A Whole Lot of Writing Going on

Through my local public library, I logged into an Infotrac database – General OneFile – to do some research. I stopped before I started, stunned into a case of the vapors by a number I saw: 83,083,630.

“Currently searching General OneFile with 83,083,630 articles…”

83 million articles?! Let me add some more punctuation to illustrate my reaction. ?????!!!!!?????!!!!!

Who wrote all of that? Why should I add to it? Should I add to it? Is there too much written already? Maybe people should stop writing for a while. How can I make my writing noticed in a sea of 83 million+ articles? Do people feel overwhelmed with written word overload? Would more written words be nothing  but piling on? Is there anything left that hasn’t already been written? Will the questions generated by this number never end?  All of this went through my head in about 10 seconds and then started looping on replay over and over.

On the other hand, if I believe writing and reading are worthy pursuits, can there be too much of either? And, if 83,083,630 articles have already been published, doesn’t that mean there are plenty of markets publishing stuff?

83,083,630. I’m trying to decide if the number is discouraging or encouraging.

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Book List: The Moon

On July 20, 1969, the Apollo 11 landed on the moon. In honor of the event’s 40th anniversary this month, I’m providing a list of moon-related reading.  I have steered away from general astronomy books, and confined myself to books about the earth’s moon. Otherwise, the list would go on forever. In the fiction books, the moon is either the setting or a significant force within the story. Many of the non-fiction titles are self-explanatory. I don’t feel the need to expound.

Enjoy your lunar reading odyssey.

Book List: The Moon

Fiction

Back to the Moon
Homer H. Hickam
Techno-thriller about the hijacking of a moon-bound space shuttle, written by NASA engineer and author of  the memoir Rocket Boys. Published in 2000.

Bouncing Off the Moon
David Gerrold
Three young brothers deal with their parents’ divorce by moving to the moon, only to become embroiled in corporate intrigue and conspiracies.  2002.

The First Men in the Moon
H.G. Wells
Classic Wells, published in 1901. But if you think this is the first published story set on the moon, scroll on down the list.

Have Spacesuit – Will Travel
Robert Heinlein
Classic Heinlein first published in 1958. Space adventure story aimed at younger readers. What boy wouldn’t want to win his own spacesuit and take a trip to the moon?

Inconstant Moon Trilogy:
Inconstant Moon
Fall Girl
Exit Strategy
Piers Askegren
More corporate intrigue on the moon. These are newer books, all published since 2005.

Lunar Descent
Alan M. Steele
Factory work is factory work, even on the moon. 1991.

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
Robert A. Heinlein
Three books in one about revolution brewing in the lunar colonies of the future. 1966.

The Moon Pool
Abraham Merritt
Magic portal activated by moonbeams. Published in 1919.

Peter Nevsky and the True Story of the Russian Moon Landing: a Novel
John Calvin Batchelor
Historical fiction about the space race, written from a cosmonaut’s point of view. 1996

Roverandom
J.R.R. Tolkein
Written in 1925, published in 1998. (As a writer, this makes me all kinds of impatient.) In his quest to be real again, a dog searches the moon and elsewhere for the wizard who turned him into a toy.

Voyages to the Moon and the Sun
Cyrano de Bergerac
Yes, *that* Cyrano de Bergerac, from the 17th century.

Non-fiction

Apollo: the Epic Journey to the Moon
David West Reynolds
2002

Apollo: the Race to the Moon
Charles A. Murray
1990

Apollo 11: the NASA Mission Reports, Compiled from the NASA Archives
Published in three volumes 1999-2001.

Apollo 13
Jim Lovell
The moon landing that didn’t happen and how three astronauts survived disaster. 2006

The Big Splat, or, How Our Moon Came to Be
Dana Mackenzie
2003

Destination Moon: the Apollo Missions in the Astronauts’ Own Words
Rod Pyle      2007

Digital Apollo: Human and Machine in Space Flight
David A. Mindell    2008

Firefly Moon Observer’s Guide
Peter Grego
It *is* an astronomy book, but focused solely on our moon.  2004

First Man: the Life of Neil A. Armstrong
James R. Hansen
Biography.  2006

The First Men on the Moon: the Story of Apollo 11
David M. Harland
2006

Five Billion Vodka Bottles to the Moon: Tales of a Soviet Scientist
I.S. Shklovskii
1991

Fly Me to the Moon: an Insider’s Guide to the New Science of Space Travel
Edward Belbruno
2007

The Last Man on the Moon: Astronaut Eugene Cernan and America’s Space Race
Eugene Cernan
Memoir by the commander of the final manned moon mission, recounting his years with NASA.  2000

Magnificent Desolation
Buzz Aldrin
Memoir by one of the Apollo 11 astronauts.  2009

A Man on the Moon: the Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts
Andrew Chaikin
2007

The Man Who Ran the Moon: James E. Webb, NASA, and the Secret History of Project Apollo
Piers Bizony
The politics of aerospace.  2007

Many Moons: the Myth and Magic, Fact and Fantasy of our Nearest Heavenly Body
Diana Brueton
1992

Men from Earth
Buzz Aldrin
From one of the astronauts who went there. 1989

Moonlore: Myths and Folklore from Around the World
Gwydion O’Hara
1997

Moon Shot: the Inside Story of America’s Race to the Moon
Alan B. Shepard
Another astronaut scoops. 1994

Of a Fire on the Moon
Norman Mailer
1970

The Once and Future Moon
Paul D. Spudis
A geologist explains what we have learned about the moon, and explains why he thinks we should go back to increase our knowledge.  1998

Patrick Moore On the Moon
Patrick Moore
2006

Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivalries that Ignited the Space Age
Matthew Brzezinski
2008 

Rocket Man: Astronaut Pete Conrad’s Incredible Ride to the Moon and Beyond
Nancy Conrad
Biography.  2005

The Sun and the Moon: The Remarkable True Account of Hoaxers, Showmen, Dueling Journalists, and Lunar Man-Bats in Nineteenth-Century New York
Matthew Goodman
I haven’t read this book, but I’m thinking with a title like that I’m going to have to.  2008

Welcome to the Moon!: 12 Lunar Expeditions for Small Telescopes
Robert Bruce Kelsey
1997

What if the Moon Didn’t Exist
Neil F. Comin
Now there’s an interesting question.  1995