Best-selling writer Jeffrey Kluger, author of "Apollo 13" with astronaut James Lovell, will launch a virtual tour Tuesday (June 1) to promote his first fiction book, "Holdout."
The book, which will be released Aug. 3 by Dutton (an imprint of Penguin Random House), follows the fictional character Walli Beckwith, a "celebrated astronaut" who works to raise environmental awareness during a mission on the International Space Station (ISS).
"The Amazon rainforest is burning and its Indigenous people are being exterminated— and the Brazilian government (and any governments standing by) are to blame," Dutton said in a plot description. "With Beckwith's niece somewhere in the flames that she watches grow every day from her commandeered ISS, and the entire world watching, Beckwith may be the one person who can force the hand of the American president and inspire … collective global action to help the people hundreds of miles below her."
The "Holdout" book tour, held virtually due to ongoing coronavirus pandemic quarantine restrictions, will "visit" three locations in August and include astronaut conversations at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and the Commonwealth Club of California.
Kluger is editor-at-large at Time magazine, overseeing science and technology reporting. He is the author of several books, including a few on space exploration.
"Having covered the history, the science, and the nonfiction sweep of space for so much of my career, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to tap into that background and spin a tale of pure imagination," Kluger told Space.com. "'Holdout' is a work of fiction, but its roots are sunk deep in fact. Writing this book was an act of joy and, frankly, just plain fun."
Here are the details known so far; exact website links and event platforms will be released closer to the date on social media and here at Space.com.
Aug. 3, 7 p.m. EDT (4 p.m. PDT or 2300 GMT): Intrepid Museum, with retired NASA astronaut Mike Massimino, who is now a professor at Columbia University.
Aug. 4, 6:45 p.m. EDT (3:45 p.m. PDT or 2245 GMT): The Smithsonian Institution, with retired NASA astronaut Marsha Ivins, who is now an independent engineering consultant.
Aug. 5, 6 p.m. EDT (3 p.m. EDT or 2200 GMT): The Commonwealth Club, with retired NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, who is now an artist and co-founder of the Space for Art Foundation.
Kluger's most famous space book is "Apollo 13" (first known as "Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13" with Houghton Mifflin Company, 1994). The co-authored semi-biographical book with mission astronaut Jim Lovell inspired the 1995 Hollywood film "Apollo 13," starring Tom Hanks. Kluger's most recent space book before "Holdout" is "Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon" (Henry Holt, 2017).
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