“The Moment,” by Lawrence M. Schoen is told in a series of moments, a comic-tragic succession of galactic entities all drawn to a footprint on the Moon. The prose is filled with cerulean imagery and technophilic vocabulary; to a large degree the wordplay carries me along in reading it. And yet, this story bugs me.
There are no humans, except in the awe-struck regard of the other intelligences that come looking for the beings who left that print. They hold humanity in such wonder, I am left — for a moment — feeling that the story panders to the old Campbellian dictum that we must be the baddest beings in the universe. There are also moments when I see how the story recaptures the hopes and visions that revolve around that footprint. It just doesn’t quite get there for me.