Every Dog Has Its Day

In his introduction to Wolf Moon, author David Irons freely admits his werewolf-in-space novel began as a screenplay. The movie was never produced (unfortunately), but it inspired a great tagline: “In space … there’s always a full moon.”

Irons uses the catchy phrase on his book’s cover and a few times throughout the story, but he isn’t married to it. Wolf Moon actually ends in a flurry of memorable catchphrases. The list goes on and on, but two of my favorites include: “Earth needs a wake-up call … with a bite” and “It’s a dog-eat-dog world and you always have to make sure you have the biggest teeth.” Probably the most provocative of the lot is “Never trust anything that bleeds once a month and never dies.” It’s either the perfect title for an Alice Cooper album, or the perfect tagline for an unmade “90s-style straight-to-video sci-fi/horror movie.”

The novel/screenplay begins with a ubiquitous roll call of disreputable mercenaries: the cocky man-whore, a pair of roidoids, the emotionally vulnerable rocket ship pilot and the pop culture nerd. They’re on a sketchy five-day mission to the dark side of the moon.

Once in space, an unexpected distress call lures the crew to a nearby asteroid. Within minutes of landing, they see a zombie-like human lurching toward them through a “catacomb filled with junked morbidity.” 

BTW: The man’s name is Niles Talbot. Which, I presume, makes him a distant relative to Larry Talbot. And you know what that means, right? The author is setting the stage for some hairy wolf-man action in outer space (soundtrack by Claude Debussy and the rest of his Impressionist pals).

Like I said earlier, Wolf Moon was originally a screenplay, which means you can arguably call this effort a novelization. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course. I’ve been reading movie novelizations and tie-ins my whole life and I quite enjoy them. 

Scripts are lean and mean by necessity, but novels encourage writers to expand their narrative with visual details, subplots and characterization. A good writer takes advantage of the opportunities given to him. 

I have to admit, Wolf Moon doesn’t completely make the transition from screenplay to novel. There’s some excellent word play, humor and description here, but it’s a straightforward rewrite nonetheless. 

[Wolf Moon / By David Irons / First Printing: July 2020 / ISBN: 9798664439939]