A House Between Earth and the Moon Cover
A House Between Earth and the Moon

1. The novel is set in 2033. When you imagine that year, what do you see? How similar is the novel’s version of the future to the picture in your head? What do you think the 2030s have in store in terms of climate change and technology? 

2. If given the opportunity, would you want to experience space travel? Are there details in the novel that made it more attractive to you? What would be the scariest part?

3. Corporations actively collect data on countless aspects of our lives. Did Scherm’s novel change how you view this phenomenon? What does privacy mean to you now, and how do you think the definition will change in the future? Do you think of privacy as a commodity?

4. While Alex is looking to breed a particular invasive algae species to mitigate the destruction of climate change, Sensus’s technology has already been unleashed all over the world, forcing the most extreme Luddites into hiding. How do the characters try to assert their control over these various invasive forces? Do you think there’s hope for human control at the end?

5. Climate change is destroying the earth, and its impact in 2033 is more urgent than ever as people around the world are displaced from their homes due to wildfires, freak storms, and extreme weather. How does it feel to imagine the future in the face of this crisis? If you had the chance to flee worsening conditions on Earth and move your family to a space station, would you?

6. Imagine being a teenager in the year 2033. What aspects of your experience do you think would be different?

7. The novel explores the choices parents make for their children and the many different ways in which we understand and act on matters of safety. How is Meg’s approach to protecting her kids different from Esther’s or Teddy’s? Do you think there is a right way?

8. Technology plays a complicated role in the novel. While it makes certain aspects of life easier, it also exploits individuals, influencing their behavior on behalf of shareholders. What effect do you think the omnipresence of technology has on human behavior and the characters’ intuition? Can you think of a time in which technology influenced your own behavior without you noticing it?

9. How does Tess view her work? What about Alex? The other Pioneers? What questions do you think the novel poses about the relationship one has to their work? In face of mounting global catastrophes, what do you make of the push for healthier work-life balance? How do you see this movement fitting into a greater capitalistic economic structure?

10. Climate change and surveillance capitalism are two troubling realities that underscore the novel. How do you think they are related? As the climate crisis grows more and more urgent, what companies, if any, do you think will profit off it?

11. What did you think of Tess’s research? Would you ever want to watch people the way she does? Do you think there are similarities between the work she does and the work of her father, who creates characters and manipulates them for an audience’s entertainment?

12. The parents—Meg especially—struggle with the difference between the world they understand and the more technologically mediated realms of their children. How does this generational divide play out in the novel? What effect do you think it has on parents and children in general?