Dust Mites Book Review: “A Surprisingly Creative Effort.”

by Peter Galuszka

Jim Bacon has released a self-published novel that is wildly imaginative. He envisions the politics of a U.S.-related colony on the moon in the year 2075.

At Galileo Station, a semi-autonomous outpost, residents live and work in underground spaces while they work to harvest various important minerals as well as a helium isotope used to power the intergalactic universe. The miners are called “Dust Mites,” hence the title.

The 500-plus-page whopper of a novel relays a power struggle between Washington politicians and liberty-loving Galiletians who resemble American Revolutionary patriots standing up to King George III.

During a dispute over mining, things get so out of hand that U.S. Attorney General Alyssa Reyes (an apparent look alike for Vice President Kamala Harris or U.S. Rep. Alexandra Ocasio- Cortez) orders U.S. Marshalls to blast off for the moon and charge Alexander Macaulay, the Governor of Galileo Station, with sedition.

The federal agents manage to seize Macaulay and stuff him into a lunar rover so they can get him to a rocket ship that will blast him off to Earth to stand trial. The plan goes awry when the feds get stuck in “Airlock Three” that they need to transit to get to the rocket.

Most of the novel centers around the fighting over Airlock Three, but the more interesting aspects are the politics of the conflict.

Galileo Station seems to be Bacon’s dream of a perfect conservative-libertarian world.  It has no regulations, no environmental concerns, no taxes, little to no public education and complete personal freedom.

By contrast, Washington-led Earth “was adrift and no one had the mettle to do anything about it. The economy was stagnant and budget deficits were growing. The U.S. was hemorrhaging financial and human capital – all heading to the moon.”

Lunar life includes the extensive use of robots (“bots”) who are programmed with Artificial Intelligence but have no emotions. They can do most everything – there are even sex bots – but earthlings look down upon them. A human addresses a bot this way: “No I don’t want data, you moronic heap of transistors.”

Bacon’s choice of dialogue is curious. A couple of examples: “No so fast kumquat…” and “What in the name of Saturn’s rings could they be doing?”

The book is way too long. The constant “Tick Tock” writing structure of timelines and places can get annoying. There is no character development but then, that might be too hard.

Still, it is a surprisingly creative effort. You don’t need to agree with Bacon’s politics.

In sum, the entire point of such lunacy is this quote:

“We Galiletians uphold the ethos of the first patriots. We are the true Americans. We jealously guard our freedoms. As such, we and the other free lunar republics represent an existential threat to the imperial order.”

Could be a good summer beach read.