Wired recently reported that NASA has entered into an agreement with Tor publishing to create a line of science fiction books inspired by NASA. The goal, supposedly, is to encourage new generations to aspire to hard science careers. Says Nona Cheeks, the director of Innovative Partnerships at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center:
“This agreement will benefit the public, as we look for innovative ways to communicate our past and current achievements, while focusing on the needs of the future.”
I’m sorry, but it’s hard for me not to be a bit skeptical. For one, NASA projects take years to develop and usually many more in monotonous routine. Who wants to read about the Opportunity rover making a three-year, 13 mile journey across Mars to the a notable crater? Yes, it is interesting as an article or a news story, but as a novel?
Sure there are very book-worthy moments at NASA, but usually the publishing and movie industries are quick to jump on those. When NASA is inspiring they come running, but NASA hasn’t been all that inspiring lately. It’s been a long while since NASA did something that really captured the imagination. As I’ve posted before, NASA needs to get back to doing great things.
And if they did that, they wouldn’t have to resort to fiction to inspire people.
What do you think? EDC