We know you love the old “let’s pull the rabbit out of the hat” trick, but it’s time to move on to more advanced deceptions. As always, we gather a panel of experts to recommend books on a specific topic. We questioned magic practitioners and historians of the field to give you a sense of what’s possible in your own world–and what may be pure illusion.
courtesy of Bookmarks Magazine
The following experts recommend books, fiction and non-fiction alike, for those of you who plan to colonize another planet – or just want to read about it.
Roger D. Launius
NATIONAL AIR AND SPACE MUSEUM
Roger D. Launius is chair of the Division of Space History at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. Between 1990 and 2002, he served as chief historian of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. He has written or edited more than 20 books on aerospace history, including Critical Issues in the History of Spaceflight (2006); Space: A Journey to Our Future (2004); Imagining Space: Achievements, Possibilities, Projections, 1950-2050 (2001); and Frontiers of Space Exploration (1998; 2004).
[col class=”span6″] In his significant analysis of the close relationship between popular culture and public decisions in space-flight, McCurdy finds that while spaceflight seems to be generally popular with Americans, it is not a high priority for most. He shows how closely the dominant trends in science fiction literature and film, as well as public perceptions, reinforce actual events in spaceflight and fundamentally affect public support. While a close relationship during the 1950s and 1960s between reality and perceptions created an expectation that supported the lunarlanding program, the paths of public perceptions and actual events have diverged since then.[/col]