Book Reviews and Recommended Reading
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Opinions expressed are those of the reviewers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Space Society. To get a book reviewed by NSS: send query with book description to [email protected] Do NOT send attached files with your query. Do NOT mail books to the NSS address. We usually respond to queries within 10 days. Note: review copies must be provided free. They can be electronic, but books must also be available in print. We are ONLY interested in books about human exploration and settlement of space.
The second volume of Neil Armstrong letters. In some respects, both volumes tell Armstrong’s story in ways better than even Hansen’s earlier masterpiece biography of Armstrong, First Man. The words and thoughts in each of the two books of letters are Armstrong’s own words and thoughts.
A must-have book for all space enthusiasts, this collection of letters, cards, telegrams, and e-mails gives readers an idea how fame affected Neil Armstrong’s life following Apollo 11. Society’s treatment, both good and bad, of heroes is demonstrated throughout this work.
The Jim Baen Memorial Award is a science fiction contest jointly administered by the National Space Society and Baen books, presented annually at the International Space Development Conference. The contest rules limit entries to short stories dealing with human space exploration in the next half-century or so. In this volume we have 16 winners and runners-up from the first decade of the award, all of them looking at various aspects of what living and working in space will be like for the pioneering generations.
The Shiva Encounter is a sequel to Cook’s Arcadia Mars and The Aquila Mission. Shiva is a one-hundred kilometer asteroid with a one in fifty probability of striking Earth during the year 2079. The story is about how some Martian colonists intend to save the day. Presumably, a future book will show if humanity succeeded in diverting the asteroid. In addition, there is an extraterrestrial artifact apparently connected to the fate of humanity.
If the goal is to inspire and inform a younger generation to be involved in space, including lunar settlement in particular, Dyson’s book accomplishes this in spades. I highly recommend it for students, teachers and parents.
Anyone wanting to get a Giant Moon Map and a set of copies of this book for their favorite school can apply at aldrinfoundation.org/giant-moon-map.
Countdown: 2979 Days to the Moon, by Suzanne Slade. Reviewed by Clifford R. McMurray. Especially wonderful about this children’s book about Apollo are the illustrations by Thomas Gonzales that adorn almost every page—some of the finest space art I’ve ever seen. For the beauty of the story and the artwork, Countdown has won a number of well-deserved awards, including the National Science Teachers Association award for best STEM book of 2019.