, that will have you holding your breath as Jackson battles against himself and the forces at work on the moon that have the power to destroy him and all he has worked for.
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