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  Tom Hanks 'Alan Bean Plus Four' (New Yorker)

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Author Topic:   Tom Hanks 'Alan Bean Plus Four' (New Yorker)
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38318
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-20-2014 07:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
New Yorker this week features, "Alan Bean Plus Four," a short story by Tom Hanks.
Travelling to the moon was way less complicated this year than it was back in 1969, as the four of us proved, not that anyone gives a whoop. You see, over cold beers on my patio, with the crescent moon a delicate princess fingernail low in the west, I told Steve Wong that if he threw, say, a hammer with enough muscle, said tool would make a five-hundred-thousand-mile figure eight, sail around that very moon, and return to Earth like a boomerang, and wasn't that fascinating?

The issue also includes a brief interview with Hanks:

I'm guessing that your story in this week's issue, "Alan Bean Plus Four," was inspired by your work in the 1995 movie "Apollo 13" and on the 1998 HBO series "From the Earth to the Moon," which you co-produced. How far back does your interest in moon travel go?

The Gemini Program was part of my school day when the missions launched. We were marched to the Cafetorium to sit on the linoleum floor in front of a wheeled-in TV, where we'd usually wait through an hour or so of a hold, then give up and head back to the classroom with the rocket still onscreen, smoldering on the pad.

The romance of space travel got hold of me — the men in cool-looking helmets and such. My mind went berserk when Ed White did his space walk. The Life photos were so crystal clear and detailed, and there was Earth, under his dangling feet, his face hidden by that gold visor. (I wondered how he looked inside that helmet. Smiling? Sweating heavy?) And I felt a sort of glory and power in the idea of humans beating the vacuum of space and making it a few hundred miles above the rest of us. I built the plastic models — the more authentic the better — to play with, on my bed, on the floor, creating missions of my own. I gave up the nineteen-fifties-style rocket ships for the approved Apollo designs, even before any Apollo flew.

When Apollo 8 went around the moon over Christmas of 1968, I watched the long broadcast live on TV — it was a special, sponsored by Western Electric. I was counting the days til whenever the first landing would be; it seemed like it would take forever.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38318
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-20-2014 06:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Tom Hanks flies Alan Bean to the moon in the pages of 'The New Yorker'

There's a certain irony to the observation that Tom Hanks today may be better known for flying to the moon than Alan Bean, who actually went there.

The actor and director, who starred as an astronaut in the feature film "Apollo 13" and helmed the miniseries "From the Earth to the Moon," celebrates Bean and laments the real astronaut's relative anonymity in the current issue of "The New Yorker," now on magazine stands. In addition to taking part in an interview, Hanks contributes an original, fictional short story, titled "Alan Bean Plus Four."

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38318
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-20-2017 12:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Alan Bean Plus Four" appears in Tom Hanks' first collection of his short stories, "Uncommon Type: Some Stories."
A collection of seventeen wonderful short stories showing that two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks is as talented a writer as he is an actor.
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Knopf (October 17, 2017)
  • ISBN-10: 1101946156
  • ISBN-13: 978-1101946152

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