Tom Hanks doesn't just collect typewriters and make typewriting apps for fun; he uses them to write. Presumably the Oscar-winner tapped out his short story "Alan Bean Plus Four" on an old Underwood. The story appears in this week's New Yorker. Vulture assesses the actor's story--which concerns traveling around the moon, selfies, iPad apps, and a character MDash, "who’d shortened his long tribal name to rap-star length"--as "short, sweet, and pretty much perfect."
"My contribution was the Command Module—a cramped, headlight-shaped spheroid that was cobbled together by a very rich pool-supply magnate who was hell-bent on getting into the private aerospace business to make him some big-time NASA cash," writes the narrator of the story. "He died in his sleep just before his ninety-fourth birthday, and his (fourth) wife/widow agreed to sell me the capsule for a hundred bucks, provided I got it out of the garage by the weekend. I named the capsule the Alan Bean, in honor of the lunar-module pilot of Apollo 12, the fourth man to walk on the moon and the only one I ever met, in a Houston-area Mexican restaurant, in 1986. He was paying the cashier, as anonymous as a balding orthopedist, when I yelled out, “Holy cow! You’re Al Bean!” He gave me his autograph and drew a tiny astronaut above his name." The New Yorker has included a recording of Hanks reading his story on its website.
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