Tuesday, October 31, 2006

No "Sex in Space"

The Space Review: Sex in Space: bizarre reactions: "Sex in Space was sold at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) store for the first month after Apogee Books released the book. It was doing very well, so the store manager invited me to do a book signing. The trouble began as soon as a cheery book-signing announcement was emailed to all personnel at JPL. Unbeknownst to me, the store simply isn’t allowed to do book signings because JPL can’t be seen as endorsing a commercial product. The JPL store personnel simply made a mistake by booking my signing. However, what happened next is ridiculous. First, a liaison to the store e-mailed an announcement to all personnel—thousands of people at JPL—citing “ethical reasons” for the cancellation of the signing. This, of course, prompted many people to contact me to ask exactly what it was that I did wrong. The implication is that I did something unethical. I’ve done nothing wrong, which the JPLers involved have assured me of via several telephone conversations. A simple clarification sent to the same distribution list (all personnel) as the previous announcement would have fixed things. To date, no such email has been sent. Second, those involved ordered my Sex in Space books pulled from the store. Apparently the title “Sex in Space” is just too racy. Perhaps I should have titled my book, “The P"

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