"Earth’s distant orb appeared the smallest light that twinkles in the heaven; whilst round the chariot’s way innumerable systems rolled and countless spheres diffused an ever-varying glory. It was a sight of wonder: some were hornèd like the crescent moon; some shed a mild and silver beam like Hesperus o'er the western sea; some dashed athwart with trains of flame, like worlds to death and ruin driven; some shone like suns, and as the chariot passed, eclipsed all other light." From "Queen Mab" by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1813)

Monday, 5 July 2010

More Space Books

What do you do when you have no money and no more room for books in the house? In my case you buy more books. My name is Gary Smith and I am a bookaholic.

Before we get to the books though I’d like to say a big thank you to Michelle, aka Cowboys and Custard, for the fantastic rocket gift she presented me with on a recent visit to her lovely house. Thanks Michelle, as you can see the rocket has proudly taken its place alongside some of my other space ornaments.
So, on to the latest additions to the space library. First, Norman Mailer’s “A Fire On The Moon”. Mailer was asked to write about the moon landings by Life Magazine and this book is the result. I haven’t read it yet but I gather it’s not altogether complimentary about the endeavour but then he was a wife beater and something of a miserable bugger, so what can you expect?
Last year the brilliant Taschen published “Moonfire” a book that added Mailer’s writing to some amazing NASA photos to create a really special book and one that’s definitely on my “must have” list. If money was no object though I would absolutely have to have the special edition of the book. The special edition was limited to just twelve copies, it comes in packaging that opens out into a lunar lander and it comes complete with a piece of actual moon rock! Unsurprisingly, it costs thousands. Come on lottery! Meantime, I’m more than happy with my second hand copy of Mailer’s original.

Next up is another copy of The Obverser’s Book of Manned Spaceflight. Yes, another copy as I already have the second edition of the book with a picture of the ASTP on the cover.
This is the third edition with the space shuttle and a space station on the cover. Now of course I’m on the lookout for the first edition with a picture of Skylab on the cover. The Observer’s books are just lovely aren’t they? I found some interesting websites about them recently, so if you are into the Observer’s books you might want to have a look here, here and here.
Finally, I bought the latest edition of Spaceflight Magazine as it had an article on Apollo 16 astronaut Charlie Duke and another on Russian spacedogs. I couldn't not get it could I?

Keep watching the skies.

Suggested reading: “Moonfire: The Epic Journey of Apollo 11” by Norman Mailer

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