Thursday, August 11, 2005

Send it up. Watch it rise. See it fall. Gravity's rainbow

I just finished reading this book and enjoyed it immensely. It is a rocking biography of the largely self-taught rocket scientist John Parsons who developed several fuel recipes, co-created the first JATO rockets, and dabbled in black magic before blowing himself up real good in his garage in 1952. Parsons was a member of Aleistar Crowley's crackpot religion and a roommate of L Ron Hubbard - who screwed Parsons over royally taking both his life savings and his girlfriend before fleeing the country by yacht ( thanks Jack!) and later starting his own crackpot religion, scientology. There are other interesting characters who pop up like sci-fi legend Forrest Ackerman and Robert Oppenheimer, who was working on some sort of bomb thingy at the same time our hero was working on jet propulsion. If you love mad scientists, You'll love this book.

P.S. Yep, The title of the post is from an old Laurie Anderson tune that you can barely remember about a novel you couldn't finish.

P.P.S. John Parsons has a crater named after him on the dark side of the moon. Heh heh, That record you remember but you were bloody stoned at the time....


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