Something Made of Vacuum

Something Made of Vacuum is a science fiction romantic comedy, and here’s the complete plot spoiler: Tom gets Helene, Tom loses Helene, Tom gets Helene back. But this is a romance like no other, because it happens on the Moon, where the principal business is space ports. The port workers find it inconvenient to cycle in and out of airlocks all the time, so they live 24/7 in space suits and call themselves Moon Men. Helene comes from Earth to the Moon on business, and after various adventures finds herself falling in love with a Moon Man named Tom. Of course she wonders how Moon Men have sex (answer: they rent a hotel room), and she also wonders how she’s going to relate to a boyfriend whose shell she literally can’t get past. But Moon Men, because they rarely have any physical contact, wear their emotional hearts way out on their hard-shelled sleeves, gossip relentlessly about each other, and moreover can read each other’s vital signs, such as blood-sugar levels, from instruments built into the suits. The tables are turned: Tom considers Helene an impenetrable woman of mystery because he can’t tell whether her heart beats faster when she sees him, due to lack of instrument readings, and because she has a sense of personal privacy, something that no Moon Man would ever claim.

They meet, they make love in a hotel room, they fall out and Helene flees back to Earth. Tom chases after her, so deeply in love that he is willing to accept the ickiness of living on Earth, inhaling air that he knows has been exhaled from the wet lungs of strangers. They manage to work it out, and come back to the Moon to live. At the end, Tom and Helene get married in a ceremony that is sweet and romantic but, because everyone is in space suits, does not end with a kiss. They consummate their wedding with a dance together, celebrating a love made of vacuum!