Apollo 11 Anniversary Round-Up + Jell-O

I wrote two guest posts commemorating the Apollo 11 anniversary. Over at Smart Bitches Trashy Books, I tried to reason out the romance of the moon, and at Frolic, I rated the romances in astronaut movies.

Please read, comment on, and share these essays, and if you haven’t picked up the Fly Me to the Moon box set, it’s still just 99 cents. Grab it at AmazoniBooksB&NKobo, and Google Play.

If you’re here because you read one of those pieces, welcome. If you’re thinking about trying the Fly Me to the Moon series, I hope you do. The fan favorites seem to be Earth Bound (which is in the set) and Free Fall.

And finally, I owe you a Jell-O mold. I made one on the Fourth of July that I intended to run in celebration of A Midnight Spark, but it was an utter disaster. It was even worse than the phallic lobster, which was at least funny. This was just a misshapen lumpy mess.

box set jello final

The concept for this new, and far better, Jell-O came from Liz Lincoln who posted a cola-cherry-cream cheese Jell-O recipe on Twitter; it was similar to this one except the cream cheese was actually in the mold. And, y’all, I just couldn’t bring myself to put cream cheese into Jell-O. It’s what holds me back from embracing the retro, in the end. Basic food decency.

I did like the idea of cherry cola Jell-O, so I played around with what I had in my kitchen. The results were delicious; it’s probably the yummiest Jell-O I’ve ever made. The recipe is after the fold. It’s the perfect thing to eat while pondering the historic significance of Neil Armstrong’s stroll on the moon.

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Moon Landing Sale

IMG_0026Today marks the start of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. On July 16, 1969, the crew blasted off from Florida on an eight-day mission to the moon and back.

To celebrate, Genevieve and I have put the Fly Me to the Moon box set on sale. Until July 24, this collection of three complete retro romances (almost 170,000 words) can be yours for just 99 cents. It includes Star Dust, Earth Bound, and A Midnight Clear and is perfect for all your lunar landing nostalgia reading.

I’ll have a couple of commemorative guest posts on other blogs this week, and I’ll drop links here when they appear. But in the meantime, grab your copy of the boxed set now before this deal goes away. It’s available at AmazoniBooksB&NKobo, and Google Play.

Space on Screen

In retrospect, it’s not surprising that Georges Melies’ A Trip to the Moon (1902) is the first science fiction film. After all, the sky is the original cinematic experience: the lights go up and come down; the moon and constellations change; the colors shift, fade, and intensify; and the weather provides drama and tension. Staring at the sky in night or day is an emotional, humanizing experience. It emphasizes how small you are in the face of the universe. Thus it only makes sense that one of the first subjects for narrative cinema would be the desire to explore what’s up there.

(Digression: I, like most babies of the 80s and 90s, came to know Melies’ work because of the Smashing Pumpkin’s video for “Tonight, Tonight,” which remains most excellent.)

covers of four movies: hidden figures, the dish, the astronaut wives club, and apollo 13

What I want to think about today, though, isn’t films such as A Trip to the Moon, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Wars, Contact, or Armageddon, which concern themselves with space in an entirely imaginative or fictional way, but instead with those that attempt to tell the “true” story of human space exploration.

For the sake of conciseness, I’m going to limit myself to The Right Stuff (1983), Apollo 13 (1995), The Dish (2000)*, The Astronaut Wives Club (2015)**, Hidden Figures (2016), First Man (2018)*, and Apollo 11 (2019)**, arguing that while these films are about humans leaving earth, neither the films nor the history they represent successfully abandon earth’s baggage, specifically gender and race.

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