In his latest book 'The crash of 2016' author Thom Hartmann describes a story he once read in 'Amazing Stories'.
He doesn't mention a title or the author. Here is how he writes about it:
I was around ten years old, and a total science fiction junkie. Amazing Stories—a pulp magazine of science fiction short stories, commentary, and science news—arrived every month, and that meant that on that day all homework and play were forgotten. These were some of the most brilliant stories, written for a penny or so a word by people such as Robert Silverberg, Jack Vance, Poul Anderson, and Frank Herbert, who would go on to become the biggest names in the field of Fantasy and Sci-Fi.
And one particular story haunted me for years. Eight years later, when the first men landed on the Moon, that story was brought back to me as if I’d read it the day before.
In the story, a group of astronauts are finally, for the first time, going to blast off from Earth and circle the Moon. It had never been done before, and because our moon doesn’t itself rotate on its axis like we do relative to the Sun, but instead circles us with a single side always facing us, nobody had ever before seen the “dark back side of the Moon.” These men would be the first in human history to do so.
The rocket roared to life from the launchpad, the astronauts chatting with Mission Control as they hurtled toward the Moon. When they got close enough, they let the Moon’s light gravity grab their space capsule and, with a few deft rocket thrusts, they put themselves into orbit around it. They were unbelievably excited, as were the NASA folks on the ground, chattering back and forth about what they hoped and expected to see.
Was the dark side of the Moon identical to the front, or was it more mountainous? (We now know it is the latter.) Might there be frozen water there, since it has a different exposure to the Sun? Might there even be wreckage there from ancient astronauts, or something else exotic like that? Anything was possible!
As the astronauts began their turn around to the back side of the Moon, Mission Control told them they’d lose communication because the giant mass of the Moon would block their signals, so they prepared for radio silence. But as they made the turn, they could still hear Mission Control.
What they saw as they glimpsed behind the face of the Moon we see on full-moon nights brought an audible gasp from all of them.
One picked up the microphone to radio the ground and tell the horrible story. Another knocked the microphone from his hand with a warning gesture. They continued to circle around the back side of the Moon, and the view became even clearer, ever more undeniable.
“Should we report it?” A debate—virtually a fistfight—broke out in the capsule. What would it mean for earthlings? What if nobody believed them? What if they were quarantined upon returning and imprisoned or sent to a mental hospital? I remember what they saw that so horrified the astronauts.
The back side of the Moon was missing. They were looking into the concave half ball of the front side of the Moon, which was made of canvas stretched over an elaborate superstructure of two-by-fours, nailed together like the scaffolds that held up roller coasters from that era.
I would like to know the name of this story