John Michael Sharkey (1931-1992) was an American author who was very prolific during the late 1950s and through the 1960's.
The Dope On Marsby Jack Sharkey
"It'll be the biggest break a writer ever got," he told me, two days before blastoff. "Oh, sure there'll be
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My agent was the one who got me the job of going along to write up the first trip to Mars. He was always getting me things like that--appearances on TV shows, or mentions in writers' magazines. If he didn't sell much of my stuff, at least he sold me.
"It'll be the biggest break a writer ever got," he told me, two days before blastoff. "Oh, sure there'll be scientific reports on the trip, but the public doesn't want them; they want the human slant on things."
"But, Louie," I said weakly, "I'll probably be locked up for the whole trip. If there are fights or accidents, they won't tell me about them."
"Nonsense," said Louie, sipping carefully at a paper cup of scalding coffee. "It'll be just like the public going along vicariously. They'll identify with you."
"But, Louie," I said, wiping the dampness from my palms on the knees of my trousers as I sat there, "how'll I go about it? A story? An article? A you-are-there type of report? What?"
Louie shrugged. "So keep a diary. It'll be more intimate, like."
"But what if nothing happens?" I insisted hopelessly.
Louie smiled. "So you fake it."
I got up from the chair in his office and stepped to the door. "That's dishonest," I pointed out.
"Creative is the word," Louie said.
So I went on the first trip to Mars. And I kept a diary. This is it. And it is honest. Honest it is.
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