“No reader interest,” was the judgment of the London publisher W.H. Allen on Frederick Forsyth’s first novel, The Day of the Jackal. To date it has sold eight million copies…Frank Herbert’s science fiction epic Dune was rejected by 13 publishers before the Chilton Book Company accepted it. Today sales top 10 million.
As for flying to the moon, “the proposition appears to be basically impossible.” observed Professor A.W. Bickerton in 1926. In 1936 J.P. Lockhart-Mummery clinched the argument: “The acceleration…from rockets…inevitably would damage the brain beyond repair.” When Apollo 11 landed on the moon in July 1969, the Times issued a posthumous apology to Goddard.
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