Saturday, 3 August 2013
its rich mineral resources will be exploited;
there will be adequate affordable housing;
one quarter of the surface will be reserved for recreation;
there will be a lot of woods and meadows.
Assuming also easy Earth-Moon travel, this sounds utopian.
Unfortunately, as in Anderson's novels Shield and Harvest Of Stars, a lot of the text is taken up with the hero evading his enemies:
the anti-Lunar conspirators kidnap the terraformer, Sevigny;
he escapes and calls the police;
the police involve the Feds who are controlled by the anti-Lunar conspirators;
Sevigny escapes and appeals to the local Martian consul who is also an anti-Lunar conspirator;
Eventually, he manages to contact people he can trust to counteract the conspirators.
The "strange bedfellows" of the title must be the disparate coalition of conspirators:
Conservationists who want reclamation of terrestrial deserts, not of the Moon;
corporations wanting contracts for Earthside reclamation;
religious fanatics who regard changes to the Moon as defilement of God's handiwork;
a Secretary of Resources who wants funds spent at home to increase his bureaucracy;
even a Martian society that wants Luna as a new Mars rather than a new Earth.
However, I think that this story neither fits in with the war theme of the Conquests collection nor fulfills Anderson's introduction to it:
"Our descendants may yet create a society more sane than any which has gone before. But will this keep them from insanities of their own?" (p. 187)
There are insanities in the story but not yet, as far as I can see, any society saner than our own.