I’ve had my Little Printer for a few weeks now, and I’ve been enjoying the daily print-out of interesting things.
Yesterday, I released my own publication, called The Moon Race, which you can now subscribe to.
The inspiration for this was the On This Day publication, which each day tells you about three different historical event that happened on the same day of the year.
I liked this, but found the randomness a bit jarring, and sometimes wanted to know what happened next, as a consequence of the events.
What I realised was that I wanted to follow a single historical story, but told in the day-by-day rhythm of the Little Printer.
So I created an app to do just that.
The publication I’ve released tells the story of the Space Race to the Moon. It starts with President Kennedy’s speech to Congress on 25th May, 1961, in which he commits America to landing a man on the Moon, and returning, by the end of the decade. The story ends, and I hope this isn’t a spoiler, some eight years later in 1969 with the Apollo 11 mission.
The key decision I made, though, was to tell this story in ‘real-time’. So the Kennedy announcement happens for you on the first day you’re subscribed to the publication.
The consequence to this that, most days, you won’t get any update. In fact you might go months without an update. Other times there will be a flurry of daily activity in the build up to, and during, key space missions.
I have no idea what this will feel like to subscribe to. Hopefully, at the very least, you’ll get a sense of the pacing of this historical period.
One last thing: I built the app in such a way that it could be easily re-used, without any modification to the actual codebase, to tell other stories in real-time via Little Printer. I think World War 2 would be interesting to experience in this way (someone’s pointed me towards @RealTimeWII on Twitter, which is incredibly powerful).
I don't have the energy to write up any other stories though – researching the Moon Race is time-consuming enough – so if you fancy having a go, let me know.