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Aldrin, Buzz

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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Working name of US fighter pilot (in Korea), astronaut with a research degree in orbital mechanics, rocket design entrepreneur and author Edwin Eugene Aldrin (1930-    ), whose first space flight was in Gemini XII in 1966, and whose most famous extraterrestrial moment was the Moon Walk in 1969 in which Neil Armstrong took the first step. His first sf novel is Encounter with Tiber (1996) with John Barnes; told by an historian aboard the first Starship in 2069, it recounts two stories: the episodes set in the Near Future clearly espouse Aldrin's own deeply-held conviction that interplanetary travel is possible and should be attempted, even at a time subsequent to America's disavowal of that great ambition; and Barnes-like episodes set an aeon earlier in which the Alien Tiberians, stranded on Earth, prove responsible (Aldrin has acknowledged the influence of Erich von Däniken) for the rise of the human species, and ultimately for their discovery of an ancient "Encyclopedia" on the Moon, which further inspires humanity. Though excessively awkward, the novel movingly represents (and in a sense elegizes) some of the twentieth century's deepest aspirations (and defeats). Aldrin's second sf novel, The Return (2000), again with Barnes, is of less interest; Reaching for the Moon (2005 chap) is a pleasingly hortatory memoir composed for children. [JC]

Edwin Eugene Aldrin

born Montclair, New Jersey: 20 January 1930



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