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Author Topic:   Space (James A. Michener)

Posts: 1319
From: Centreville, VA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 04-08-2009 11:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is "Space" by James A Michener a good read? From what I understand it's a fictional account of the early space program, concentrating mostly on management and technician characters but also with at least one made-up astronaut. Is this "alternative" account interesting and entertaining, or are all the differences from what really happened too distracting?


Posts: 2488
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 04-08-2009 12:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is a wonderful fictionalized account of Operation Paperclip, the beginnings of NASA and the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs. There is more than one "made-up" astronaut.

I've read the book more than three times in the last 20 years and if you like Michener and his attention to detail - you'll love "Space".


Posts: 1571
From: Atlanta, GA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 04-08-2009 01:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm with Tim - a great read. Very entertaining.


Posts: 1493
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 04-08-2009 01:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I haven't read it for more than 20 years, but it was the only Michener book I had ever read at the time, and it encouraged me to read more of his work. The fictionalized flight of Apollo 18 is worth the price of the book itself!


Posts: 1025
From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 04-08-2009 04:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Judging from the comments here, I may have to revisit this one. I remember enjoying the Apollo 18 chapters, but generally finding the book overlong and weighed down by several tangential subplots that struck me as only marginally relevant. But I was very young when I read it (had to be at least 20 years ago), and it may have just been too much of a "grown-up" book for me. If I ever get caught up on my must-read list (increasingly unlikely) maybe I'll give it another go.


Posts: 296
From: Cleveland, OH USA
Registered: Aug 2006

posted 04-09-2009 09:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for space4u   Click Here to Email space4u     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes I would recommend it Steve. I happened to have my hardback, new copy of it (in 1982) with me in Florida on a trip and heard Edgar Mitchell speak in Florida and got him to autograph my copy for free!


Posts: 181
From: United Kingdom
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 04-13-2009 04:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for medaris   Click Here to Email medaris     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I enjoyed it as well. The main characters are composites, but it's difficult not to try to work out some of the astronauts that influenced their portrayal!

New Member


posted 04-08-2011 03:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bnick   Click Here to Email bnick     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just recently finished reading James Michener's "Space" and I had heard there was a mini-series made of the book back in the 1980's. I really enjoyed the book but I have been unable to locate the mini-series in any form.

If anyone has any information about how one can see the mini-series in any way (video, dvd, online, etc.) I'd be very interested.

Editor's note: Threads merged.


Posts: 19
From: Saginaw, MI USA
Registered: Apr 2004

posted 04-09-2011 02:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for RSimon007   Click Here to Email RSimon007     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No idea if it's great or lousy but I saw this source online for the DVD. If you buy it please share your thoughts on the quality of the DVD and the mini-series.


Posts: 42
From: Austin, TX, USA
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 08-23-2012 05:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for skye12   Click Here to Email skye12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was a CBS mini series which I thoroughly enjoyed at the time in 85. The original airing was 5 parts and 13 hours in duration. It starred Harry Hamlin and Beau Bridges as the main astronauts. Also had Blair Brown, Bruce Dern, Michael York and James Garner it.

After the initial airing, subsequently it was cut down to 4 parts and 9 hours in length. This is the cut a few knockoff sites supposedly have.

I would love for the original 13 hour version to be put out and find it strange it has disappeared. If anyone has a line on this, that would be great.

Andy McCulley

Posts: 217
From: Lansdale, PA USA
Registered: Jul 2001

posted 08-24-2012 08:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Andy McCulley   Click Here to Email Andy McCulley     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The ad on this site appears to be a copy of the original 13 hrs.

Jay Chladek

Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 08-25-2012 11:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I watched it when it first aired on CBS. I may have a couple of the episodes on Beta video tape still (not that they do me much good since I don't have a functioning Beta VCR anyway). Michener's style at the time was to write like that and cover historical times with fictional parallel accounts, but heavily grounded in the history of what actually happened and he was a first class researcher. That was the style of things back then as there are numerous other books that came out in the 1970s and 80s that paralleled that writing style. The "Space" miniseries I believe was produced thanks to the success the networks had in their broadcast of "Centennial" in the 1970s.

Guenther Wendt worked as a technical advisor on the series and there may have been some astronaut involvement as well (I don't know for sure though). Miniature, costume and effects work as I recall were groundbreaking at the time. I particularly remember a scene in the fictional Gemini mission where you saw Harry Hamlin as astronaut "John Pope" asleep in the Gemini after an Agena dock and they do a long camera pullout from the window until it was just a small dot in the sky orbiting the Earth.

The book I've never read entirely, but I did glance at a couple pages in high school and it seemed to have very good educational content as the American scientist who in the stories did the fictionalized account of "Paperclip" used a pair of jeeps and some circles drawn on the flightline of Ellington field to help explain a simplified account to Pope and Claggett (Hamling and Bridges) of orbital mechanics in rendezvous and docking. I believe the book version of the Gemini mission was a variation of the Gemini 11 flight which involved rendezvous with two Agena vehicles (something the movie did not cover).

I've still got a Clagget, Pope and Perry Apollo 18 mission patch which was based on the prop patches from the film. I got it at Star Realm many years ago and I don't exactly know who made it.

carl walker

Posts: 178
From: Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 08-29-2012 03:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for carl walker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The patches for the "Space" miniseries were made by Stewart Aviation in the UK. I think part of the show might have been filmed in UK (apparently Orfordness in Suffolk).

The Gemini capsule featured in the series is on display at the USS Intrepid Air and Space museum (or it was...)

Great book and miniseries.


Posts: 199
From: cumberland, wisconsin
Registered: Aug 2001

posted 09-16-2012 10:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for liftoff1   Click Here to Email liftoff1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm looking for James A. Michener's television miniseries "Space." Does anybody know if it is available on DVD?

Editor's note: Threads merged.

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