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  Sex on the Moon: The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History

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Author Topic:   Sex on the Moon: The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History
cspg
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Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 11-18-2010 09:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sex on the Moon: The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History
by Ben Mezrich
Thad Roberts, a fellow in a prestigious NASA program had an idea -- a romantic, albeit crazy, idea. He wanted to give his girlfriend the moon. Literally.

Thad convinced his girlfriend and another female accomplice, both NASA interns, to break into an impregnable laboratory at NASA's headquarters -- past security checkpoints, an electronically locked door with cipher security codes, and camera-lined hallways -- and help him steal the most precious objects in the world: the moon rocks.



But what does one do with an item so valuable that it's illegal even to own? And was Thad Roberts -- undeniably gifted, picked for one of the most competitive scientific posts imaginable, a possible astronaut -- really what he seemed?

Mezrich has pored over thousands of pages of court records, FBI transcripts, and NASA documents and has interviewed most of the participants in the crime to reconstruct this Ocean's Eleven–style heist, a madcap story of genius, love, and duplicity that reads like a Hollywood thrill ride.

Ben Mezrich is the New York Times bestselling author of The Accidental Billionaires and Bringing Down the House in addition to nine other books. The film 21, starring Kevin Spacey, was based on Bringing Down the House. The Social Network, opening in theaters nationwide on October 1, 2010, was adapted from The Accidental Billionaires.

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday (July 12, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0385533926
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385533928

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 11-18-2010 09:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For reference, the heist and its aftermath was documented here on collectSPACE as it happened: Full Coverage: NASA astromaterials heist

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 01-18-2011 07:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Los Angeles Times reports that Sony has optioned the movie rights to Sex on the Moon.
Sony, which released both "The Social Network" and "21," has optioned the rights to Mezrich's proposal and will collaborate on "Sex on the Moon" with "Social Network" producers Scott Rudin, Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti as well as executive producer [Kevin] Spacey.

gliderpilotuk
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From: London, UK
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posted 01-22-2011 05:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And the s*x bit? A gimmick to get people to buy the book/see the film? I guess "Rocks on the Moon" doesn't quite have the same pull.

KSCartist
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From: Titusville, FL USA
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posted 01-22-2011 05:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No, "Sex on the Moon" works. This guy was trying to impress his girlfriend. We males will go to incredible lengths to get a girl to like us.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-24-2011 06:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Los Angeles Times reports that writer-director Will Gluck ("Easy A") is in talks with Sony Pictures and its team from "The Social Network" to develop and direct author Ben Mezrich's new book "Sex on the Moon."
"Sex on the Moon" would be a bit of a departure for Gluck, who began his career in television. The project tracks the wild escapades of 25-year-old NASA intern Thad Roberts, who in an effort to impress a girl orchestrated a plan to steal lunar rocks from the Johnson Space Center and sell them on the Internet. Mezrich, who wrote "The Accidental Billionaires," the book Aaron Sorkin adapted for the Academy Award-nominated film "The Social Network," will debut "Sex on the Moon" on July 12.

The studio purchased the rights to the project earlier this year and will collaborate with the producers behind "The Social Network": Scott Rudin, Michael DeLuca, Dana Brunetti and executive producer Kevin Spacey.

328KF
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posted 03-24-2011 10:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yeah, we'll see. Still waiting on that First Man movie too...

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 07-10-2011 01:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
CBS Sunday Morning aired an interview with convicted moon rock thief Thad Roberts and Ben Mezrich, who wrote the book about Roberts' heist.
"I've always been writing about these genius kids who live in that gray area between right and wrong," [Mezrich] said. "And here's this kid who basically does 100-yard sprint through that gray area right into the black area, and I don't know why. And I think that kind of blew me away."

capoetc
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From: Newnan GA (USA)
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posted 08-26-2011 08:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I read "Sex on the Moon" over the past few days. It is very entertaining, although I would place it closer to the genre of historical fiction than non-fiction. The author states up front that he is "inventing" a new genre of writing wherein he takes the events that happened and then creates appropriate dialogue along the way to keep the story moving.

It makes for interesting story-telling, but I wonder how accurate the end result is. Still, it is an entertaining story about a guy who basically throws away his future. It was worth checking out from the library.

Jay Chladek
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From: Bellevue, NE, USA
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posted 08-26-2011 11:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by capoetc:
The author states up front that he is "inventing" a new genre of writing wherein he takes the events that happened and then creates appropriate dialogue along the way to keep the story moving.
Of course, how is that really different from anything Hollywood has done anyway about anything involving NASA and the space program, even with movies and shows that tend to be more factual such as "Apollo 13" and "From the Earth to the Moon"? So in a sense, the author is essentially doing what amounts to a Hollywood script based on an actual event, but in novel form. It sounds like a nice concept, but I don't think it is really a new genre per se.

freshspot
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From: Lexington, MA, USA
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posted 08-27-2011 03:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for freshspot   Click Here to Email freshspot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I enjoyed the book. I didn't know anything about the incident and this account was a fun way to learn. But there were some errors in the descriptions of space travel which is annoying. I wish the author and publisher had vetted the book with a few experts.

Blackarrow
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From: Belfast, United Kingdom
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posted 08-27-2011 09:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hmm... there are three copies of this book in the "Popular Science" section of Waterstone's bookshop in Belfast, but they haven't even got Al Worden's "Falling to Earth" on their order list and apparently won't be stocking it. It surely couldn't be anything to do with the title, could it?

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 08-27-2011 10:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Blackarrow:
It surely couldn't be anything to do with the title, could it?
Not likely; it is probably more about publishers and distribution channels. Sex on the Moon is published by Doubleday, a more than 100-year old publisher with a very large distribution. Falling to Earth was released under the Smithsonian Books imprint of Random House Publisher Services and while Random House is just as large (or larger than Doubleday) their Smithsonian Books imprint is more limited.

Blackarrow
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From: Belfast, United Kingdom
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posted 08-28-2011 12:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, noted: but I still think that many booksellers think: "Sex sells."

AJ
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From: Plattsburgh, NY, United States
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posted 08-28-2011 05:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AJ   Click Here to Email AJ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The fact of the matter is, regardless of what the book is actually about, the title is an attention-getter. The book doesn't have to actually be about sex for booksellers to use it to get attention. Also, the author and the publisher are well aware of this, as well. They're not stupid.

Dave Clow
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From: South Pasadena, CA 91030
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 09-10-2011 12:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dave Clow   Click Here to Email Dave Clow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by capoetc:
The author states up front that he is "inventing" a new genre of writing wherein he takes the events that happened and then creates appropriate dialogue along the way to keep the story moving.
Speaking personally, I'm put off by the idea that Mezrich is "inventing a genre." This isn't a genre. It's taking facts and trivializing them, cherry-picking, twisting, and making any alterations required to reduce them to mere fun. Nothing about it is inventive.

I wouldn't mind it if the author was honest about it, and there are instances when it's been done well -- Tom Wolfe's "The Right Stuff" remains one of the landmarks of space literature, but insightful as he was, even he can be accused of sacrificing fact at times for the same of entertainment.

Mezrich's "inventiveness" just dispenses completely with any obligation to fact. As reporting goes, I'd put this in the same category as "Transformers 3", and I'll give Michael Bay credit for knowing that he's not a reporter.

capoetc
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Posts: 1705
From: Newnan GA (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 09-10-2011 09:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dave Clow:
Tom Wolfe's "The Right Stuff" remains one of the landmarks of space literature...
For what it's worth, when I look on the spine of my paperback copy of The Right Stuff, I notice that it says "novel".

Sex on the Moon is marketed as non-fiction.

canyon42
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From: Ohio
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posted 09-11-2011 10:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for canyon42   Click Here to Email canyon42     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The ambiguous nature of "The Right Stuff" is one of the things that now turns me off about it. The actual writing style is another, even though it is often hailed as some sort of "landmark" or classic. When I was much younger it seemed somehow exciting to me, but when I reread the book more recently it was almost unreadable for me. Tastes change, I guess.

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