BA Giveaway Number 5!

By Phil Plait | November 27, 2007 8:44 pm

It’s been a while (grumble grumble book was a huge timesink grumble) but it’s finally time for another BA Giveaway! This is the best one yet.

My friend and BABloggee Jack Hagerty is an author, but not just any author: he is a geek among geeks. He has a fantastic book called Spaceship Handbook that is an astonishing compendium of spaceships both real and imagined. This textbook-sized tome has details to satisfy even the nerdliest among us. Section upon section of George Pal! Chesley Bonestell! Movies you’ve never heard of but had awesome rockets!

If you read this blog — and you do — then you want this book. And now you can have one. Jack has graciously agreed to send the winner a copy of the book, and if you don’t win, he’s still showing the love by giving 15% off cover price if you order it. The holidays are coming, folks…

The rules are the same as before. All you need to do is go to the Bad Astronomy and Universe Today bulletin board. I’ve created a thread in the Fun-n-Games section called "Spaceship Handbook giveaway contest!" If you’re already a registered user, just post something in that thread, like "I’m a geek and I want this book!" It doesn’t matter what you post as long as you post. Post ONLY ONCE. If you post more than once I will delete the extra posts.

If you are not already registered at the board, it’s easy and free. We don’t charge anything, and we don’t do anything with your emails or info. I hate spammers more than you do, guaranteed (I get thousands of spams a day– and not just email but also comments on this blog and on the BAUT board!), so I swear that info stays in our database and that’s it.

On Monday, December 3rd at noon Mountain time I will close the thread. I’ll generate a random number, and whoever has that number post wins the book! I’ll send you a private message or email confirmation, and you can send me your snail mail address, which I will forward to Jack. There will be no cost to you at all.

This book has a section on the rocket used in the Josie and the Pussycats cartoon. You so want this.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: About this blog, Cool stuff

Comments (45)

  1. Cool – hafta order that.

    Hey, Phil, shoot me an email – I have something you can use for a future give-away: a v. nice polo shirt made up by some of the people involved with the Cassini-Huygens probe celebrating the near-Earth swingby in 1999. Never been worn.

    Unless you want it for yourself. Tres chic. 😉

    Jim D.

  2. Hey, Phil – what’s the discount code if we want to order a couple of copies and get the 15%?

    Jim D.

  3. Christian X Burnham

    Does it come with the attached cartoon-like elongated head?

    (Was that cruel?)

  4. Chad

    Hmm, I think I will just buy it! I would like to know about the discount however.

  5. Does the book cover the TARDIS (type 40, that is)?

  6. Oooh, count me in, I believe in freebies! Off to the BAUT boards I go!

  7. Shutterbug

    Nice book, but go easy Phil… Someone could accidentally subdue you just by brandishing a camera. HA!

  8. fourlegsgood

    OMG I DO so want this!!

  9. tacitus

    “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”

    Just covering all the bases… :)

  10. This will come up a few times, so hopefully this message will be near the top (and I apologize in advance for this sounding so commercial).

    My online store host doesn’t support “qualified discounts” (the kind where you enter a discount code) so here’s the somewhat awkward way I have to do it: The discount link takes you to a mail window where all you have to do is type something like “I read the BA blog”. From that I’ll be able to refund your discount directly to your card or PayPal account.

    For those of you who want to use a check or money order (you know, the old stuff) here’s the pricing info:

    Retail: $59.95
    15% D/C:
    Total: $50.95

    For shipping, you have your choice of $5 surface (7 to 10 days) or $14 Priority (2 days).

    And for you international readers, yes, I ship internationally, but it’s a bit pricey. The US Postal Service no longer offers surface shipping, so everything goes by air. That’s $38 to everywhere except Canada (which is $18).

    Again, I apologize for this sounding like an ad, but I knew that y’all would love this book. Of the 3,500 I’ve sold so far, there hasn’t been a single return.

    – Jack

    PS – you can click on my name at the top of this post to be taken directly to my website.

  11. Hmmm, I put the little angle brackets around the discount value above like accountants do, and the software thought it was html code or something. The value there should be $9.00 for the discount.

    – Jack

  12. OK, three posts in a row…

    I just read through the BAUT entry, and I’d like to address some of the questions posted there, but obviously I can’t post to the BB (with my luck, I’d probably win).

    Before I start, I noticed I forgot to put the mailing address for those that would like to order one that way (presuming they don’t win, of course):

    ARA Press
    785 Jefferson Ave.
    Livermore, CA 94550

    To reiterate for those outside the US, yes, you’re included. I’ll ship anywhere.

    For those speculating on the contents, let me give you a brief history.

    The book was intended to be a companion to Peter Alway’s “Rockets of the World.” That’s a modeler’s reference book on “real” rockets and missiles from Goddard up to the Space Shuttle. “Spaceship Handbook” is in the same vein with capsule histories and “data drawings” of the subjects, but none of the subjects have ever really flown under rocket power. It’s divided into three sections: “The Theoreticians”, “The Entertainers” and “The Real Stuff”. The first part covers Tsiolkovsky, Oberth, Sanger, Ley/Bonestell and von Braun; the second spaceships from books, movies and TV shows (this is about 60% of the book); and the last is famous cancelled projects (Dyna Soar, Nova, Pluto).

    What’s not included: 1) Star Wars and Star Trek (done to death in other books, plus Fox/Paramount wanted too much money for picture use). Real programs that really flew (Mercury/Gemini/Apollo). There’s a major section on Gerry Anderson, but only the “Thunderbirds” are detailed, and then only TB1, TB3 and TB5.

    Feel free to mail me ( with any specific questions.

    – Jack

  13. Are you not selling this book through Amazon, to assist international subscribers?

  14. Stephen

    Sweet looking book. Wonder if that cool ship from the Canadian TV series “The Starlost” is in there?

    Stephen B.
    Math Teacher and Geek

  15. MattFunke

    I don’t get enough rockets here in the cold, cold Northeast. This book would be most welcome.

  16. RAF

    Ya gotta love the rocketships from the 50’s…when rockets and cars had fins. :)

  17. viggen

    “I’m a geek and I’d like that book,” hee hee, always fun to jump onto that sort of bandwagon!

  18. Bobryuu

    I could use an spaceship book, but unfortunately I do not have the funds to purchase one.. Maybe christmas wishlist?

  19. That is so going to be on my bookshelf one way or another. Looks like new disc brakes for my bike might just have to wait a while longer

    Speaking of retro ships vs. real science, have you guys seen this site:


  20. Thomas Siefert

    If it comes with that weird looking book stand, it will fit in perfectly next to my Rocky Horror/Shock Treatment Special Edition DVD (The one with the big plastic lips).

  21. Thor

    I bought this book from him at WorldCon a couple of years back… It’s awesome….

    Are there sequels?

  22. Quiet_Desperation

    >”Does it come with the attached cartoon-like elongated head?”

    That’s not a face. It’s just a craggy mesa.

  23. Eric

    I LOVE Chesley Bonestell art, it was the art I grew up with. I’m sure this is will be a fun book!

  24. Sticks says: “Are you not selling this book through Amazon, to assist international subscribers?”

    Yes, it’s available through Amazon, but I wouldn’t be able to autograph it :-)


    Stephen says: “Wonder if that cool ship from the Canadian TV series “The Starlost” is in there?”



    Thor says: “I bought this book from him at WorldCon a couple of years back… It’s awesome…. Are there sequels?”

    Was that the WorldCon in San Jose (2002) or Anaheim (2006)?

    As for sequels, I have several things in the works (Phil isn’t the only one working on a book project!). The closest to production is “The Saucer Fleet”, which will be out the middle of next year. This one will be published by Apogee books, and should be available in both soft cover and hard cover. The premise is just like SSH except that the number of entries is smaller, thus the detail is greater. Subjects include “The Day the Earth Stood Still”, “War of the Worlds” (the George Pal one), “Forbidden Planet”, “Earth vs. the Flying Saucers” and a bunch more. There’s a button for it on the website next to the Spaceship Handbook one.

    Longer range, there’s a second edition of this book with updates and re-edits, and a “Volume 2” with all new subjects.

    – Jack

  25. HawkeyeMD

    I’m a geek and I wanna spaceship book!

  26. Thor

    Thor says: “I bought this book from him at WorldCon a couple of years back… It’s awesome…. Are there sequels?”

    Was that the WorldCon in San Jose (2002) or Anaheim (2006)?

    Was the one in San Jose. Boy, that was a few years back. Good to hear about “The Saucer Fleet”–will be looking forward to it.

  27. Can ANYONE in the whole wide world participate?

  28. that the WorldCon in San Jose (2002) or Anaheim (2006)?

    Was the one in San Jose. Boy, that was a few years back. Good to hear about “The Saucer Fleet”

  29. outeast

    Funny how many ppl are entering here instead of in the forum…

  30. CinciDave

    JUst the resource for my class, “Our Glorious Universe.”

  31. CinciDave says: “Just the resource for my class, “Our Glorious Universe.””

    FYI, if you don’t win, I give schools and libraries 35% off. Plus, Appendix A in the back is a treatise on atomic propulsion.

    – Jack

  32. usagi

    Gotta play to win. Looks like a seriously cool book (and a good possible graduation present for a friend).

  33. Ala'a

    Does it cover Tintin’s rocket?

  34. I want one, I want one; free books rank up there with free beer

  35. Been a troll for-ev-er… and now, your book signup has called me out of hiding.

    Book, please! (There’s beer here, too?)

    mmmmm, boook.

    Good luck, all.

  36. blizno

    I loved those old space ships since I was a kid.

  37. Mark A. Siefert

    Oh this is awesome! I love the conjectural spacecraft that Ley and Von Braun came up with. Did anyone ever see the “The Wonderful World Of Disney” series called “Man In Space?” I think you can find it on DVD.

  38. I’m a geek and my husband used to build spaceship models. I’d love a shot at getting that!


  39. Big Mac

    I want it. I want it. I want it. I’ll hold my breath until I turn blue! OK, You asked for it. let this be on your head….AAAAHHHmmphf. Hmm Hmm Hmm Hmm….

  40. Troy

    I think I missed it but I’ll give it a shot anyway.

  41. I have all the details on my blog. For a chance to win, just post (only once, please) in this thread! On Monday December 3rd at noon

  42. I want it. I want it. I want it. I’ll hold my breath until I turn blue! OK, You asked for it. let this be on your head

  43. options according to their preferences, or they can be used simply to add something dynamic and interesting to the site. The potential uses are nearly limitless but some common approaches include using style


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!


See More

Collapse bottom bar