Man on the Moon: a day in the life of Bob
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This is a non-fiction book so amazing that makes me wonder if I'm ever going to read Science Fiction again - of course I am, but damn it Chaikin you've set an unreasonable high bar now. The story has everything in it: inspiration, awe, struggles, personality, style.
Andrew Chaikin does an exceptional job of recounting the Apollo missions, ensuring that it is not all about Neil, Buzz and "What's-his-name?" (Michael Collins, for anyone who's interested).If you ask anyone about the topic of 'astronauts' and the 'moon' the frequent return of data starts with 'Neil Armstrong'. Before reading this book much of my knowledge of the moon landings were hazy and my ability to recall the 12 men who have walked on the moon extremely limited. Chaikin explores the lives of the Apollo astronauts in detail and as a reader I found this personal development crucial.
The events of The First Men in the Moon are used as the precursor to the player's adventure in Larry Niven and Steven Barnes' " Dream Park" series adventure novel, The Moon Maze Game, which describes a fantasy role playing game being played on (and televised from) a crater and tunnels on the Moon. The narrator is a London businessman named Bedford who withdraws to the countryside to write a play, by which he hopes to alleviate his financial problems. Bedford rents a small countryside house in Lympne, in Kent, where he wants to work in peace. He is bothered every afternoon, however, at precisely the same time, by a passer-by making odd noises. After two weeks Bedford accosts the man, who proves to be a reclusive physicist named Mr. Cavor. Bedford befriends Cavor when he learns he is developing a new material, cavorite, which can negate the force of gravity.
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A book that goes very deep into the astronauts' experiences. The focus is on the astronauts and on the Apollo flights. There's not much information about the previous Gemini or Mercury programs and even the progress of Apollo program is only lightly covered between Apollo 1 and 8. There are plenty of technical jargon and talk about things like mascons and breccias but it's only through the pilots and flights why they're covered. Major players of ground crew get some exposure but one might want to have some previous knowledge of the whole space adventure before diving into this book. Even the movie Apollo 13 might be enough to get the idea what's happening. Even though I'm quite familiar of the whole Saturn V and the phases of the flight, I still missed some sort of technical pictures to make it more clear. Before the moon landings,there is the story of Gemini and the tragedy of Apollo 1,whose crew was killed on the ground in a training accident.There were other astronauts,who were killed in flying accidents,before their space missions.