I enjoyed 172 Hours on the Moon, but the fact is that it’s primarily a horror novel and as such has a tendency towards weakness in places that many horror works do—the story set-up requires seriously suspended disbelief and the characterization suffers somewhat in favour of the plot (this is not intended as a slight against horror, but the conventions of the genre do differ from other types of fiction). These are not inexcusable flaws, but they could mean that those who don’t like horror might find the book unsatisfying if they are expecting a sci-fi mystery story—this book’s strength lies primarily in the creepy atmosphere and in the whole general territory of skin-crawling scares. With that in mind, this book talk video was made to mimic horror movie trailers, in order to both hightlight the novel’s main appeal and to ensure that anyone watching will understand what they’re likely to find in the book.
Books based heavily on mysteries rely more on the “you’ll like it, trust me!” realm of recommendations, since they generally have to skirt major pivotal elements. This was the case with 172 Hours on the Moon and was the reason why I basically ended up splicing shots of scared people in science fiction movies together (though they are related shots, of course; hiding in the greenhouse and individuals on the surface without suits both feature in the book, on top of the inevitable discovery of bodies, for instance)—the entire exercise weighted more heavily on representing genre and tone than outlining plot, since much of the plot lies in a reveal you don’t want spoiled.
I had way too much fun making this trailer and I’ve got the rudimentary, hand-drawn, heavily-edited storyboard to prove it, and—more importantly—a lengthy list of rejected ominous taglines (…why did they leave? …what’s been waiting for them? …but something’s been waiting for them, and that’s not even counting those compiled directly from the book cover itself; It’s the opportunity of a lifetime…If they can make it back alive. … who knows what’s really out there? … In the black vacuum of space… no one is coming to save them).
The song in the trailer is the Talking Head’s “(Nothing but) Flowers,” whose lyrics features heavily in the book.
A thorough booktalk ‘information sheet’ on 172 Hours on the Moon (including notes on style, characters, appeal factors, and intended audience) by Sarah Calder is available on her blog, Your Query Has Returned No Results.