I’m currently reading “SPACE” by Mr James A Michener. Subtitled “The epic novel of man’s greatest quest”, it is an 815 page epic about the US Space Program. I am about 600 pages along, and its story is still fascinating!
It tells the journey’s of four family’s who each pioneer and contribute to all the factors that helped man accelerate into space. But it’s not only about the journey into space: It also goes into extensive detail about the lives of those people around the program, those whose impact was minimal yet intrinsic.
It also delves into the history and personal stories about those brilliant minds that designed the first space-craft. We read how those few men that flew to the moon started their lives as test-pilots for the first bomber-aircraft, jet engines and then the space-craft that left our planet.
What I like most about “SPACE” is it’s believability. No part of the book is too hyped up to be unbelievable, and for a brief moment you might believe they were the people involved … yet they are really characters representing the real people. Moving and amazing, nonetheless.
Said to be a grand ‘blend of fact with fiction‘, it’s often difficult to tell where the reality starts and ends — and this is what invites me to read this book again. I have had the book near on twenty years, yet this is only the 3rd time I’ve read it.
After some research this evening to find out more about James A Michener, I was openly surprised to discover he has written 40 books of similar magnitude! Most interestingly, I found him to be well-educated, informed and knowledgeable in the many areas that he based his novels upon.
I invite you to read this excerpt from Mr Michener’s contribution to a symposium asking “Why Man Explores“:
We are always at the end of something, always at the beginning of something else. This is true not only of societies, not only of total culture, but also of individuals. If we have no accomplishment, if we never know success, we lead embittered lives. But if we stop with one success and do not recognise that it stands merely as a threshold to something greater, more complex, more infinite, then I think we do only half our job.
This is a great way for all of us to live out our lives. Having some form of purpose and a way to contribute to the society is a great thing. Admittedly, not all of us are concerned about how or if we make a difference, but I’m sure many take some concern in the work they perform, and endeavour to ensure it is all worthwhile. Well, I do.
Some days I fail miserably, but mostly I imagine myself being, becoming and doing more. My tomorrow is better than my today.
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