Moon on the mind: two millennia of lunar literature The Moon’s luminous, cratered face, visible to the naked eye, has sparked the imaginations of writers and scientists for centuries. Our satellite became a blank canvas: a proxy Earth on which writers could project alternative societies and satirize terrestrial ones, and a fruitful testing ground for scientific and technological speculation. One lunar-literature pioneer was the second-century Syrian satirist Lucian of Samosata, whose A True Story is often cited as the first science-fiction narrative. Extrapolating from sea voyages, travellers are blown to the Moon by a whirlwind. In a satire on Earthly territorial conflicts, they encounter a war between Sunites and Moonites. Lucian’s Moon-dwellers are tall humanoids dressed in woven glass and subsisting on frogs. Greek biographer Plutarch’s Moralia (ad 100) is arguably the first such narrative to introduce scientific ideas. It contains a dialogue that could be construed as early astronomy, touching on close observation of the lunar surface and its appearance at different phases of orbit.