Has Anybody Seen Junie Moon?


Wolfe's comments from the Introduction to Starwater Strains

"Has Anybody Seen Junie Moon?" is and isn't a Lafferty story. It isn't a story Ray Lafferty might have written -- or at least I don't think it is. (With Lafferty, you could never be sure.) But he's behind it, laughing at my story and me. Which is better than okay. Like "Shields of Mars," "Junie Moon" was written for Peter Crowther, who put it in Moon Shots, which is better than okay, too.


Sam (a.k.a. Hercules), a dim-witted circus strongman, is looking for his lost lover Junie Moon, a physicist who disappeared while investigating a satellite with a very low orbit.


  • "Roy T. Laffer" is a play on the name of R. A. Lafferty.
  • The "White Cow Moon" is named for a moon in Lafferty's story "You Can't Go Back." That low-hovering moon doesn't orbit; it moves around on its own volition.
  • The narrator's real name is Sam Jr., i.e. Sam's son.
  • They take the false name of Manoe. In the Bible, Samson's father was Manoa.
  • Hercules says at the end that he will push and bring things crashing down. This is another obvious Sampson reference. The "has anybody seen" in the title suggests the blinding of Sampson.
  • The story about being the daughter of King Thespius relates to a legend about Hercules, but Thespius also suggests "thespian" or actor. Thespius had fifty daughters, and Hercules bedded all of them as a reward for hunting down a lion that was menacing the kingdom. Another mythical set of fifty daughters is that of Selene, the moon-goddess, by Endymion.
  • Juno was the jealous stepmother of Hercules, and she helped King Eurystheus in setting his twelve labors.
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight pops up again and again in Wolfe. (See Castleview and The Wizard Knight for example). Here, Sam is staying in the Gawain room, and his host calls him a "jolly old green giant."
  • There is an Arthurian connection too, since Junie said she believed Laffer was actually Merlin. In "Merlin's Cave" they meet a woman with a baby and an old man with a stick. According to the usual "Merlin ages backwards" idea, it may be the baby that is Merlin and the lady is Viviane/Nemue.
  • The cave is by a lake. The location, with a castle said to be the birthplace of King Arthur associated with Merlin's cave seems to be Tintagel Castle. I'm not sure if there's an electric fence in this vicinity in real life, however.
  • I've been to Tintagel in Cornwall (far south west England) and I don't remember an electric fence. It's by the sea in a very picturesque spot and is actually a mediaeval ruined castle on the site of an earlier settlement. All the King Arthur stuff is good for the tourist trade and the town is full of things named after characters in the Arthurian legends, if I remember rightly, there was a Merlin's Video Arcade. The fifth/sixth century Romano British warleader that the legend was based on was almost certainly not born here but in Wales. There is an interesting book on all this called "The Reign of Arthur" by Christopher Gidlow. 'Crom 20100514'
  • Given the Samson/Delilah connection, is seems likely that Junie has betrayed Hercules for money and left him in the lurch, rather than being disappeared by the government.
  • "We're from the government and we're here to help you and Mr. Moon" is a variation on a famous Ronald Reagan quote about the nine most terrifying words in the English language.
  • Sam recounts how his father was shot down by the feds, which recalls Randy Weaver and the Ruby Ridge incident.
  • The scientist with the German name translated to One Mug is Einstein.

Unresolved Questions

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