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Honeymoon in Hell (The Galaxy Project) [Kindle Edition]

Fredric Brown
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 150 pages
  • Series: The Galaxy Project (Book 7)
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Book Description

HONEYMOON IN HELL appeared in the second issue of GALAXY dated November 1950. (Brown’s THE LAST MARTIAN had appeared in the first issue a month previous.) Brown’s name on the table of contents of the first two issues, along with the names of other major contributors to ASTOUNDING--Clifford Simak, Isaac Asimov, Theodore Sturgeon, Fritz Leiber, Anthony Boucher--made clear that Gold was going directly after John W. Campbell’s audience and the stories which he had printed were of a different order from what these writers had sold ASTOUNDING. They were darker, more socially aware, in cases (Fritz Leiber’s COMING ATTRACTION) sexually frank in a fashion inconceivable in Campbell’s magazine. This novelette, dealing frankly with copulation and its desired consequences, was managed in a way far less euphemistic than had been the Campbellian norm and Brown, as he was to do often in the stories to follow, used a satirical attack which if it did not question magazine taboos certainly parodied them. The covers of pulp magazines such as PLANET or STARTLING depicted monsters putting near-naked females in peril, but the narratives under the cover by design offered no equivalent. Brown’s hastily married couple, sent to the Moon to see if they could breed a male child (all births on Earth over recent months have been female), encounter problems emotional as well as practical. Difficult as it may be to understand sixty years later, the employment of the word “hell” in a magazine cover title was also an act of provocation. The story was a provocation in its entirety, although, of course--and as Paul di Filippo suggests in his introduction--perhaps you had to be there.


Fredric Brown (1906-1972) was the only writer to achieve equal prominence in the mystery and science fiction. NIGHT OF THE JABBERWOCKY (1947) won the first MWA Edgar for first novel and all of his mysteries remain much in demand overseas where he has always been very popular. Several of those mysteries (THE SCREAMING MIMI, 1958) were adapted for film. Brown’s science fiction includes novels (WHAT MAD UNIVERSE, MARTIANS GO HOME!) and shorter work regarded as classics of the form (ARENA, THE STAR MOUSE, PLACET IS A CRAZY PLACE). He was also the acknowledged master of the short-short story; a famous collection, NIGHTMARES AND GEEZENSTACKS (1954) demonstrates his consistent mastery of a form self-limited to a top wordage of 500. ARENA (1944) was the basis of a famed Star Trek episode, MARTIANS GO HOME! was adapted for a 1992 film; THE LAST MARTIAN was adapted for Serling’s THE TWILIGHT ZONE and starred Steve McQueen at the start of his career. Poor health (weak lungs) forced Brown into Arizona retirement in 1963 and he published only one short story in collaboration in his last eight years. His work, forty years after his death, is increasingly prominent.


Horace Gold led GALAXY magazine from its first issue dated October 1950 to science fiction’s most admired, widely circulated and influential magazine throughout its initial decade. Its legendary importance came from publication of full length novels, novellas and novelettes. GALAXY published nearly every giant in the science fiction field.

The Galaxy Project is a selection of the best of GALAXY with new forewords by some of today’s best science fiction writers. The initial selections in alphabetical order include work by Ray Bradbury, Frederic Brown, Lester del Rey, Robert A. Heinlein, Damon Knight, C. M. Kornbluth, Walter M. Miller, Jr., Frederik Pohl, Robert Scheckley, Robert Silverberg, William Tenn (Phillip Klass) and Kurt Vonnegut with new Forewords by Paul di Filippo, David Drake, John Lutz, Barry Malzberg and Robert Silverberg. The Galaxy Project is committed to publishing new work in the spirit GALAXY magazine and its founding editor Horace Gold.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Fredric Brown (1906-1972) was the only writer to achieve equal prominence in the mystery and science fiction genres. His first foray into mystery, The Fabulous Clipjoint, won the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award for Best First Novel. Brown was also the acknowledged master of the short short story; the famous collection Nightmares and Geezenstacks demonstrates his consummate mastery of a form limited to no more than five hundred words. His short story ''Arena'' was the basis of a famed Star Trek episode; ''Martians, Go Home!'' was adapted for a 1992 film; ''The Last Martian'' was adapted for Serling's Twilight Zone and starred Steve McQueen at the start of his career. Brown's work, more than forty years after his death, is increasingly prominent.

Product Details

  • File Size: 169 KB
  • Print Length: 150 pages
  • Publisher: RosettaBooks (October 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00COA029I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #452,142 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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76 of 76 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Buyer Be Aware! March 30, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
The other reviews of HONEYMOON IN HELL, appended close-by, refer to an old beloved and long-out-of-print Bantam paperback, containing many noted Fredric Brown sf stories, first issued when Rod Serling helmed Twilight Zone -- the first time around.

This (Galaxy Project) edition of "Honeymoon in Hell" contains only that single Brown novelette. The rest of the brief page count is padded out by boilerplate common to every (Galaxy Project) publication -- how important GALAXY MAGAZINE was in the 1950s, how important the length of the book's single story is, and how important the artist (whose cover image has nothing to do with the story) is. (Such attention to detail!: Despite this edition's Fredric Brown bio, his 1947 first mystery novel was THE FABULOUS CLIPJOINT, not 1950's NIGHT OF THE JABBERWOCK.)

Unique to each (Galaxy Project) is a context-setting introduction by a noted writer/critic of the field to the contained story. "Honeymoon in Hell" has a nice one by Paul Di Filippo.

Be Aware, for the price quoted, you're basically getting only the title novelette and an introduction to it, not the old HONEYMOON IN HELL, with multiple stories, referenced by other reviewers.

My stars are for the story, not for its packaging and presentation.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars FYI: Same story is in "2nd FB Megapack" August 26, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
This is not a review, just a heads-up FYI to inform you this intriguing story is included in Wildside's "Second Fredric Brown Megapack" (for only $.99) where it is one of 27(!) FB tales. SF fans who already own that set should thus be wary of unwittingly repurchasing the very same story in this Galaxy Project edition. The key word is "unwittingly." You may very well wish to deliberately and knowingly purchase this edition because of the informative, supplemental material this single-story edition contains (though if you have previously purchased other titles in this Galaxy series, apart from the introduction to this particular story, much of that is essentially repeated here, too). The choice, of course, is yours, but I would recommend not only the aforementioned 2nd FB Megapack to get this and the 26 other stories, but the First FB Megapack as well to get 33 more (for a grand total of 60 stories) for only $.99 per volume (a mere $1.98 for both sets). That's a far better deal than purchasing this one story alone for $2.99.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Brown's Best July 28, 2013
By Elliot
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Fredric Brown wrote excellent mystery novels (try Night of the Jabberwock, for example), a few good horror stories (the title story in the collection Come And Go Mad and Other Stories is a classic), and a lot of science fiction, a field in which he specialized in what we today call "Flash Fiction"-- very short stories with surprising, often funny endings (several of these are available as free Kindle downloads). This novelette, unfortunately, is not his best. The emphasis on sex was very daring for the 1950s (nothing remotely explicit, mind you, but simply having a story whose plot turns on human reproduction was highly unusual in the SF magazines of the era), and the idea of an external crisis bringing the warring nations of the earth together was still a rather new one then, but today the story seems rather tame, and the surprises are dulled by the fact that many subsequent stories have used similar plot points.

I should emphasize that this is just a novelette (and not even a particularly long one), not a full novel. "The Galaxy Project" is reprinting novelettes and novellas which originally appeared in Galaxy in the 1950s as e-books, padding them with essays on Galaxy, on the story, on the artist who painted the cover, etc. Some of the stories in this series are first rate (Heinlein's The Year of the Jackpot (The Galaxy Project), for example), but this one is not (IMHO, of course).
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is real nightmare material... February 3, 2000
By A Customer
It's easy to slice, dice, slash, and bash; much harder to take the subtle approach and write something that worms its way into the subconscious and refuses to go away. I couldn't have been more than ten when I first read "The Arena"; thirty-five years later, I still remember it vividly (vividly enough that, whenever I look at a sandbox, I recall the story. How's that for persistence of memory?). It didn't frighten me in the way a horror movie might; it did, however, give me a huge case of the creeps. Bravo to Fredric Brown... and get this book back into print!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent short story August 29, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The eBook I purchased is the one that only contains the single story (as other reviewers indicated there is another version of this). It's a simple plot. The world's birth rate goes from 50/50 female/male to 100% female. The government thinks some type of radio wave is screwing up the reproductive process. A man from the US and a woman from the USSR are married and sent to the moon together. Their mission: Anna to get pregnant and return to Earth. If the baby is born male, they know the problem is strictly terrestrial. Then the story proceeds through a few plot twists.

The writing is solid, though there is a lot of exposition at the end like a detective explaining a mystery to the audience. Most of the plot twists come out of nowhere, as if the author thought, "What cool thing could I make happen next?" The final page or two is a bit sappy. None of these are really big deals.

I applaud the author's use of science to explain the fiction. If there are problems with the science, you have to keep in mind it was written in 1950. There is scientific reasoning behind age restrictions on astronauts and the elaborate supply management system for surviving on and returning from the moon. There are politic elements that mostly remain as background filler. Carmody is clear about his avoidance of the topic at all costs with his Russian bride, Anna. While there are political motivations at the heart of the story, it's never shoved into the reader's face.

I can't help but wonder if this story influenced the ending of the graphic novel, the Watchmen.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice way to pass time.
Bought this for light reading and it has been great for that. My kindle is with me when ever I am out and about at hockey and basketball games with my wife so I can read between... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Bruce
4.0 out of 5 stars As expected,a good light read
Fredric Brown does not disappoint even after all these decades since original publication. I enjoyed the original from my collection, nonetheless this is a good kindle read.
Published 7 months ago by Keith E. Gibson
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Good story, reminds me of "Colossus - The Forbin Project"
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars More good writing from Fredrick Brown
Good story with a surprising, satisfying ending.
Published 8 months ago by Darla T
3.0 out of 5 stars Typical Brown
The human angle is always more important than the technology. I liked it. But I think the politics are a bit naive.
Published 9 months ago by Robert L., Arrington
3.0 out of 5 stars Retro but good
Without spoiling the ending all this took place before computers were invented and you have got to wonder how brown was able to imagine such a future.
Published 9 months ago by Gary
5.0 out of 5 stars a bit dated, of course but vintage Fred Brown.
I remember reading material like this and the Heinlein juvenile, or rather young adult, fiction. Nostalgia and a wish for peace met in my heart. I really, truly enjoyed it. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Ed Sbardella
4.0 out of 5 stars Fredric Brown Does It Again
Bravo to Mr. Brown for another unusual story with an ending you won't expect. Written in 1958, "Honeymoon in Hell" contains dated information about science and technology. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Kathy Steinemann
5.0 out of 5 stars Grab this bacy by one of America's great pulp writers
Grab this baby! Why? Because it's by one of our great mystery and sci-fi writers - a natural
writer - who could take a situation and twist it enough, complicate it enough, to... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Bill Baker
5.0 out of 5 stars What a lovely idea!
A heroic astronaut, a beautiful, highly intelligent female astronaut/scientist off to the moon. Their only task to create a male child and save the World. Read more
Published 19 months ago by John W. Davenport
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