Life restarts can come in many forms â setting a new resolution, moving to a new city, or…completely leaving everyone and everything that you know on Earth to go live in outer space.
At least that’s the case in Thomas Pierce’s new short story ‘Chairman Spaceman,’ published in January in the New Yorker. Â The story is about a man, Dom Whipple, and his last day on Earth before he leaves, with no plan to return, to go live on a distant planet.
Thomas Pierce is no stranger to short stories. In 2015, he published a collection of story stories titled Hall of Small Mammals, and his work has earned him a spot on the National Book Foundation’s 2016 list of 5 Under 35 honorees.Â
Join us this week as we chat about ‘Chairman Spaceman,’ whether guilt-driven space travel is actually a far-fetched concept and the lengths one will go to start over, as explored in this short story.
Then, inspired by ‘Chairman Spaceman,’ we discuss our favorite books about space including The Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card and a whole lot of complicated feelings about The Martian by Andy Weir.
And as always, we close the show with recommendations:
Peter recommends ‘The Alt-Majority: How Social Networks Empowered Mass Protests Against Trump,’ a New York Times story by Farhad Manjoo. “It’s just a fantastic read! A good, long, empowering read.”
MJ recommends listening to Migos and reading The Ringer‘s profile of them, “Migos and the Never-Ending 15 Minutes of Fame.” “This profile is absurd, it’s phenomenal, it’s smart, it’s well written, there are times that I was laughing and I learned so much.”
Aliza recommends the movie Hidden Figures. “It’s beautiful and it’s wonderful and it’s perfect and everyone should go see it. You will learn things and you will cry and it’s amazing.”
We hope you’ll join us next week as we read and discuss John Darnielle’s new book Universal Harvester with Darnielle himself! And if you’re looking for a book to sink your teeth into, we recommend History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera, which is this month’s official MashReads book club book.