The Sun Moon Hoax – Steve Winter

The Inhabitants of the Moon, 1836, Welsh edition

By Hanes y Lleuad [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Credited as the first “penny press” paper in the New World, the New York Sun began publication on September 3, 1833. It was a respected, even conservative paper in its day. But that didn’t prevent its falling prey to the “Great Moon Hoax,” a series of six articles it published beginning in August of 1835, telling of bipedal, house-building beavers; unicorns; waterfalls; even bat-winged people and their temples—all on the surface of the moon!

The story caused a public stir in its day but was eventually proved to be a hoax. The writer was a fictitious companion of the world-famous astronomer Sir John Herschel. Still, the Sun never issued a retraction.

Imagine if the “hoax” was a double-hoax! That the Sun‘s story was true, and the report of the hoax was a cover-up to prevent the two worlds from meeting. Steve Winter of Dungeons & Dragons fame drops your characters in the middle of that cover-up, as agents risking their lives to uncover (or protect) the truth.

To learn more about Steve Winter, visit his blog at

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