I've been trying to remember a short story.

The trick ending was that when we landed a man on Mars, all wars immediately stopped on Earth... but then we were about to land a man on Venus which would (presumably) have the effect of ending love.

Most likely a "Golden Age" sci-fi story. Told with a Venus landing newscast going on in the background.

  • 1
    Which war? Could you be more specific with the details?
    – Kreann
    Dec 5, 2014 at 20:40
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    All wars. Man became peaceful. Having touched Mars, there was no war anymore. The implication being that once we touched down on Venus (I think the people in the story were watching a news cast?), there would be no love...
    – cheryl
    Dec 5, 2014 at 20:52
  • The story isn't the newscast. There's just a newscast about the Venus landing going on in the background.
    – cheryl
    Dec 5, 2014 at 21:36
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    I can't name the story, but I think I remember it. Early on, it follows a werewolf who, after July 16, 1969, stopped changing with the full moon -- then went on to join the Mars mission.
    – Jim Davis
    May 11, 2015 at 7:59
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    This may have something to do with the roman god mars being the god of war, and the roman god venus being the goddess of love
    – Himarm
    Sep 24, 2015 at 19:16

1 Answer 1


It doesn't have anything about Venus, but the Mars part sounds exactly like "Moonrise" by Dorothy J. Heydt. I read it in "The Best of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine" (1994), but it was originally published in the summer 1988 issue of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine.

The synopsis from Heydt's website says:

The first manned Moon landing changed Vilkas's life. Now, while war threatens, he's waiting for the Mars landing.

Vilkas, the main character, was a werewolf, and the story (after a brief intro) flashes back to him preparing to transform, the night of the first full moon after the moon landing -- but he didn't transform, that night or ever again. Another character complains about humanity's arrogance in setting foot on another world, saying they've "taken all the magic out of the moon."

Many years later, worldwide tensions are nearly ready to erupt into war. Vilkas is a senator, chairman of the Space Committee; and he's in the press room at NASA, counting down the minutes until the first manned landing on Mars... and he's watching the headlines, waiting for the fighting to stop.

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    Correct. Marion's then-editor (whose name I don't recall) was experienced with publishing but knew nothing about fantasy or SF. She came to Marion with the MS. of this story and said, "Is there a page missing here? Because I don't understand it." Marion carefully explained. This was the same editor who looked at the diploma from Miskatonic University hanging on Marion's wall, and asked, "Is that where you did your undergraduate work?" She was later replaced by another editor who knew both editing and SFF. May 29, 2021 at 22:31
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    If anybody wants to read "Moonrise," you can find it on my website, kithrup.com/~djheydt , in a collection of shorts called Stories You Never Heard Of, along with a lot of other stuff I wrote back in the 1980s and -90s. Jun 17, 2021 at 3:43

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