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Lusty Lady

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ed's Martian Book, the West Village bookstore selling only Martian Summer by Andrew Kessler

Tonight I particpated in one of the most fun, unique readings I've ever done. I was invited by all-around cool guy and Galleycat editor and birthday boy Jason Boog to read at Ed's Martian Book. I looked it up and all I saw on Yelp was "science fiction bookstore." I arrived and this is what I saw:

Yes, author Andrew Kessler set up an entire shop with thousands of copies of his book artfully displayed. What's his book, Martian Summer: Robot Arms, Cowboy Spacemen, and My 90 Days with the Phoenix Mars Mission, about? From his site:

Martian Summer is a non-fiction account of author Andrew Kessler’s time spent working on the Phoenix Mars mission. It’s about winning the nerd lottery--getting the most exclusive ticket to work inside mission control for a NASA mission to Mars. The luckiest fanboy in fandom gets a shot to spend three months with unfettered access to mission control--that’s a journalistic first and potential NASA no-no. It’s just your average summer trying to capture the story of 130 of the world’s best planetary scientists exploring the north pole of Mars. It’s a warts-and-all look at the Phoenix Mars mission and NASA’s space narrative from a regular guy who once dreamed of leaving the planet.

Andrew Kessler is a writer living in Brooklyn. His work has appeared in The New York Times and on The Discovery Channel. He holds a degree in mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley. This is his first book about Mars -- or any planet for that matter.

More photos. The e-book launch party is Thursday night, April 21st. I encourage you to check out the store if you're in New York, whether Mars or space interest you or not. As a book lover there is something mesmerizing and gorgeous about seeing the same title seemingly endless displayed on shelves. It makes you wonder what the book buying experience would be like if every book were given that kind of display. Plus it's fun. And the bathroom is totally charming! And, yes, Martian-themed.

(slightly fuzzy cause this giant ball was swaying in shop window)

From an interview at Galleycat on the opening of a "monobookist" bookstore (by Jason Boog):

Kessler also explained how he assembled his ambitious project: “I dipped into the old savings a bit to make this whole project happen–but who wouldn’t to live on a NASA mission and then make a giant art project about it to tell the world!? I live the frugal life to make these moments happen. But I’d be very nervous to tell others to spend their hard-earned money on art projects (although I secretly want them to).”...

He added some simple advice for authors interested in following in his footsteps: “You’re going to hear a lot of people say, ‘Wow, that will never work.’ They’ll be right, of course, but if you love books and you should do it anyway. ”

Watch videos and learn more at and follow him @kesslerandrew on Twitter.

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