July 20th 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of when humans first set foot on the moon.
It was a brave American named Neil Armstrong who took the historic giant leap for all mankind — and it was a nation of free people that got him there and back again safely.
The space race was born out of a competition between Soviet communism and American capitalism. After the Soviets successfully launched Sputnik 1, the world’s first autonomous satellite, the race for space supremacy took off and became a regular part of American culture.
“I, for one, don’t want to go to bed by the light of a Communist moon” -VP Lyndon Baines Johnson.
Thanks to President Kennedy’s bold proclamation and leadership, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted the flag of freedom on the lunar surface long before the hammer and sickle ever had a chance to be loaded onto a ship.
The Apollo era was a time of American greatness and big, inspiring dreams of adventures on other worlds. The human desire to explore is hard-wired into our DNA and critical to our survival as a species. Space truly is the final frontier that calls us.
Being born at a time when the Apollo program was winding down always felt like a tease to me. I was a young boy who looked up to and idolized the astronauts just as they were being moved out of the national conversation. That cultural transition always left me longing for a return to those glory days of brave astronauts, spaceships and a collective national pride rooted in scientific achievement.
When I began my screenwriting career I used to tell people there were only three characters I wanted to write movies about; a solider, a baseball player and an astronaut.
The solider movie became Tigerland starring Colin Farrell. I never got much traction with my baseball scripts but the one astronaut screenplay I sold, landed me the biggest paycheck and also a disappointing lesson in the current power structure in Hollywood.
After establishing myself as a science fiction writer I tried for years to find a home for a movie that showed America winning the new space race against China. I could never find a partner for what could be considered a slam dunk with the ticket-buying public. The reasons given were not because the material was lacking — it was because Hollywood is totally beholden to the Chinese government, which controls access to their film market, therefore nobody is willing to portray the Chinese military in a negative light.
Not offending Communists is such a big deal for Hollywood studios that when Red Dawn was remade (originally with China invading California to collect on the debt) the studio spent millions digitally altering the bad guys into North Koreans.
That’s why this fall I’m releasing my first science fiction book titled CRISIS MOON.
CRISIS MOON is an unapologetic story of how American greatness comes from the private inventors and tinkerers who are the only hope against a massive Communist space program hell-bent on winning the highest ground possible.
Looking back, I wish I had always written books and never gotten the screenplay fever everyone had in the 90’s. The self-publishing revolution allows me to share my passion for the American values that made this nation great, without needing the approval of a producer.
As we reflect on that inspiring day in 1969 lets also look forward to even more giant leaps into the cosmos, for all mankind.