Kendall Redburn

Author, Photographer

Wishing the Moon

What ability would you wish for? Sorry, that’s taken. Sorry, that violates the rules.

The universe in which Wishing the Moon takes place allows for paranormal abilities, but tries to understand how life, in all of its aspects would be different from our own because of this difference.

If you think about the X-Men, SpiderMan and other such comic book worlds, they are essentially our world with a slight modification of super powered beings. Yet the existence of such powers would alter how we behave in just about every aspect of our lives.

For instance, you couldn't argue about the existence of a God if other people had paranormal powers that violated the laws of physics. Many comic book characters derive their abilities directly from deities - which verifiably demonstrates they exist, yet this doesn't change the politics of religion?

So how do people acquire paranormal powers that for some reason are exclusionary to the rest of humanity? Why is there only one Cyclops, one Spider Man, one Mephisto and so on? In our world, the laws of trademark and copyright hold sway over the comic-book universes as if they were physical laws in that world.

These are the basis of Wishing the Moon, that anyone can have a paranormal ability as long no one else alive has that ability. The people of this world would then understand that the abilities are gifts, unique aspects of a divine being that are bequeathed to humanity. The gifts are immortal, passing from one person to the next. The only way to acquire an ability is to be the first person to ask for it once the previous owner has died, or to discover one no one else has thought of. Good luck with that.

So what about the ability to destroy the world? That would make for a short novel wouldn't it?
It is believed that abilities that are too powerful for mankind to safely wield are given to angels, immortal beings who conscript the ability permanently out of the reach of mankind for its own good.  These include the ability to create, transmute, or destroy matter, to know the mind of God, or abilities that would require some variation of these. So you can’t have the ability to know the future, but you could have the ability to know what’s in the minds of other humans, so you could have a limited ability to know events in the past.

In Wishing the Moon, society has adapted to the point where political office, i.e. membership on the Council Ra-Ken, is automatically granted to the next heir of certain powerful abilities.  The abilities are those which grant the user considerable power, but are not directly harmful, such as the ability to shape water, earth, fire, air, the ability to fly, generate vibrations, super strength and speed, etc.  Abilities that are intrinsically destructive, such as the ability to kill with a glance, controlling the emotions of others,  cause heart attacks, or to make others obey your commands are considered evil. Society has accepted that they too grant certain political rights, but the conflict between the good and evil is the main theme of the book.

What about the countless lesser abilities?  Derek Cantor has the ability to make others talkative. There is a woman who can sneeze money (by moving it from other people’s purses,) a boy who can go where the ball is, and many more. How small of an ability is worth it? Would you waste your one chance on the ability to change the color of your eyes?

Then there are person specific abilities. These are the Far Speakers, people who have the ability to know what a specific person is saying.  They are used as a kind of phone. Two people will wish for this ability and then can earn a living sending messages to each other from different cities.

There is much, much more to explore in the book at many levels. For example, what would happen if you had the ability to fly, and fell asleep while flying?  The character Kim seemingly has the ability to be invisible, yet he can be seen in a reflection.

Here is a final thought.  At one point, Kherlos tales the legend of a man who has the ability to urinate gold. As the story goes, the man has the ability but doesn’t understand it.  It is revealed that he actually  translocates gold dust and nuggets from a nearby stream into his bladder.  But doesn’t this ability violate the proscription on knowing the mind of the Divine?  If no person knows where the gold nuggets lay in the stream, how can he move them into his bladder?

You can read more at who publish the digital versions.


Available from or